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					Good practice guidance: Writing a Job Advert
Overview
The primary purpose of a job advert is to generate the best and most appropriate
field of candidates for the post by attracting suitable candidates to apply and
encouraging unsuitable candidates to self de-select.

It is also important that the advert presents the University in a positive light, not just
to potential candidates, but also to the casual reader who may consider applying to
the University in future.

Research suggests that the main things that potential candidates look for in a job
advert are: job title, salary and location.

A good advertisement will, as a minimum, include: a meaningful job title, a salary or
salary range and details of where the job will be based. It is helpful to include a brief
paragraph outlining the main responsibilities of the role and the skills and experience
required. Finally a good advert will also highlight the “unique selling point of the role”
- the reason that candidates should apply for this particular post, the thing that makes
this post more attractive than other similar posts.

These guidelines cover:

      Getting the Facts Right
      Job Titles
      Salary
      Location
      Unique Selling Points
      Advert Structure
      Advert Style
      University Advertising Rules
      Good practice suggestions
      Example Adverts

Getting the Facts Right
The Job description and person specification are the starting point for drafting the
advert. The facts contained in the advert should be consistent with the Job
description.

Job Titles
The job title is one of the first things that potential candidates look for in an advert. If
the job title is meaningful and accurately describes the job, suitable candidates are
more likely to read on and apply. Try to avoid using “University specific” titles that
may not be meaningful to candidates from outside the University.

Salary
The salary or salary range is also one of the first things that potential candidates look
for in an advert so it is important that it stands out. The full salary range for the post
(excluding discretionary points) should be shown.
The salary range for a full-time appointment should be shown. If the role is part-time,
“pro-rata for XXhrs per week”, or “pro-rata for p/t hrs” should appear in brackets after
the salary range.

As the salary range for Professorial staff is very wide, adverts for Professorial roles
do not include a salary range. The advert should simply state that “Salary will be
within the Professorial range”.

Location
Location has also been shown to be an important factor to potential applicants. For
Academic and senior support posts “University of Edinburgh” will serve as sufficient
indication of location but for more junior posts a more precise indication of location is
required (e.g. Kings Buildings, Central Edinburgh, Little France, Easter Bush).

Unique Selling Point
This is the factor or the factors that make this role different from and more attractive
to potential applicants than other similar roles.

For some Academic posts the University of Edinburgh itself will be the unique selling
point, while for others it will be the College, the School, the particular research project
or the reputation of academic colleagues in the Centre or Unit where the post is
based. These selling points need to be included close to the beginning of the advert
text.

For many support posts the benefits of working for the University will be the unique
selling point. For example the Monday to Friday 35 hour working week and 32 days
annual leave (rising to 36 days after 5 years) for grades 1-5 and 36 days for grades 6
to 10 may make posts more attractive than similar posts in many other organisations
across the city. These selling points are now part of the standard introduction to our
composite adverts.

In trying to identify the unique selling points for a particular post you will need to think
about the target audience for your advert and the factors that are likely to be
attractive to them. Depending on the nature of the post it may help to consider
whether the posts offers all or some of the following:

    unique research opportunities not available elsewhere
    access to more modern and better research facilities than elsewhere
    career progression opportunities unlikely to be offered by similar posts
    greater flexibility in terms of working hours than other similar posts
    opportunities for innovation and creativity
    more variety of work than similar roles elsewhere
    a particularly positive and friendly working atmosphere.

Advert Structure
Adverts for all posts appear on the University‟s jobs website. In addition posts are
frequently advertised on other websites or in paper media including national and local
press and journals. Posts are generally advertised in “composite” press adverts
other than Academic posts which are advertised individually (“solus”). More senior
support staff posts may be included in either the composite or „solus‟ and you may
contact your College/Support Group HR team for advice on this.
Example adverts can be found at the end of this section.
Solus Adverts
The University has developed a standard format for solus adverts which includes the
information which must appear in a University advert. This acts as a frame within
which the vacancy specific information sits. This “frame” consists of standard text
about the University (which can lead straight into text about the College or School if
desired). Details of the jobs website, the job reference, closing date and the
University‟s equal opportunities statement appear at the bottom.
The vacancy specific information starts with a meaningful job title, followed by the
salary range. This can be followed by a few sentences about the School, centre or
unit (if not already included in the University introductory paragraph). It is particularly
important to include this information if it is seen as a major selling point for the post.
The final paragraph of the vacancy specific information should briefly describe the
main responsibilities of the role and the skills and qualifications required, and include
any unique selling points.
Contact details for informal enquiries should be in the Information for Candidates
rather than in the advert itself.
Variations on the Solus Advert
When a number of roles within the same College, Support Group or Subject
Area/Centre are to be advertised a variation of the solus format can be used. This
has the added value of showcasing the function (see example at the end of this
document).
Composite Adverts
As with solus adverts the University had adopted a standard format for composite
adverts which includes all general information about the University and acts as a
frame within which the vacancy specific information sits.

