Practical guidance for posting an advert on RIBA Jobs

Published on: 28 Jun 2021

Recruiter guidance job posting

Photo: Shutterstock, GaudiLab.

How can you format your advert for RIBA Jobs to optimise online performance and ensure that you attract the right candidates? Here are some important tips to consider.

Job title

Include the job title in both the main job title field and the first paragraph of the text. This will aid the performance of your advert. Without a relevant job title, aggregators’ job boards, such as Indeed, Broadbean and CV library, will not be able to identify the right audience to serve your advert to, potentially decreasing the likelihood of candidates finding it.

For relevant job categories, see ‘Browse Jobs’ section of RIBA Jobs’ home page.


No job advert will rank well on a job board unless you have specified the location. A candidate’s job search is most often location-centric. If a jobseeker is seeking work internationally, they also need to be sure that they have the right to work in that country. So include the location in the dedicated location field and mention it in the main text.


Candidates will search for jobs within a specific salary range, so make your advert more relevant by mentioning the salary in the salary field and first few sentences. The job board’s algorithms will recognise and reward this, and present your advert to candidates over other adverts that don’t have a salary range.

Salaries must be at or above the Living Wage

Please note that RIBA Jobs will only advertise positions at or above the Living Wage, as defined by the Living Wage Foundation. This includes all staff – freelancers, apprentices and students – as well as permanent staff. (Please see 2.5 of RIBA Jobs’ Terms and Conditions) This is also a requirement for all RIBA Chartered Practices (as per the RIBA Chartered Practice Employment Policy and the RIBA Code of Practice).

Be engaging sell the role and your practice/organisation

Now you’ve included the job title, location and salary – your advert should rank reasonably well online –  you need to use the rest of the text to sell and then specify the job.

Open the main text for the advertisement by selling the job, highlighting the aspects of the role that will attract applicants – whether it is working on interesting projects or collaborating with colleagues. Use positive language that will engage a candidate and keep them reading.

You also need to communicate the benefits of working for your particular practice/organisation. Include information about its design ethos and values, size and sector specialisms. What is it that your staff value about your workplace culture? Whether it is flexible working hours, an EDI policy or learning and development opportunities.

If hours can be flexible and there is scope to work from home, the job will be open to a wider field of applicants. Those, for instance, with caring responsibilities, whether as a single parent or with elderly relatives.

Be clear and concise

After writing the engaging paragraph about the role and your practice/organisation, differentiate how you present the specific details of the role. This is best done by including a subheading and a bullet point list of main responsibilities, skills and competencies.

Use neutral language

To be as inclusive as possible and attract a diverse range of candidates, the use of language needs to be neutral. The inclusion of terms such as ‘highly pressurised work environment’ can, for instance, unintentionally conjure up images of an alpha male, Wall Street-like setting. You can use a gender decoder tool to check bias in ads.

Be specific about what the job requires

In order to attract the right pool of candidates, you need to be specific about the knowledge, experience and level of qualifications required. Does the job include management responsibilities or are you seeking a Part 2 candidate?

You also need to list the essential skills and competencies that you are seeking from applicants. These are best formatted as bullets. They should be drawn from the job description and form the criteria for the shortlisting of candidates for interview. For instance, for a project architect you might require a working knowledge of contract administration, planning and building regulations.

They should also refer to relevant soft skills, such as people and project management, presenting to clients and written communications, as well as technical and software skills.

Wherever possible upload a detailed job description to complement the job advertisement. See ‘supporting documents’ when posting a job advert.

What differentiates a job advertisement from a job description?

An advertisement provides the opportunity to sell both the role and your practice/organisation to the job seeker. It is important to use the first few lines of the advertisement to attract and engage candidates.

Although the advertisement should highlight the essential purpose of the job and the level of experience and knowledge required, as well as a core list of skills and competencies, it should be a summary of what is more extensively contained in the job description.

Create a call to action – to communicate the recruitment process

You need to close the advertisement by including clear instructions to candidates for applying to the role.

The recruitment process will depend on that of your organisation and the role. Do you want the applicants to provide any of the following?

  • A covering letter
  • Complete an online application form
  • Submit their portfolio with the application electronically. If so in what format?
  • Include an up-to-date CV
  • Should applications be submitted to a company portal or emailed to you?

Finally, communicate time frames and expectations for applicants

Is there a closing date for applications? Are you setting a date for interviews? Will interviews be in person or online?    

Terms and conditions

Please note that by posting a job that you are agreeing to RIBA Jobs’ Terms and Conditions. Please review them online before proceeding.