How To Write A Great Job Ad

Employers need to start thinking about job ads differently. The problem is when it comes to job postings employers generally have a Field of Dreams mindset, “If they post it, they will come”. However, this is the wrong way of thinking. By posting your standard job description that exists on your website you may fail to attract the candidates you want and may succeed at getting applicants that you don’t. This of course can lead to a huge waste of time.

Employers need to ask themselves “what is the goal of this job posting”. Is it to get as many applicants as possible? It shouldn’t be. The goal should be to get as qualified as candidates as possible. A job ad is still an in Advertisement. So in order to create a great one you need to start thinking like a marketer. Whether you know it or not you are selling, you’re just selling your company rather than a product or service.

Write a unique job ad.

The first thing you need to know is to be sure NOT to use the standard job description that currently exists on your website. It is extremely important to write a unique job description with your audience in mind. The key is to sell your company and the position to the potential candidates that see your ad. Furthermore, search engines tend to treat unique content more favorably than duplicate content so by using the same description you may miss out on some valuable organic views to your ad.

Use a compelling job title.

The job title is the first thing a potential candidate will see, so it is important to use a title that is easy to understand and piques the interest of the potential candidates. Keep in mind what potential job seekers might search for, tailoring the job title to match searches can help get your job be found in search engines.

There is no law requiring the actual job title be what is advertised so feel free to get a little creative, just make sure it is still relevant. This is similar to a marketing email subject line or a blog post title as the goal is to get people to read it!

Let your company culture and personality shine through.

Most job ads and descriptions are boring and long. This is your chance to stand out from the crowd by being creative, fun, and more personable. Job ads that show your company culture and a little personality are more likely to be read fully and can help with attracting more qualified applicants.

Job seekers want a culture fit just as much as employers do so write your ad with the ideal candidate in mind and tweak it from there. Think about the ad from the job seekers point of view and what matters to them.

Tailor it to your company’s selling points.

Contrary to popular belief, compensation is not the top thing employees look for. Below is a list from INC Magazines top ten list of what employees look for in a job:

  1. Purpose
  2. Goals
  3. Responsibilities
  4. Autonomy
  5. Flexibility
  6. Attention
  7. Opportunity for Innovation
  8. Open-mindedness
  9. Transparency
  10. Compensation

Does your company offer flexible schedules, have a great culture, opportunities for advancement or are making a positive impact in people’s lives? If so, tell about it. If you have great benefits or are on the cutting edge of new technology talk about that too. Think about what would make someone want to work here and sell it!

Use subheadings and the proper structure.

It’s important to make the job advertisement concise and easy to read. Subheadings help break up text and make it easier for the viewer to skim the ad and read what is important to them. It also make the ad look less intimidating to read.

Below is an example of a great structure to consider:

  1. Short Intro- Brief description about the job - around 40 words.
  2. Company Description - Who you are, what you do and why would someone want to work there - 1 paragraph.
  3. Roles and Responsibilities - A bullet pointed list of 4-8 tasks that a successful applicant will undertake. Keep these brief and simple.
  4. Skills and Qualifications- What are you looking for in the ideal applicant? It is alright to get a little more detailed here just don’t go overboard.
  5. Additional Information - Anything else an applicant should know or any additional selling points about the company or the position.
  6. How to apply - Give good instructions on how to apply whether it’s by email, via website, in person etc.

Get it out there!

At last your job ad is complete and looking great, now it’s time to post your ad to a job board and get people to see it. Once your ad is live use your company's social media accounts to share it. Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter are all great places to place promote your job opening.

This guest post courtesy of our friends at Fargo Jobs.