Advert Style
For the majority of posts, an informal style, is recommended. The tone should be
positive and informal; using “we” and “you” rather than the “the post holder” or “the
University”. Keep the grammatical structures simple; “you will need experience of
organising meetings” rather than “experience of organising meetings is essential”

University Advertising Rules
    All Chair posts must be advertised in a solus advert and include the full name of
     the Chair e.g. Regius Chair of Surgery, Salvesen Chair of European
     Institutions
    The salary range should NOT be included in adverts for chair posts
    Salary scales for non-Professorial posts should quote the full range, excluding
     discretionary points. If initial starting salary is capped at a particular point on
     the scale due to funding constraints, this should be clarified in the Information
     for Candidates
    All job titles must be in full, i.e. “Lecturer in Mathematics” rather than “Lecturer”
    Start dates should not be included unless they are significantly in the future.
Good Practice Suggestions
    Avoid repetition e.g. repeating the job title in the main text
    Avoid using 'You will be required/requested/expected to teach singing' instead
     use „You will teach singing‟.
    Avoid bullet points, list points in a sentence instead. (This saves space and
     money).
    Think who your audience is when you are writing your advert. The name of the
     Principal Investigator might be very important to an applicant for a Researcher
     vacancy, but not so relevant to someone applying for a secretarial post.
    Contact details for informal enquiries are best contained in the Information for
     Candidates and not in the advert itself.
Example Adverts
The University of Edinburgh - The School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures

The University of Edinburgh is an exciting, vibrant, research led academic community offering opportunities
to work with leading international academics whose visions are shaping tomorrow‟s world. The College of
Humanities and Social Science contributes strongly to our international reputation for excellence and with
academic activities grouped in 10 schools, offers first class career opportunities in teaching and research
across a range of disciplines. The School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures combines Celtic and
Scottish Studies, English Literature, Asian Studies, European Languages and Islamic and Middle Eastern
Studies in a unique formation which, having a high and dynamic research profile, requires both subject-
specific and imaginatively interdisciplinary recruitment.

John Orr Chair of French                                     Chair of Chinese

Salary will be within the Professorial range                 Salary will be within the Professorial range

We wish to appoint a scholar of the highest international    We wish to appoint an outstanding sinologist to our Chair
distinction with a proven record in research and             of Chinese following the retirement at the end of
teaching. The new Professor will provide strong              December 2005 of Professor Bonnie McDougall, the first
academic leadership in French at Edinburgh, within the       incumbent. Recent investment by the Scottish Higher
wider School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures          Education Funding Council has boosted connections
and the University. You will attract research students       between Chinese and Business Studies. The Chair is
and promote postgraduate activity, and should have           located in the School‟s Division of Asian Studies where
experience of winning research funding as well as an         Chinese sits with Japanese and Sanskrit.
outstanding record of publication.
                                                             The post is available from 1 January 2006 or as soon as
The post will be available from September 2006.              possible thereafter.
Ref: 3004985TH. Closing date: 14 October 2005.               Ref: 3004987TH. Closing date: 14 October 2005.
Lectureship in English Literature/Creative Writing           Lectureship in Hispanic Studies (Brazilian)

£23,643 - £35,883                                            £23,643 - £27,116

You will have a research specialisation in an area of        You will hold a PhD and have a proven research record
English Literature and will be a published and               to enable you to contribute strongly to an RAE 5A rated
established creative writer, preferably with some            subject area. You will be responsible for the delivery,
experience of Creative Writing teaching at university        administration and development of undergraduate
level. With a PhD, you will have a proven research           teaching and of postgraduate teaching and supervision in
record to contribute strongly to an RAE 5* rated             Portuguese within the context of the Hispanic
department. You will take a significant role in the          Studies section.
successful MSc in Creative Writing and contribute to the     At undergraduate level, you will teach across the
English Literature undergraduate curriculum as               programme (language and literature/culture) and will
appropriate to specialisation. As well as lectures and       teach both Portuguese and Brazilian literature/culture.
tutorials on first and second year courses, you will offer
a range of Honours seminar options and contribute to         The post will be taken up as soon as possible after 1
postgraduate supervision in the area.                        January 2006.
                                                             Ref: 3004969TH. Closing date: 30 September 2005.
The post is available from 1 January 2006 or as soon as
possible thereafter.
Ref: 3005009TH. Closing date: 30 September 2005.
Lectureship in Film and Literature                           Lectureship in Visual and Cultural Studies

