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How to Write Job Ads That Stand Out

David Law

Mon, 10 Jun, 2024


  • Reading Time:
    ~ 6 minutes

A job ad is not the same as a job description. In the world of recruitment, job descriptions provide details, while job ads are used to promote and persuade.

It’s more important than ever to write effective job ads that will attract the best candidates. A well-written job ad can help you stand out from the competition, generate more interest in your company, and ultimately hire the best person for the job.

In this blog post, we’ll provide you with tips on how to write better job ads. We’ll cover topics such as getting the job description right, knowing your target audience, putting your employer’s brand on display, showcasing what you offer, keeping it clear and concise, and including nice-to-have components. By following these tips, you’ll be able to create job ads that attract the best candidates and help you build a strong team.

Clarify the Job Description

Prior to promoting a position, it is crucial to establish a clear understanding of the role and convert it into a job description. This document contains all the essential information about the job and is used internally between you and the hiring team. It encompasses the role’s responsibilities, your company’s details and processes, and specific details such as what, where, who, why, and how. Arrange a meeting with the hiring team to ensure complete clarity on these specifics.

Before exiting the meeting, it is imperative to obtain pertinent details regarding educational prerequisites, remuneration (such as bonuses, stock options, and incentives), relocation arrangements, days spent travelling, essential qualifications, desired qualifications, non-negotiable terms, candidate locations, and language necessities.

Identify Your Ideal Candidate

The first step to writing a successful job ad is to understand who you’re trying to reach. Your target audience is the group of people who are likely to be interested in and qualified for the position you’re advertising. To identify your target audience, you need to consider the following factors:

Skills and Expertise: What skills and expertise are required for the job? Make a list of the essential and desirable qualifications for the position. This will help you narrow down your target audience and attract candidates who are a good fit for the role.

Personality Traits and Cultural Fit: What kind of personality traits and cultural fit are you looking for in a candidate? Consider the values and work style of your company and identify the qualities that would make a good fit. This will help you attract candidates who are not only qualified for the job but also a good match for your company culture.

Demographics and Preferences: What are the demographics and preferences

of your target audience? Consider the age, gender, location, and other relevant characteristics of the people you’re trying to reach. This will help you tailor your job ad to the specific needs and interests of your target audience.

Research Industry Trends and Competitors: Once you have a good understanding of your target audience, it’s important to research industry trends and competitors. This will help you stay ahead in the market and attract the best candidates. Keep an eye on what your competitors are doing and identify any trends that you can capitalise on.

Tailor Your Job Ad to Specific Channels and Platforms: Finally, you need to tailor your job ad to the specific channels and platforms where your target audience is active. If you’re posting your job ad online, make sure to use relevant keywords and phrases that your target audience will be searching for. You should also consider using social media and other online platforms to reach your target audience.

Furthermore, make use of job boards and platforms that are well-known in the country where you are recruiting, such as seek.com.au, in addition to your own website, LinkedIn, and other job sites like au.indeed.com. This is important as Australian candidates are likely to search for opportunities on multiple platforms.

Highlight Your Employer Brand

There are numerous articles emphasising the significance of employer branding available online! However, to briefly mention it here, your job postings should consistently reflect your brand. In addition to promoting your distinctive qualities as an employer, your ad should also incorporate smaller yet crucial elements such as your company’s tone, photography, and fonts.

Do your marketing efforts involve specific emojis and language on your website and social media? Make sure to incorporate them in your job posting! You may receive a marketing and design guide to assist you with this, so reach out to your colleagues in Marketing for help. Additionally, if your ATS allows, consider featuring articles written by current employees at the end of the job ad. This gives a genuine glimpse into your company culture and adds validity to your job ad.

It’s important to keep in mind that not everyone will be a good fit for your job advertisement or your company. Embrace your distinctive voice, highlight the strengths of your company, and be upfront about your limitations. This will help filter out candidates who may not be the right fit and attract motivated individuals to your hiring process.

Emphasise What You Offer

In this section of your job ad, it’s crucial to highlight the role’s responsibilities and expectations clearly. This will help candidates understand the scope of the position and assess if it aligns with their skills and career goals. Use bullet points or a concise paragraph to outline the primary duties and tasks associated with the role.

