5 Steps to Compiling a Job Ad That Attracts The Right Candidates

An effective job ad has two goals:

  1. To attract the eyeballs of as many of the right kind of candidates as possible.
  2. To appeal to the type of person that will match your company’s culture.

The trick with any recruitment advertising, is to use the words of the people you’re aiming to attract.

These five steps will optimise results:

#1: Put thought into the job title

Maybe the official job title is boring, but since it’s the first thing that attracts attention in a job ad, you may want to dress it up a little, not to deceive or change the core meaning of the position, but simply to spice it up as an attention grabber.

For instance, the official job title may be “Admin Controller”. To tszuj it up, try inserting a descriptive word that adds to the core job. Ideas for the boring title, “Admin Controller”, are, “Admin Master”, “Admin Guru” or, “Admin Executive”.

Remember that the spice word must appeal to the type of person you want to attract.

Bonus tip: Limit the job heading to 50 – 60 characters; this length is known to outperform other job ads with lengthier titles.


Related: Target personas increase marketing generated revenue by 171%*


#2: It’s an ad, not a job description

Employers often make the mistake of compiling the job ad in a way that suggests the candidate is blessed to have come across it, but this should be avoided. Always build the ad with the thought that if you find the right person, the company will boast another asset.

Aim to compile an ad that is attractive to your target audience, not just a job description.

Image Credit: LinkedIn Business

This job ad will appeal to the type of person who enjoys engineering.

Bonus tip: Advertisements focus on the needs of the target audience. Keep in mind that the right job applicant is your target audience, and may need to be sold on the idea of working for your company.

#3: Avoid wishy-washy

Avoid exaggeration and be specific about what you want in terms of attributes, skills and qualifications.

Don’t waste their time (or yours) by not including salary and incentives. Being specific generally acts as a filter for wannabees or the overqualified and saves effort on your part and theirs.

Bonus tip: Being upfront filters out undesirable candidates.

#4: Provide just enough company info

Your brand may be well-known, and if that’s the case, all you have to do is add the logo. But if it’s not, include the industry and what it means as a place of work.

Avoid focusing on company information, because the ad must not be about the company, but rather about the applicant and their needs.

Bonus tip: Abstain from making the job ab about the company, and rather build it with the intention of showing the right candidate how it would feel to work there.

#5: Keep it easy on the eyes

Workology says that people seeking jobs take about 30 seconds to determine whether a job ad is worth applying for, or not. The easier it is to read, the more attention it will get.

Use an easy-to-read font that is large enough, and break up difficult to read clumps of text with subheadings, paragraphs and bullet points.

Since the majority of job seekers will be skimming through job ads, find ways to make your ad stand out, like highlighting important points with bold and italic text.

example of a bad job descriptionImage Credit: Staff.Itee.uk.edu.au

This job ad is hard to read. It would do much better if the clumpy text was broken up into subheadings, bullet points and more spaces.

Bonus tip: List the most essential information at the top of the ad, because that’s where the eye draws to first.


Related: How to get better leads using buyer personas

Author: Claire
Not just a writer, Claire specialises in increasing your website traffic and online sales through the use of smart, search engine optimised content that is targeted towards a certain audience. She specialises in compiling online content for SaaS, Telecoms, small business and marketing. Claire comes from a background in marketing and service operations analytics focusing on the customer experience.