£23,643 - £35,883                                            £23,643 - £27,116

We wish to appoint a Lecturer in English language            You will contribute to the teaching in Postgraduate
cinema able to contribute to the existing postgraduate       programmes in Cultural Studies and Film Studies as well
taught course in Film Studies, to supervise research         as to the research activities in visual studies understood
students and contribute to the undergraduate syllabus of     as a site of connection between methodologies, theories
an appropriate area of the School. An interest in            and approaches linking the two Programmes. You will
American independent cinema would be an advantage            also contribute to the core theory courses and research
but all other specialisms will be considered.                methods courses, as well as develop postgraduate
                                                             modules within your subject of expertise.
The post is available from 1 January 2006 or as soon as      We are particularly interested in strengthening the
possible thereafter.                                         following areas: transnational media and world cinema,
Ref: 3005010TH. Closing date: 30 September 2005.             media and film theory, new media and cyberculture, and
                                                             theory of the image and representation. Interest in
                                                             transdisciplinary approaches and inter-cultural, or non-
                                                             Western, visual cultural practices will be an asset. You
                                                             will have a doctorate in a relevant subject and
                                                             demonstrate excellence in teaching and research.

                                                             The post is available from 1 January 2006 or as soon as
                                                             possible thereafter.
                                                             Ref: 3004979TH. Closing date: 30 September 2005.

Lectureships in French (2)                                   Lectureship in Modern Middle Eastern History
£23,643 - £35,883                                           £23,643 - £27,116

Applications are particularly welcome from candidates       You must hold or be just about to complete your PhD in
with research expertise in one of the following areas:      topics related to Modern Middle Eastern History.
•French Politics and European Studies                       Knowledge of Arabic and the ability to use it, and/or
•Comparative,      Interdisciplinary  and     Theoretical   Persian and Turkish, in teaching and postgraduate
Approaches to Literature                                    supervision are especially useful. You must also have a
These posts are part of a strategic initiative to develop   proven research record.
postgraduate studies. You will contribute to the
expansion of existing postgraduate courses, and the         This post is available from 1 September 2006.
development of new ones and be expected to attract          Ref: 3004988TH. Closing date: 31 October 2005.
research students. You will have a proven research
ability, a clear research agenda, native or near-native
competence in French and relevant teaching
experience.

The posts will be taken up as soon as possible after 1
January 2006.
Ref: 3004980TH. Closing date: 30 September 2005.

Lectureship in Scottish Literature                          Temporary Lectureship in Film Studies

£23,643 - £35,883                                           £23,643 - £27,116

With a research specialisation in Scottish Literature,      To cover AHRB supported leave of absence, we are
you will hold a PhD and have a proven research record       seeking a temporary Lecturer in Film Studies able to
to contribute strongly to an RAE 5* rated subject area.     contribute to the existing postgraduate taught course in
You will teach broadly across post-medieval Scottish        Film Studies and to the undergraduate courses mainly
literature, but specialisations in the modern and           within the Division of European Languages. The ability to
contemporary and/or the long eighteenth century would       teach courses in Italian cinema would be an advantage but
be a particular advantage. You will contribute to           all other specialisms will be considered.
lectures and tutorials on first and second year courses
and offer a range of Honours seminar options, as well       The post is available as soon as possible from the start of
as contributing to postgraduate teaching and                the coming Semester and will continue until 31 December
supervision in the area.                                    2006.
                                                            Ref: 3004989TH. Closing date: 30 September 2005.
The post will be taken up as soon as possible after 1
January 2006.
Ref: 3004973TH. Closing date: 30 September 2005.

Lectureship in Hispanic Studies (Spanish)

£23,643 - £35,883

You will have a research specialisation in the area of
19th or early 20th century Spanish Peninsula
literature/culture and hold a PhD along with a proven       Apply online, view further particulars or browse more
research record to contribute strongly to an RAE 5A         jobs at our website. Alternatively, telephone the
rated subject area. You will teach across the               recruitment line on 0131 650 2511. Please note
undergraduate        programme      (language      and      individual closing dates.
literature/culture), teaching and supervising at
postgraduate level, and you will also contribute to the     Committed to Equality of Opportunity
administration and development of the subject area.