Beyond responsibilities, showcasing opportunities for professional growth and development is essential. Address how the role contributes to the company’s success and how it can serve as a stepping stone for career advancement. Mention any training programmes, mentorship opportunities, or professional development resources available within the organisation.

Don’t forget to mention any unique perks and benefits that set your company apart. This could include flexible work arrangements, competitive compensation and benefits packages, wellness programmes, or a fun and collaborative work culture. Highlighting these perks can make your job ad more appealing to potential candidates.

Remember, the ‘Showcase What You Offer’ section is an opportunity to sell your company and the role to prospective employees. By providing clear information about responsibilities, growth opportunities, and unique benefits, you can attract top talent and build a strong employer brand.

Maintain Clarity and Brevity

Keep your job ads clear and concise. This means using welcoming, down-to-earth wording and avoiding flowery language and jargon. It also means listing specific role requirements and using industry-given titles. For example, instead of writing “We are looking for a creative and dynamic individual to join our team,” you could write “We are looking for a copywriter with 5+ years of experience in the tech industry.”

Use friendly and relatable language. People do not want to perceive the text as written by ChatGPT. They desire to read content that reflects the voice of an employee and conveys the company’s overall attitude.

Steer clear of using clichéd words, wordplay, specialised terminology, and overused expressions like “family”, “high-performance culture”, “wizard/ninja/rockstar”, and so on.

Provide detailed role expectations, but do not limit them. The ideal candidate for the position may be discouraged from submitting their application if they believe they must conform to strict criteria to be considered. Outline the minimum qualifications, job location, work arrangement (hybrid, remote), and perks/salary, as well as any relevant links. A significant 74% of people report feeling frustrated when coming across job listings that include incorrect details.

By utilising commonly used titles within your industry, you can increase your visibility to active job seekers through online searches. For example, a job title like ‘Receptionist’ is more widely recognised than ‘Head of First Impressions’. While it’s acceptable for your company to use the latter title, it may not generate as much interest. Consider adding a more recognisable title, such as ‘Head of First Impressions – Receptionist’, to improve the visibility of your job posting. According to Indeed’s 2020 survey, 36% of job seekers prefer searching for jobs by directly entering the desired job title on job websites.

Be sure to thoroughly review your job advertisement before publishing it, which includes checking for any spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, and formatting problems. You should also have someone else review your job ad to ensure that it is clear and concise.

A clear and concise job ad will help you attract the best talent for your open positions. By following these tips, you can create job ads that are informative, engaging, and effective.

Highlighting the Extras

Here are some additional elements you can include in your job ad to attract passive candidates and make your organisation more appealing.

Future Growth Opportunities: Outline the potential career progression within your organisation. Detail what the role could evolve into over the next 2 to 5 years. Candidates are more likely to be drawn to positions that offer clear pathways for advancement and long-term growth.

Transparent Salary Information: Including a salary range can significantly increase the number of applications you receive. Ensure the range is realistic and compliant with local legislation. Candidates are up to 13 times more likely to apply for a job when salary information is included.

Clear Application Process: Provide a concise overview of the application steps. Inform candidates about the stages involved, expected duration, and any assessments they might need to complete. Clarity in this process can reduce drop-off rates and set accurate expectations.

Application Deadlines and Follow-Up: Clearly state the deadline for applications and when candidates can expect to hear back from you. This transparency can enhance your organisation’s reputation and encourage more applications.

Thorough Proofreading: Before publishing, have a team member review the ad or use available tools to check for grammar, structure, and bias. Ensure your language is inclusive to avoid unintentionally discouraging any group from applying.

Encourage Social Sharing: Leverage your team’s networks by encouraging them to share the job ad on platforms like LinkedIn, Slack, and Facebook. Internal referrals and recommendations can also be valuable, so consider sharing the job internally before going public.

Track Performance Metrics: Regularly monitor the performance of your job ad. Look at metrics such as views, clicks, and application rates. Assess the relevance and quality of applicants and adjust your ad if necessary to improve responses. This might include modifying requirements, expanding the job listing to additional platforms, or highlighting different aspects of the role.

To summarise, creating effective job ads requires a balance of detailed information and appealing presentation. By incorporating these elements, you can attract the right candidates and enhance your recruitment process.

Learn how to write job ads that stand out and attract top talent. Our expert tips will help you craft compelling job advertisements that resonate with your ideal candidates. Write to us today!

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