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January 16, 2018 in HR, Recruitment

How to Write a Great Job Ad That Attracts Candidates

Want to write a job listing or ad that actually gets noticed by candidates? Sure you do! You want to find, track, vet, and hire the best talent possible. 

Beyond having a great talent acquisition solution, there are some other things you can do to attract top talent, like writing great job listings and hiring ads.

Here are some tips that should help your listings stand out from the rest:

8 Simple Tips for Writing a Great Job Listings

  1. Use a killer job title — Add the top one to three things in the job title that will make the job attractive to an applicant.
  2. Include an emotive introduction — In a single paragraph, give three to five details that make the job exciting. It’s the hook to get the candidate to keep reading and eventually apply.

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  3. Briefly tell about your company — Include how many years you’ve been in business; how long employees stay (which shows that people stick with you) and noteworthy clients and projects candidates will recognize. You can also briefly list awards, accolades and work culture facts.
  4. Really sell the position — Limit your “sell” to one to three requirements essential for the job. Also provide information on work hours, pay, co-workers, educational opportunities, and other employee benefits or perks.
  5. Push your location — Is your location an easy commute for candidates looking to cut down on travel time? Offer details regarding in-office perks that will make people want to work there everyday and spell out any telecommuting policy that exists as well.
  6. Repeat why candidates should apply — Provide a quick bullet-point recap of the top five reasons to apply to the job.
  7. Have others read it — Get feedback; fix any errors before you post the job to hundreds of job boards and recruitment sites.
  8. Improve your email responses — A poor first response to a candidate application will undo the good work you did in the job ad to get them to apply.

Don’t confuse job ads with job descriptions. A job description should detail the responsibilities and expectations. A job ad sells applicants on your company, team, location and all the things that make working for you great. That’s what you should be posting to job sites.

Sell the job by using:

  • A title that catches the applicant’s attention.
  • A paragraph that summarizes the most interesting points of the job.
  • Tidbits about your company, such as the job, location and equipment/gear that draws applicants’ attention.

More savvy advice

Know who the members of your target audience are, and address them in language they understand. Let’s face it — you want to avoid being inundated with applications from people who are completely unsuitable for the role. Improve the quality of your responses by writing an advertisement that targets the appropriate audience.

Who are the members of your target audience? What are they doing now? What steps are they taking to look for a new opportunity?

Your job ad needs to speak directly to them. It should be a carefully crafted message with the aim of attracting the best-qualified candidates for your job.

That means the ad should contain:

  • A catchy job title - yes, it's so important, we put it twice. 
  • Clearly articulated essential qualifications and desirable skills.
  • No exaggerations.
  • Challenges, not rewards, to attract those with drive and ambition, rather than applicants just looking for an easy ride.
  • An actual description of the job.
  • A profile of the ideal candidate.
  • The key skills, core competencies and most relevant success measures.

Don’t forget to provide a way of applying for the job - and provide your email address and maybe even a phone number if they want to reach out. 

Be aware that especially in online job ads, an average of four times as many people read the short description than actually click through the ad itself, so put some effort into what you write. You want the best candidates to press “Apply Now.”

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