Writing a great job ad 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.
So, to help you attract the best talent, here are 13 tips and tricks to help your ads succeed.
1. Keep your target audience in mind
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.
A common example of this that you see amongst job postings, is that entry-level sales or commission-based roles will have the salary and/or commission structure in the preview of the ad.
As you can see in the example below from a popular job board – SEEK; People applying for jobs like these are more than likely to be driven by the competitive salary structure of the role above anything else. Make sure you know the audience of the job ad and what the candidate’s main drivers might be.
Tip: Automate job postings to multiple job boards with a recruitment management system.
2. Use a strong, provocative headline on your job ad
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.
We’ve seen some great examples of this over our time. Here’s one of our favourites from the team at Talent Kitchen, which we came across on Seek:
We love the job ad title – Bar Manager | Cocktail Ninja | Sydney – this is a great way to inject a little brand humour into the ad as well as make the role stand out from the norm. But don’t go overboard, as it might come off as gimmicky.
Tip: Use a sub-head to provide a little more clarification or insight into the position. Be creative, and use it as a good way to showcase your brand.
3. 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.
4. Add a dash of personality
A job ad doesn’t have to be dull to be corporate and professional. Give job seekers 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.
5. Promote your company’s culture
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.
For example, we advertised on the Linkedin job board by talking about what Employment Hero actually does and what sort of team the new potential candidate will be a part of. If someone is looking for a skilled job role, they will have a good understanding of what their day-to-day tasks will be. What they don’t know, is why they should work for you over another company.
So you want to make your employee value proposition (EVP) very clear from the offset.
Tip: Be specific about what’s unique about your company’s products or services.
6. 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 overqualified 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.
7. Make the job 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.
8. Make mobile-friendly job ads
Many job seekers are likely to be reading your ad on a mobile device, so make sure the most valuable, need-to-know details are upfront.
Tip: Ensure all the points that matter is presented without the candidate having to scroll endlessly.
9. Appeal to your candidates
Don’t focus just on qualifications and responsibilities, impress job seekers 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.”
10. Be honest in the job ad
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 potentials, such as a great learning environment and the ability to rise through the ranks.
11. Include a salary range
This is often contentious, but it’s sensible and ethical to include a salary range in your job ad. 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.
12. Offer a clear statement of benefits
Compensation alone isn’t enough to satisfy today’s candidates. Many places 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. As you can see in the example, we have showcased exactly what the benefits would be if a candidate was accepted into the new role.
Tip: Make sure you highlight your major employee benefits in your ad.
13. 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.”
Now you know how to create a job ad that really stands out from the crowd. If you’re ever in doubt, here’s a handy infographic to remind you:
Best job ad examples
Now, there’s the theory behind the perfect job ad but it’s time to see it in action.
Make sure to right-click the following images and open them in a new tab if you want to read them in more detail.
Job ad example 1 – JobAdder Senior Recruiter
SEEK + JobAdder, can you think of a more dynamic duo? Being one of Australia’s leading recruitment companies, so you’d assume they know what they’re doing – and YOU’D BE RIGHT!
This job ad for a senior recruitment role ticks a bunch of boxes.
- There’s a clear job title.
- Introduces the company and what they do.
- Provides an overview of the role and what is required within the context of the wider business objectives.
- They don’t waffle on about company culture, instead, they get straight to the point in the characteristics they’re looking for: intelligence, positivity and flexibility.
- Delves into the role day-to-day and what the candidate can expect
- A cheery, compelling call to action (CTA) that communicates the characteristics (intelligence, positivity and flexibility) mentioned above.
- Tells candidates where they can go to get more information about the company and who they can contact.
Job ad example 2 – Google Agency Development Manager
As one of the world’s tech giants, Google is no stranger to attracting the best talent, but they don’t rely on the brand image alone. Their job ad is jam-packed with clear and enticing information.
Let’s dissect this recent job posting for an Agency Development Manager:
- A clear job title that includes what department they will be in; is especially important for large companies.
- It is highly likely that Google receives hundreds of applicants for roles. Therefore it is imperative they weed out the unsuitable as quickly as possible. You can see this here with the ‘minimum qualifications’ required to be considered for the job.
- They continue this with ‘preferred qualifications’ that help candidates self-assess a step further.
- After hopefully filtering unsuitable candidates, they go on to explain the job in more detail for what the potential ‘Googler’ can expect day-to-day.
- They provide background information on the team and the behaviour (cultural fit) they’d be a part of.
- Goes into more detail on the specifics of the role and the deliverables.
- Talks about Google’s company culture and values, especially highlighting their diversity initiative.
Job ad example 3: Beyond Blue Strategic Communication Manager
Beyond Blue is an Australian mental health charity. Their primary aim is to help every Aussie achieve their best possible mental health, whatever their age and wherever they live.
With such a noble and grand ambition, they need to attract the best talent possible.
Let’s take a look at their posting for a Strategic Communication Manager.
- A clear job title and the use of the word ‘strategic’ helps to frame the role.
- The introduction is fantastic. In a few short paragraphs, we’re given Beyond Blue’s background, its values and the future plans of the charity.
- A short paragraph introducing the role and expected deliverables.
- Tells the candidate the exact type of role, “full-time, two-year fixed term contract”. Explains how to apply and provides information on where to send the application and by when.
- Explores the job in more detail and lists the day-to-day responsibilities and activities.
- Mentions the specific skills and behaviours they’re looking for.
- Tells the candidate who they will report to and who they’ll be working with. Then highlights the benefits and perks of the job, as well as their recognition of important Indigenous events.
- Use subheadings to break up your job ad. This helps candidates skim the ad for relevant information.
- Tell them who the company is. Never assume they know who you are and what you do.
- Include what you can offer them. This is a relationship and both parties need to bring something to the table.
- Tell them what their day-to-day role includes and what they can expect.
- Provide a call to action to promote action.
- Try and incorporate your company values.
We hope this has helped give you an idea of what you could be doing for your company job ad. If you’re ready to start interviewing, hiring manager interviewing tips.