A job advertisement is often what gives potential candidates the first impression of your company. So, your job ad not only needs to include all the right information, it also needs to be well-written and intriguing enough to compel the right applicants to apply.
In short, learning how to write a great job advertisement is essential for attracting the right candidates to your company. Below are 11 tips on how to write a compelling job ad that reaches and attracts the right candidates for the job.
What makes a great job ad?
A SEEK survey has revealed that candidates want detail on the ‘location, salary and skills that are required’, the ‘clarity of the position’, as well as information on the ‘culture of the company’.
This is just part of what comprises an effective job ad.
In order to compel the best candidates to apply, your job ad needs to portray your company as favourably as possible.
Read on to discover everything you need to pay attention to in order to write the best job ad possible.
How to write a job ad: Everything you need to include
A great job ad consists of a few key details:
- A clear job title and start date
- Company details
- Team specifics
- Job duties and performance-oriented goals
- Job requirements and skills
- Salary range and perks
- Location specifics
- Application process overview
- A second opinion from one (or several) colleagues before posting
1. Start with a clear job title and start date
The job title is the most important part of your job ad and it needs to stand out the moment a potential applicant comes across it. Be sure to include it in the largest heading of your job ad.
Steer clear from adding jargon, as 60% of candidates say terms like ‘ninja’, ‘guru’, and ‘superstar’ are gimmicky.
As fun and creative as they sound, no candidate is going to type “sales guru” into Google – aim to use industry-standard titles instead. Mention the level and type of role, and use terms that candidates would search for.
Additionally, near the top of your job ad, be sure to give a general idea of the start date. Especially if the role is for an immediate start, candidates that are available will be especially motivated to apply, as they could get a job in days in comparison to weeks or months.
2. Tell your company’s story
When writing your job ad, assume candidates have no idea about your company or clients.
Start off with a short introduction on who you are and what you do. Try to keep it to one small paragraph.
This is also a good opportunity to highlight your achievements, reputation and your company’s mission and core values.
It’s also a good idea to include basic company information like the year it was founded, as well as the number of workers currently employed.
3. Talk about the specific team the new employee will join
In another short paragraph, mention the specific team the new employee will be working with. This is a good opportunity to talk about the team’s achievements, past work and future plans for work.
Use words such as ‘you will’ or ‘you would’ to give the candidate some insight into what their role would entail if they were selected.
You could also mention any opportunities such as travel or promotions to sell attractive qualities about your company.
4. Set clear, performance-oriented goals
Defining the role with clear, performance-oriented goals will tell job applicants what their true job responsibilities will look like.
CEO of performance-based Hiring Learning Systems, Lou Adler, has long advocated for performance-based job descriptions over skills-based ones. The idea is to focus on the results you want from the new hire, instead of education or experience.
When listing the primary job duties, responsibilities and tasks, don’t overwhelm your applicants with too much information, try to only list three to seven items. By adding any more than seven role responsibilities, a reported 69% of candidates would be discouraged from applying.
5. Be specific but realistic with job skills and requirements
Don’t scare your applicants away with unrealistic and extensive skills and requirements. When you put together your list of skills, be reasonable, as even the most qualified candidates may be put off from applying after seeing an extensive list of required skills.
Be honest with what is absolutely essential, but be specific as well.
For example, “must have experience in sales.” How much experience exactly? List job requirements such as education, qualifications and years of experience if these are prerequisites.
Consider creating separate lists with your must-have skills and nice-to-have skills to avoid putting off qualified candidates.
By setting realistic skills and requirements, it will tell your applicants what you’re looking for, essentially saving time during the recruitment process.
6. Don’t forget about salary and perks
Now more than ever, including a salary range in your job ad is incredibly important for attracting your ideal candidate. Job ads that include salary receive 30% more applicants.
Making note of the salary range not only increases your company’s credibility, it also assures the candidate they aren’t wasting their time.
Plus, over 70% of people who quit their jobs say that salary is their primary reason for a change in the workplace. If your salary average is more than their previous role, they may see you as their next employer.
Perks are also incredibly important to mention. Be sure to talk about training programs, bonuses, incentives and mentoring programs.
Additionally, it’s always a good idea to mention working hours. Offering a good work-life balance is significantly important to candidates with 51% of job seekers attracted to a job because it offered flexible hours.
7. Talk about location or remote working options
In a couple of short sentences, give a general overview of your company’s location. Location is key, and candidates will pay close attention to this detail.
A significant 50% of employed candidates reported that an opportunity with a good location would most attract them to a job offer, and 57% of candidates said location is more important than salary.
Additionally, detail your company’s remote working options. The coronavirus pandemic and its resulting widespread shift to remote working mean that location may not be as important to potential candidates as it once was.
8. Go over your company’s application process
By spelling out your application process, this in effect represents your company’s culture, so it’s important to get it right. Plus, great candidates often have multiple job leads, so being clear about your hiring process and timeline can keep your company in the running.
Be very clear about what the candidate needs to do– state if they need to upload their resume, cover letter, a writing sample, fill out a questionnaire or add links to their social media platforms.
Inform them of the application requirements, specifically where they should send their application and the final closing date.
Be sure to provide candidates with contact information in case they have further questions or inquiries, and finish your job ad with a strong call to action.
The ‘apply’ button should be in direct view, preferably on the upper right corner, as it’s the standard place users expect to look.
9. Keep it short and sweet
As there’s so much information to include, you want to make your job ad as digestible as possible to avoid overwhelming potential applicants. The ideal length for a job posting is between 300 and 600 words.
Keep each section to just a few short sentences, and use bullet points wherever possible to give it more structure and improve readability.
Remember, the job ad really only needs to convey the core details of the open position, your company and its workplace culture. Try to keep everything as succinct and direct as you can, and use the interview to dive deeper.
10. Add visuals
Visuals make a big impact; 51% of job seekers are more attracted to a company that incorporates visual elements in their job postings.
Additionally, 30% of candidates found that seeing a company’s product or service was most effective, and 22% of applicants found photos of current employees appealing.
Be creative with your visual elements and add video testimonials from employees. Have them talk about your company, its culture, why they love to work there and why job seekers should apply for a role.
As one of our integration partners, VideoMyJob enables users to record a video job ad, edit and then share the videos in just minutes.
11. Get someone to review your ad
Reach out to multiple people in your company to read your job ad before posting. It helps to have different people read your job ad to make sure your overall message is both clear and correct.
You could even ask someone who has applied for that particular role in the past. This way, you can receive feedback on how this job ad is perhaps interpreted by a person who once applied for this role.
Streamline your job advertisement process with JobAdder
If you’re experiencing writer’s block with your job postings, or you simply don’t have the time to spend writing and posting your job ads, JobAdder can help.