Writing great job ads is often more difficult than it looks. As well as selling the key requirements of the role, and presenting your company in a positive way, the job ad has to attract the right talent, and drive a response from suitably qualified candidates.
With a bloated job market, it’s more important than ever to stand out from the crowd. So, to help you attract the best talent, here are 13 tips and tricks to help your ads succeed:
- Keep your target audience in mind
In the same way that a marketer needs to focus on their target market and how best to appeal to them, as the writer of a job ad, you need to think about who you’re writing for. So, before you start to write a job ad, it’s smart to create a profile of your ideal candidate, list their skills, abilities and experience, and what will convince them to apply for the position.
Tip: Ask someone within the business who has marketing experience to help you craft the ad. Alternatively, send a draft to people you know who fit the profile of your ideal candidate and ask them how you could make the ad more appealing.
- Use a strong, provocative headline
A headline is one of the most important pieces of communication in any advertisement. Only by grabbing the candidate’s attention will you entice them to read on, and apply.
Tip: Use a sub-head to provide a little more clarification or insight into the position.
- Make every word count
To attract the best qualified candidates, your job ad needs to be a carefully crafted message. And that means selling the role by being short, punchy and to the point.
Tip: Never use the job description as your ad. Having a link to it is okay, but as an ad, it’s way too much information which can be a real put off to potential candidates.
- Add a dash of personality
Job ads don’t have to be dull to be corporate and professional. Give candidates an idea about your company culture by injecting a little personality.
Tip: Be mindful of the tone and language you choose, but don’t overdo it.
- Promote your company
It’s important to remember you’re promoting your organisation as well as trying to attract people who match the job brief. So, make sure you include interesting details about your company.
Tip: Be specific about what’s unique about your company’s products or services.
- Don’t ask for qualifications you don’t need
Be clear about the kind of experience you want and any minimum requirements so you don’t waste people’s time. Don’t ask for qualifications and experience you don’t need as you could end up hiring someone who’s over-qualified for the role, who’ll quickly get bored and potentially leave.
At the same time, you could potentially lose out on many excellent candidates who don’t apply simply because they don’t have all the qualifications listed in your ad.
Tip: Think about what really matters in this job as a way of creating your list of around five or six core requirements.
- Make the ad easy to read
Use bullet points, craft short sentences, and ensure paragraphs contain no more than two sentences. It’s also important to format your text for an online audience, so it’s easy to skim-read all the essential information.
Tip: Remember, less is more. Avoid using complex sentences and lengthy paragraphs which can be difficult to comprehend.
- Make it mobile friendly
Many candidates are likely to be reading your ad on a mobile device, so make sure the most valuable, need-to-know details are up front.
Tip: Ensure all the points that matter are presented without the candidate having to scroll endlessly.
- Appeal to your candidates
Don’t focus just on qualifications and responsibilities, impress candidates with what they’ll gain from the job and how they’ll grow with your company.
Tip: Make the statements about the role more appealing. Use “Manage the roll-out of a national branding campaign” rather than “Must have 5 years’ corporate marketing experience.”
- Be honest
Be genuine and believable in what you say about the job and your company. Don’t present your work environment as fabulous if you’ve got a retention problem and a trail of poor reviews on sites like Glassdoor.
Tip: Identify what sets the business apart and focus on potential, such as great learning environment and ability to rise through the ranks,
- Include a salary range
This is often contentious, but it’s sensible and ethical to include a salary range in your job ads. That way, people who don’t want the job at the salary you’re willing to pay won’t waste their time (and yours) applying for the position.
Tip: Advertising the upper end of your salary range, such as “up to” a certain amount may help you attract more applicants.
- Offer a clear statement of benefits
Compensation alone isn’t enough to satisfy today’s candidates. Many place a high value on more quality of life benefits such as workplace flexibility, a casual work environment, professional development opportunities, and other types of perks.
Tip: Make sure you highlight your major employee benefits in your ad.
- Provide a call to action
Give people clear instructions on how to apply or get further information about the position, along with a cut-off date.
Tip: Don’t forget Affirmative Action statements, eligibility requirements (i.e. Australian residents only) and messages such as “No phone calls please.”