Guidelines on writing vacancies

The way you write your job advertisement plays a key role in attracting the best candidates.

Competition among employers for graduates is strong, making it vital for you to sell your job and company to potential applicants:

  • Imagine yourself as the student you want to recruit – what would make you want to read about this position – and apply?
  • Ensure that your ad answers candidates’ ‘What’s in it for me?’ question.
  • Unlike other universities, the OU has a very diverse student population so do ensure you consider that when writing your advertisements

Writing your job advertisement is easy – all information can be entered on one screen. Here’s how you can make the most of your job advertisement:

Position Title

Capture the attention of your ideal candidates with a concise but descriptive position title:

  • Simplicity is the key - use terms that job seekers will be familiar with - avoid jargon.
  • Be accurate in the title and don't use "gimmicks"
  • Use your company name to add credibility.

Descriptive Details

This summary of up to 300 characters appears when your position is displayed as a result on a student’s online job search. Entice candidates to click on your position to find out more:

  • Imagine you have only 10 seconds to convince candidates to read about your position – use its benefits as a hook to attract the type of person you’re looking for.
  • Write this summary uniquely – don’t copy a paragraph from the position’s ‘Job details’ section.
  • Include the job’s location and your company name if not used in the Title.

Job Details

You will have up to 4000 characters to write about your position in a way that allows candidates to imagine themselves in it:

  • Describe the position comprehensively including its opportunities and responsibilities.
  • Provide a brief summary of your company and what it’s like to work for, such as the culture and working environment.
  • Be specific about the position’s benefits, including the salary, on-the-job and other training, opportunities for career progression, rewards and incentives. This is the ideal forum to promote benefits specifically targeted to students, such as if you can employ students while they complete their studies.
  • Explain what you’re looking for in applicants – qualifications, skills, experience, working hours, personality characteristics – without being too generic.
  • Specify what makes your job or graduate programme unique – remember candidates are likely to be comparing your offer against others.
  • Keep the details informative yet concise, remembering candidates will see your advertisement on screen, most likely initially scanning through the text rather than reading each word.

Present your position attractively on screen:

  • Use short paragraphs.
  • Present information in bullet point lists.
    (a * at the beginning of the line will be converted to a bullet point when viewed in CareerHub)

Application Procedures

Make it easy to understand how to apply:

  • Keep the instructions simple and concise to avoid confusion.
  • If an online application is required, please include a link to appropriate web page in Application Procedures text box.
  • Explain exactly what an application should include – for example, if you require a response to selection criteria, and what length it should be.
  • Detailed information can be included as an attachment viewed with your advertisement.