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Language not salary attracts media applicants to jobs


By Ishbel Macleod, PR and social media consultant

November 3, 2011 | 3 min read has found that language, not salary information, is key to attracting the most job applications to media sector vacancies.

Analysis of the most applied-for media vacancies found that 224 words was the optimum length for a job specification, 81 words longer than the average word count for the most popular job ads in’s overall analysis.

It was found that the most popular posts contained words such as ‘campaign’, ‘experience’ and ’techniques’; while the least popular used words such as ‘must’, ‘responsibilities’ and ‘knowledge’.

It was also found that including details of salary would not generate increased applications for a vacancy, neither would including detailed company information, with it being shown that the study of the most and least popular job ads by application had similar percentages in terms of those that contained this information.

Professor Cary Cooper CBE, distinguished professor of Organisational Psychology and Health, Lancaster University Management School, said: “Crafting the perfect job ad is not an easy task, as it’s a difficult balancing act between including all the relevant information to attract the best candidates, but without going into too much detail and boring job seekers. Based on this research, 224 words would be the ideal length.

“Specific words have been shown to drive maximum views and applications amongst media job ads, clearly showing that employers need to linguistically tailor their job ads to the correct sector in order to attract the largest number and highest calibre of candidates.

“In general, writing the perfect job ad is something that requires skill and expertise, but using certain guiding principles, all employers should be able to craft something that is attractive to job seekers and able to generate interest from the best candidates.”

Geraldine Finn, managing director of, said: “With a competitive jobs market it’s more important than ever that employers tailor their adverts to attract the best possible candidates.

“Our research findings offer insight and guidance into how to craft a job ad that will appeal to jobseekers in the media sector, showing that they value brevity in their job specs, with an optimum word count of 224 being advisable. What’s more, employers using the booster words of ‘campaign’, ‘experience’ and ‘technique’ could well increase the number of applications to a post.”


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