Are you struggling to write an online job advert? It does take some practise, however if you follow the six tips listed below you’ll be on the fast track to writing compelling online job adverts.
1. Did you know you have less than 30 seconds to hook the candidate’s interest?
When writing your job advert, think of your audience as prospective customers. In business, when you present a proposal to a prospect you generally address their needs first. The same principle applies to job advertisements; after all you’re proposing an opportunity. Just scan daily print and online job adverts and you’ll quickly see this principle isn’t well followed. Most job adverts largely dictate what the company wants!
By flipping your job advert to focus on what’s important to your target audience first, you’ll immediately stand out from your competition, and enhance your chances of attracting quality applications.
Before you start writing your job advertisement – consider the following:
- Who’s your target audience?
- What do you want to communicate to them?
- What’s important to them?
- What is the best advertising medium to reach them?
Candidates are more likely to read your full advertisement if they understand the language used, and it matches their key job criteria checklist. Remove any jargon not commonly used outside of your organisation. (That can include your job title. Sometimes what you call a job in-house is different to what it’s commonly called in the market place).
2. WIIFM – Cover what’s most important to your prospects
Typically, the top 3 things candidates want to know are the: job title, salary and location.
We see this in action on most job boards. The search result or latest job listings generally show a – ‘Job Summary’ including the job title, location and a brief sentence or two. If you’re company allows it – include your Salary/Hrly rate. (You can list as up to or a from to range). Tell the candidates what they want to know. Readers make their decision whether to read the full advert based on this information.
Next they want to know:
- Who you are and what you do. (Info about your company, products & services, reputation, culture etc. What makes you special?).
- What they will learn (e.g. induction, on the job training, capability development).
- What they will do (e.g. the hours, day-to-day responsibilities and required outcomes)
- How they will be developed (e.g. career progression / development)
- How to apply.
The objective of the advertisement is to attract quality (not quantity) candidates, so feature what’s important to them early on in the advertisement. Providing what you are seeking later in the advert, will help interested candidates to self-assess if the role is right for them. Create the desire first. We call these the Selling Points of the job.
Selling Points are an important factor in all adverts. By not including the selling points, you won’t address what’s important to your target audience and you’ll lose their interest.
You can learn more about how to create the selling points for a job here.
3. How to structure your job advertisement
While it’s important to understand what you want to achieve from your advertisement and what content you should include, it’s also important to communicate this effectively. Poorly written advertisements create a negative impression for both your job opportunity and company.
Headings and bullet points work well in online job adverts. The following gives you a basic advert structure.
- Job Header
- Selling Points
- Quick intro to your company and team. (Chilli Factor Recruitment Software Job Listings feature an About Us, image gallery and video section to help you promote your company and share interesting content.)
- Why the role exists. Is this a new job because of company growth, or a replacement because of a promotion?
- Purpose of the role. What do you want this role to achieve in the next 12 – 18 months?
- Key day-to-day responsibilities. Tell the candidate what the role actually does.
- Key skills and experience. This is your criteria and helps the candidate match their skills/experience to your requirements. Yes – you should factor in potential – but give some criteria so you can manage a fair and reasonable selection process. This helps the candidate identify if they have the right skills/experience. Is this the right job for them? (We go into this in more detail in our recruitment training.)
- How to apply. This is your call to action. (We’ve made this easy by including the online application form directly underneath your job advert).
4. Humanise Your Advert
Don’t write your job advert from a Position Description. Take a job brief and capture the words and phrases that the people in the job or team use to describe what they actually do. Use this language in your advert. It will help humanise your advert and resonate more with your target audience.
5. Feature Your Logo
Include your Logo in your advert – this is an important employment branding strategy to raise the awareness of your brand and career opportunities. People buy products and services they are familiar with and the same rule applies when considering job opportunities.
6. Think carefully where you place your job advert
Where you place the advertisement will play an important part in attracting quality candidates. Placing adverts in the right advertising medium (and category) is as important as a writing a great advertisement. If it’s not positioned well – your target audience won’t see it.
Deciding where to advertise is much easier, when you know who your target market is. Creating a ‘Candidate Profile’ or ‘Persona’ for each target audience will help you to understand where they hang out and their preferred mediums of information. However – to keep things really simple – your current employees are often a gold mine of information. Ask – when they were on the job market – where did they look for work? What social networks do they belong to? What online or print publications do they subscribe to? What are their interests?
Lastly, take note of where you place your advert and track your job advert results. This will help you gain an understanding of what adverts and advertising mediums are effective and generate the quality applicants.
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