- Advert Library
- Before you advertise
- When is it appropriate not to advertise
- Process for advertising
- Deadlines for advertisements
- Under-representation and positive action
- Composite advertisements
- Writing the advertisement
- Knowing your audience
- Hard to fill vacancies
- Get to the point
- Potential discriminatory language
Please click on any of the links below to view model advertisements. These advertisements are from real vacancies. The library of adverts will continue to be added to as more examples become available.
- Grade 2 (Recreation Assistant)
- Grade 3 (Admin Assistant)
- Grade 3 (Chauffeur)
- Grade 3 (Maintenance Assistant)
- Grade 4 (Admin Assistant)
- Grade 5 (Programme Assistant)
- Grade 5 (Technician)
- Grade 6 (Departmental Officer)
- Grade 6 (Research)
- Grade 7 (Professional)
- Grade 7 (Professional)
- Grade 7 (Academic)
- Grade 8 (Professional)
- Grade 8 (Professional)
- Grade 9 (Professional)
- Grade 9 (Professional)
- Grade 9 (Professional)
Please consider whether it is necessary to fill the vacant post, has the role changed, what duties will be required of the post holder and what knowledge, qualifications, skills and experience are required to undertake the post (see job description and person specification).
Once you have reviewed the job description and person specification and you have the required authorisation you can then move to advertising the post. This is usually done both internally and externally simultaneously, using appropriate media.
There are some circumstances in which it is appropriate to advertise internally only. For example a secondment, an acting up opportunity, or where an existing employee is subject to redeployment. If you wish to advertise internally only you must discuss this with your HR partner.
There are exceptional circumstances in which it would be inappropriate or unnecessary to advertise a post and in which cases the relevant HR Partner should be consulted prior to filling the vacancy.
All advertisements are placed through HR.
The departmental contact should forward a draft advertisement via email to the HR Assistant. Broadly speaking The Guardian and Times Higher Education are recommended for Academic and Related posts. Local papers are recommended for Clerical, Secretarial and Manual posts. Jobs.ac.uk is also a very useful website as it attracts a very good response especially for research roles. All advertised vacancies will be placed automatically on the University's website. Departments may also use email discussion lists.
There should not be a lengthy period of time between the closing date, short listing and interview dates as applicants may lose interest or find alternative employment. Equally there needs to be at least two weeks from when the short list reaches and the date of interview see the service level agreement. This allows applicants to make their arrangements and for receipt of references.
Adherence to the deadlines shown below should, under normal circumstances, be sufficient to ensure that an advertisement appears as planned. Earlier notifications will be required to guarantee insertion and/or request specific page position.
Please provide electronic copies of advertisements to your HR Assistant
FREQUENTLY USED PUBLICATIONS
|Publication||Publication Day||Deadline for receipt of advertisement|
|Guardian||Tuesday||Midday Tuesday prior to publication.|
|Guardian||Wednesday||Midday Wednesday prior to publication|
|Lancashire Evening Post||Thursday||Midday Friday prior to publication|
|New Scientist||Thursday||Midday Tuesday week prior to publication|
|Lancaster Guardian||Friday||Midday Friday prior to publication|
|THES||Friday||Midday Wednesday week prior to publication|
|Westmoreland Gazette||Friday||Midday Friday prior to publication|
|Sunday Times||Sunday||Midday Friday week prior to publication|
In departments where women, ethnic minorities, people in certain age groups and people with disabilities are under-represented in a similar post to that being advertised, consideration should be given to including in the advert a statement inviting applicants from these groups. Your HR Assistant will be able to advise on appropriate wording.
The Department / Faculty are required to meet the cost of all advertisements from their departmental budget.
It is University policy to amalgamate vacancies into a composite advert in order to increase impact and reduce overall cost.
The following are points to consider when drafting an advertisement:
- The advertisement is the first impression of the University and the department for potential applicants' so you need to emphasise the key selling points.
- The aim is to attract interest and applications only from the pool of candidates who meet the criteria for the post. A well written advert should therefore help to deter unsuitable applicants.