The post will be taken up as soon as possible after 1
January 2006.                                                                                      www.jobs.ed.ac.uk
Ref: 3004972TH. Closing date: 30 September 2005.
The University of Edinburgh

A reputation for excellence built over 400 years, 7000 staff and a vibrant, forward-looking
culture make the University of Edinburgh one of the top employers in the city. Critical to our
continued success is the significant number of staff employed in supporting roles. So,
whatever your skills, if you want to be part of an organisation shaping tomorrow’s world,
we can offer you a rewarding and interesting future.
Laboratory Technician                                         Senior Secretary

£19,614 - £22,113                                             £13,953 - £16,071

The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies requires        The post forms an important part of the team responsible
an experienced Histology technician to work in their          for the provision of administrative and clerical support to
Veterinary Pathology Unit based at the Easter Bush            the undergraduate medical programme (MBChB) and
Veterinary Centre near Roslin, Midlothian. Experience in      provides an exciting and challenging opportunity.
histological techniques is essential.
                                                              You will be an experienced secretary with excellent IT,
This post is maternity cover and is available from 1          communication and organisational skills who can
October 2005 for six months in the first instance.            demonstrate initiative and a positive approach to tasks
                                                              and enjoys challenges and working in a busy
Ref: 3004978SC. Closing date: 23 September 2005.              environment.

                                                              Ref: 3004928SC. Closing date: 16 September 2005.

Publications Officer                                          Research Technician

£19,460 - £21,640                                             £16,071 - £19,050

The Department of Communications and Public Affairs'          Based in the Edinburgh University Cancer Research
activities cover press, public relations, publications, web   Centre, you will be part of a team investigating the role of
development and events management. The Publications           the putative tumour suppressor gene, WWOX, in ovarian
Team is responsible for producing the University's major      tumorigenesis. The work will include cell culture
corporate publications including the prospectuses, Edit,      (transfection of cancer cell lines and phenotypic analyses
the alumni magazine, the Bulletin staff magazine and          of these lines) and basic molecular biology (DNA and
eBulletin online. All require creativity, excellent           RNA isolation and analysis).
organisational skills, and an eye for detail.
                                                              The post requires a BSc or equivalent in molecular
You will be a graduate with two years‟ experience and         biology, genetics, cell biology or biochemistry with clear
be able to demonstrate a successful track record in           evidence of skilled and independent research capability.
publications or communications work, including writing        Laboratory experience is essential.Work or experience
and proofing skills, and a good understanding of new          with quantitative RT-PCR,Western analysis or FACS
media.                                                        analysis would be an advantage. This post is fixed-term
                                                              for three years.
Ref: 3004970SC. Closing date: 23 September 2005.
                                                              Ref: 3004949SC. Closing date: 23 September 2005.

Audio Studio Manager                                          Laboratory Technician

£16,071 - £19,050                                             £13,953 - £15,585

Based in Music, you will primarily support the work of        The School of Veterinary Studies require a laboratory
staff and students in the areas of Music Technology and       technician to work jointly in their Veterinary Pathology
Sound Design. You will have experience in operating           Unit and Dairy Herd Health laboratories at their Easter
and maintaining audio hardware in a studio                    Bush Veterinary Centre site near Roslin. You will work
environment. Knowledge of Music Technology software           between the histology, clinical biochemistry and
under Macintosh OS X is highly desirable, as is an HND        haematology laboratories. You should hold a degree in a
or equivalent degree in Music Technology. The post is         biological science and have some laboratory experience,
fixed-term for two years in the first instance.               preferably in one of the disciplines mentioned. This is a
                                                              fixed-term post for three years.
Ref: 3004925SC. Closing date: 23 September 2005.
                                                              Ref: 3004935SC. Closing date: 16 September 2005.

Pensions Administrator
                                                              Benefits include generous holiday entitlement, final
£13,953 - £16,071 (pay award pending)                         salary pension and a wide variety of staff discounts
                                                              including gym membership.
You will work within the Pensions section of the
University‟s Corporate Services Division. Working as          Apply online, view further particulars or browse more
part of a small team, you will help to provide a high         jobs at our website. Alternatively, telephone the
standard of administration service to staff. You must         recruitment line on 0131 650 2511.
have at least two years‟ experience of final salary
pensions administration including but not limited to AVC      Committed to Equality of Opportunity
and refund calculations
                                                                                                    www.jobs.ed.ac.uk
Ref: 3004927SC. Closing date: 23 September 2005

				
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