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The C+D guide to writing a great job advert

Written by: Kristien Hinde
Published on: 14 Dec 2018

The C+D guide to writing a great job advert

There are so many things to consider when recruiting for a pharmacy vacancy. But whatever you do, don’t just throw a few sentences together, however tempting that may seem.

If a job advert is written correctly, it will attract the right kind of candidate to your role and help you get the most value out of the post.

These top 10 tips can help you produce an effective and engaging job advert on C+D Jobs.

1. 20-second opener                                      

You have around 20 seconds (or an opening paragraph) to make an impact before candidates move on to the next job advert. So take time to read back over yours anduse it wisely when reviewing your job adverts.

2. Salaries

Online job adverts that include salary information receive more than 40% more applications. However, due to the variety of experience and skills within pharmacy, most recruiters prefer to discuss salaries on application. If you have a role with a lot of responsibility and a sizable salary, list it – it could give you higher-calibre candidates. If you have room to negotiate responsibilities with the candidates, list the salary as “competitive” or “on application”.

3Keep it snappy

Short, snappy and concise sentences, bite-sized paragraphs and bullet points are best when writing an advert. If it is too complicated, you will lose job seekers’ attention.

Use subheadings to break up the advert into clear sections, so job seekers can scan it for the information most important to them – this may be responsibilities, qualifications, skills or how to apply.

Three bullet points is the optimum number that a job advert should contain. Any more and you risk losing the interest of the candidates and their application. An advert isn’t a job description, so it doesn't need to include every aspect of the role – its main purpose is to get the right candidate to click 'apply'.

4. Location

The location of your vacancy is possibly the most important factor that will influence whether a candidate applies or not. If you are in a remote location, be sure to include information about the area that will attract candidates to the vacancy. If there’s relocation support available, add it to the details to sell the job – it will help your advert stand out.

With roles based in a large town or city, include something new, innovative and challenging about the role or the company to make it stand out in a crowded market. Also, be sure to describe the company culture and tell job seekers why your company is the right fit for them.

5. What job title should I use?

Pharmacy roles generally break down into key job titles: pharmacist; pharmacy manager; pre-registration pharmacist; pharmacy technician; dispensing assistant; and counter assistant. Although there are many different variations of these within the pharmacy, it’s best to make it simple and keep your advert closely aligned to these titles.

The main reason for including a job title is so that your advert shows up in search results. Think about what potential candidates will search for, and what keywords they might use. Successful recruiters will choose the job title with the widest reach, rather than an ambiguous title that fits with their company. A strapline to give more details about the position can be added if necessary.

6. Keep it about the candidate

You need to think like a job seeker and make the advert about them and not your company. Use the second person, referring to potential applicants as ‘you’ where possible to help them see themselves in the role. 

It’s also a good idea to create excitement about the role, eg “As the pharmacy manager, you will develop and manage engaging, effective strategies to help us move into exciting new areas.”

Use language job seekers can relate to and avoid jargon. If you are looking for graduate recruitments, you can make your language less formal and friendlier, while a senior management position might require a more serious approach.

7. Essential experience

Focus on your key requirements. Essential skills and experience are really what you need from the candidates in the first instance, before inviting them for an interview. Desired attributes are fine to have in mind, but if it’s not a deal breaker, leave it out.  Some people may be put off from applying if they can’t match all requirements, which could mean missing out on the perfect candidate.

8. Be competitive

Your customers can learn a great deal about what works and what doesn't in a job advert by checking out the competition. Find out what keywords other employers use, what skills they require and what perks they offer. For example, if they can’t match the salary, they need to come up with other selling points, such as flexible working hours, to attract quality candidates.

9. Express yourself

As well as talking about the job and its requirements, employers need to sell themselves. Adding a company logo to the listing or upgrading a standard listing to PremiumTop job or Job of the week can help increase the amount of applications you receive (see average upgrade stats below).


Premium – receive up to 45% more applications

Top job – receive up to 56% more applications

Job of the week – receive up to 68% more applications

This is the perfect opportunity for you to promote your brand to a focused audience of pharmacy's finest candidates, not just though a job listing, but by using a tactical option such as a target email or banner advert.  Whatever your requirements are, get in touch to find out the options.