- Put the most important facts first. Someone browsing adverts will typically spend less than one second on each.
- Focus on what is different about the post, not what the reader will already know. They will know what an Accountant or cleaner does.
- The essential and the most important of the desirable criteria as outlined in the Person Specification must be consistent with the content of the advertisement.
- The advertisement should be structured so that it is clear, eye-catching and written in plain English, avoiding unnecessary jargon.
- The essential qualities of good copy are clarity, brevity and simplicity.
The advertisement must not include any unjustifiable requirement or condition, which would have the effect of discriminating generally against a group of the population in favour of another. The HR Assistant will advise on non-discriminatory text if required.
The Recruitment team will add a standard paragraph about the method of application and the University's Equal Opportunities statement. The team may edit your copy but will ask you to check and provide feedback as appropriate.
Knowing your target population can greatly increase the effectiveness of your advertisement. Put yourself in their shoes and think about the right language and style to make your message quickly understood and attractive to them and which media they use.
Do not use jargon common only to HE as it might reinforce current imbalances and discourage suitable applicants from outside the sector.
Think carefully how to attract and widen the limited pool of potential applicants available to you. Someone with a specialist skill can pick and choose their opportunities. Are they likely to come from within or outside the sector? If outside, the benefits we offer in terms of annual leave and pension may be significantly better than the sector they know. What are the unique selling points of working at a University and more specifically here? You may need to consider advertising in a wide range of media in order to attract a big enough pool to select from. By adjusting your requirements you may attract a wider field.
If a job is challenging, say so. If it's exciting, say how, illustrate briefly. It should be 'exciting being part of a development initiative aimed at widening participation'. Try to capture the key messages in the series of short statements that flow and carry the reader's attention through to the end. Related items should be grouped together.
When writing an advertisement the following tips will assist:
|Avoid Saying||Say/Be Specific|
|The successful applicant/candidate||You ('you' is the most powerful word in advertising)|
|The person appointed will||You will|
|Starting salary will be commensurate with experience & qualifications||State the salary in figures - do not be misleading|
|We are seeking to appoint||The use of this is redundant|
|Applications are invited for the above post/the post of||The use of this is redundant|
|After reorganising the section we now need a person||Avoid stating the obvious|
|Qualifications & experience desirable but not essential||State the specific essential and desirable criteria that are relevant to the post|
|Good standard of education||State the specific educational requirements of the post: if relevant, possession of % GCSE's at Grade C or above or equivalent. Narrow requirements may screen out suitable candidates. If they need a standard of numeracy or literacy, include that instead.|
|Past/previous experience should include||All experience is in the past. Experience should include|
|Future plans||All plans are in the future.|
|We require||You will have|
|Dynamic, energetic, mature, young graduates, new blood, up to date.||All may constitute unintended age discrimination depending on the context.|
|Male/Female; Fit/Able-bodied||These terms constitute direct sex/disability discrimination. Use 'you will.....'|
|Avoid saying||Say/Be specific|
|Must be six feet tall||State the specific requirements of the post e.g. able to lift and carry equipment|
|Must speak and/or write excellent English||The requirement to speak and/or write excellent English will not be necessary for all posts (e.g. Kitchen Assistant). The unjustifiable use of this requirement may indirectly discriminate against certain minority ethnic groups.|
|Waiter/Waitress/Handyman etc||These job titles could indicate an intention to discriminate in favour of one gender. Replace with Dining Room Assistant, Handyperson.|
|Must have a clean, full driving licence.||Discriminatory under the Equality Act 2010 unless it is specifically a post that requires driving. Seek advice from your HR Assistant.|
Make sure the job description and person specification reflect the job and they are consistent with the advertisement.
Produce a first draft and look at it from the perspective of the job seekers and ask yourself:
- If I saw this advertisement, would I be encouraged to find out more?
- Do I get a feel that employees are valued, that I'd get a chance to contribute?
- Does the tone seem remote, over formal or bureaucratic?
- Visually, does it appear as a lot of tightly packed text?