How To Write The Perfect Job Advert: A Time-Saving Guide For Managers
Without researching how to write the perfect job advert, newbie hiring managers are often under the impression that once they post a job ad, a pile of applications will come flooding in. From the stack of CVs they receive, they will interview a shortlist, and the best will make it as their next star recruit.
The reality of the situation is very different. Even the best job advertisements only receive a handful of applicants in the real world. Therefore, if you want to hire a star, you have to ensure that your job description is on-point.
To save you from wasting your time, we put together this handy guide on how to write a job advert that potential candidates will want to apply for.
Seven Star Tips on Writing the Perfect Job Advert
Choose a Clearly Recognisable Title
Fun, witty, and creative job titles truly are an excellent way for you to showcase your company’s personality. That said, the job advert you’re so desperate to receive an abundance of responses to isn’t the best place for them.
For a start, you want your job advert to be SEO friendly for the job boards and for Google. If it’s not, applicants won’t be able to find your job, let alone apply for it. Then once they do find it, you want your applicants to be familiar with what that job title does.
When you have an applicant browsing through the positions you have to offer, they will be looking at titles they think they qualify for. If your job title is not descriptive, too whacky or unclear, this may confuse your applicants. Choosing a clear title is crucial whenever you create a job description.
If you want to give your team quirky job titles, it’s best to save your sense of humour for your company website or social media. Your job advert needs an unambiguous, industry recognised title if it is to be successful.
Make It Easy to Skim Read
Your job description must be so clear that your ideal candidate will know exactly what they are applying for in less than a minute. If you make your description somewhat lengthy, hard to read or too complicated, this will push any applicant away.
If you want to try and attract suitable candidates, your job description must be easy to skim. Use bullet points, short paragraphs and plenty of headers when listing responsibilities or job duties in your job description template.
Create a Stellar Introduction
Too many job adverts start with the opening line ‘we are looking for’. This is the biggest turn off to job applicants, and in today’s candidate-driven market, you have to make your job advert appeal to them.
You have to remember that active job seekers want to spend as least time as possible on the job boards, and they will always be on the lookout for new opportunities and positions. If you cannot grab their attention in your opening line, you will need to settle for people who don’t quite fit the bill.
To attract the best talent out there, your job advert needs to make your ideal candidate want to slow down and read your ad. Creating a good introduction is vital for attracting job seekers to the perfect job for them.
Candidates are attracted to companies whose goals align with their ambitions. For example, a candidate seeking career longevity may be drawn to a job with a global organisation where there is room to move around. On the other hand, a developer wanting to prove themselves may seek a new company offering the chance to work on a greenfield project. Tell potential applicants what you have to offer them in the opening line to make your ad stand out.
Sell the Role
If you want quality candidates to apply for your position, you must show why the job is exciting and worth applying for. If you lack energy, you’ll receive applicants from lacklustre applicants, if any at all.
With this in mind, you have to make sure that you don’t oversell either. The misalignment of expectations is a massive reason behind employee turnover, so be honest about what the job entails. If you want to make it sound more appealing, include as many exciting details about your company culture and benefits as you can.
Don’t be too wrapped up in buzzwords if they do not relate to the job. Your ad should detail the day to day job duties and explain who they will be working with and reporting to. This will drive home whether or not the job is suited to them personally and professionally.
State the Salary
When a job advert doesn’t include a salary, applicants make the following assumptions about your organisation:
- Your company doesn’t want its existing staff to know what that salary is
- The business doesn’t have the budget to pay the going market rate for their skills
- Applying for your job could be a massive waste of their time
In short, applicants rarely apply for jobs that don’t state a salary. If the salary is based on experience, at least provide a range that helps applicants understand whether or not they hit the mark.
Salary benchmarking is a crucial step in the recruitment process, and it is also essential when hiring and managing personnel.
When creating a job description, there is a high chance you have some “nice to have” requirements and some “must-have” requirements. Of course, your idea of the perfect candidate will check every box, but it’s highly likely that person does not exist in reality.
Making your dealbreakers clear establishes a boundary that stops unqualified or underqualified applicants from applying. However, a long list of “nice to have’s” might put genuine applicants off applying.
When writing your job advert, keep it short but sweet, and save your “nice to have’s” as interview room discussion points.
When it comes to listing any of your anticipated responsibilities and tasks, you may find that it is challenging to come up with a definitive list. Even if the job duties change, you have to state your expectations from the get-go.
Break down what a day may look like to your successful candidate, and roughly outline your application process. Let applicants know when they can expect to hear from you regarding the hire and end with a clear call to action.
A Few Final Thoughts on How to Write the Perfect Job Advert
The whole point of writing a job ad is to attract potential applicants. Please don’t put them off by giving them a long list of what you want from them.
The most effective job adverts give an equal amount of space to explain what the employer expects from the candidate and what the successful applicant can expect in return. Your ad will unlikely receive many responses if the content leans too heavily to either the candidate or the employer’s side. As we explain above, too much in the employer’s favour is a total turn off, but too much in the candidate’s favour will make your job seem too good to be true.
After reading this article, we hope that you now have a better idea of how to write a killer job ad that makes candidates want to apply. However, if you still don’t receive any responses, don’t be too disheartened. We estimate that 80% of potential candidates are passive job seekers, and our team can help you find them.