How to write great Job Ads that work
Collecting the information that a candidate cares about most is key
We know what jobseekers want to see in your ads, because we ask them.We know what puts them off and what attracts them – and there are 5 key things you need to get right.
1. The basics
There are 3 things a candidate expects to see in your ad as an absolute minimum:
Candidates – like all internet users – scan read. They tell us that they specifically scan job titles – and they expect those job titles to make sense. If your job title doesn’t make sense to the broader market – change it.
Salary is a massive talking point throughout all of our research. Candidates use salary as a lever to determine level (does this role align to my experience & capability) and relevancy (can I survive on what they’re paying).
Location is a basic expectation. They want to know, is it within the area I would be willing to work, how will I get to work – is it close to public transport, is there parking onsite or close-by. Along with salary, and the hours, they’re using location to determine how will this opportunity impact me.
2. The specifics
Role – mandate, duties, skills & experience The amount of detailed information you include here will vary depending on the type & seniority of the role. Blue collar workers and base level workers tell us that they just want the facts, bulleted. Short & to the point. They want to know:
Talk about your company. What industry the company specialises in; is it local, national or global; how many people you employ are you publicly listed or privately owned. The idea is to paint a quick picture. Most job seekers don't select in or out at this point, but it helps to create a holistic view of the opportunity and sets the scene for you to expand on "longer term career prospects" later in the ad (which job seekers highly value).
When it comes to benefits, job seekers like to understand, what else does this company do for their employees.
3. Like to know
Career development & work-life balance
Outside of salary the next 2 things that jobseekers value MOST when choosing one opportunity over another is career development opportunities and work-life balance. This is your opportunity to differentiate your opportunity from others in the market.
When it comes to culture jobseekers want to understand what it's really like to work for your organisation. The best way to communicate this is through video (which is FREE to embed into your ads), but if you don’t have a video or an Employee Value Proposition statement, a good starting point is to ask your people. Ask your teams or your managers "why do you enjoy working here". Drill down and get to the real reason and then start scripting it into your ads. "People enjoy working here because......"
Candidates respond to ads they understand and believe. When you provide specific, granular detail, they feel like you are willing to share information, building trust. When you explain what you are expecting them to come in and drive, build, own, manage – that find that empowering. And when you provide factual information the find it easy to read and understand. This is how you positively influence a candidate to engage with your content.
The key to structure is keeping it clear, concise and bite sized.
Finally... your top 3 selling points
What job seekers see in the search results
Candidates expect your bullets to be a point, not a wordy sentence. Aim for 50 characters per bullet point.
Candidates want to read it once and get it straight away. If your sentences are too complex or even consist of too many different messages, the candidate is forced to double back and re-read the sentence.
Bite sized chunks
Make your ad easy to read by injecting bolded sub-headings & keeping your paragraphs to 4-5 lines of narration (as it would appear on a desktop computer).
Break up your page with white space – it helps scan readers segment the page and move from one point to the next.
It’s not about writing short ads, it’s about making every word and every sentence concise.
Think about the words you use and DON'T elaborate. Instead of "You will be responsible for the management and development of...", say "Manage & develop..." – same message, greater impact
Inject full stops
If your sentences are too long, inject a full stop. You should aim to keep your sentences to 15 words. Not always possible, but where you can you'll increase readability & engagement.
Involve and empower
Include the candidate, by using terms like "you" rather than "the ideal candidate". Try starting your sentences with empowering words like "Drive, manage, own, create, build"