10 tips for writing a killer job ad
In this world of technology and the fact that everyone now seems to be glued to their iPhone or tablet computer, writing that perfect job ad in order to find the right kind of employee, is more important than ever before. In today’s modern society, all job ads are now posted online, as well as being available in print, meaning that when you start to write your ad, you need to remember that it will be read on screen, and this makes the task more complicated than ever before. Writing for the digital era has its own set of rules and creates further pressure to get that job ad just right. With many Applicant Tracking Systems linked to vacancy management databases and job boards, the information going in is more important than ever.
The job ad that you post online will be seen amongst many others, and that is why it is so very important to make sure that it stands out in the ever competitive digital world. When writing the ad, you must remember to tell a story about your client’s company and to keep it personal, yet informative. You need to attract the right candidate for the job, so be sure to come across as interesting, factual and slightly different from your competitors.
Below we have listed 10 tips for writing that killer job ad, that will hopefully help you to find the perfect candidate for the job.
1 – A Powerful Title
The very first thing that a potential client will see is the title, so you have to get this right. A title needs to be simple, concise and to the point. There is no need to use jargon or ambiguous wording, as this will only confuse the reader and they will skip your ad in order to read the next job opportunity. The title simply needs to reflect what the job is all about. It is as simple as that. Just remember that the title is the very first thing that will be seen and first impressions count. In business terms, the title for your ad is very much like the first time that you meet a new client. You need to be professional, yet friendly, so make sure that you have a relevant and concise title that states exactly what the job entails.
2 – The Job Description
This part of the job ad is the first place that potential candidates will look. This is to find out if the job description matches their own skills and requirements and ultimately if it is a job that interests them. This is why you should take your time in writing this part of the ad, so as to make the job appealing to potential applicants. After all, you want them to successfully apply for your vacancy. So, when planning how to write the job description part of your ad, you need to have a set idea in mind of what you wish your ideal candidate to be. You really need to think of this person while you write. Consider what their thoughts will be while they read your ad. It is also a good idea to get feedback from work colleagues and friends, and ask them if they would want to apply for the job, based on the job description alone. You also need to be incredibly concise in what the job entails, and this needs to be in the form of bullet points. Be clear in your description of the job role and avoid unnecessary words.
3 – Employee Experience and Qualities
This part of the job ad needs to state exactly what qualifications and experience your client wishes any potential employee to have. If you are vague then the wrong candidates will apply and it will be a waste of everyone’s time and efforts. With regards to stating employee experiences and qualifications, for clarity, it is always best to list those skills and experiences that are mandatory. This means that the potential employee will quickly know if they have the relevant skills for the job.
When listing the particular qualities that you wish a worker to have, it is also important to avoid words such as, ‘hardworking’ and ‘proactive, as essentially these are meaningless words. Every single person who applies will state that they are hardworking and proactive. Just stick to the absolute essentials that are required.
4 – What is the Company Role?
It is important to remember that as well as placing an ad for a job, in essence you are also promoting your client’s company, so be sure to do so. You want to show your client’s company in the best possible light, so that the right people apply for the job. This is done via the company description. Tell the reader a little about how the company was set up, when it was founded and where it stands in today’s current economic climate. You want that worker to be interested in your client’s company; for them to want to learn more about you and that they want to work for you. So, be interesting. In this part of the ad you can highlight recent economic achievements or awards that your client has received. It is also a good idea to share a little of what it is like to be part of the company. Maybe post a picture of the office space or share a worker’s story to make the company more ‘real’ and inviting.
5 – Information About Employee Rewards
This is an incredibly important section that will help you to find the right person for the job. Company rewards obviously need to state the basic salary. This is obviously a deal beaker, so it needs to be stated. Company rewards however include more than just the salary, and these need to be clearly listed under this section. Benefits can include such things as availability for flexible working hours, job shares, holiday entitlement and child care provision. All of these benefits are vital for working parents and those who need extra provision during the school day and holidays. The hours of work also need to be clearly stated and if the position is full or part time. While writing this part of the job ad, it is very important that you focus on what is different about the job you are offering, say to that of a similar job being offered by a company down the street. Why should they be working for your client and not them? You need to be engaged with your reader, be current and offer them something that your client’s competitor’s do not.
6 – Location
Job location obviously needs to be stated, but you can add more information to this field so as to make the job more enticing. You can specifically share what type of building they would work in and how many people will be sharing the work space with their new work colleague. Possible work location points to add could include:
Is it a modern office?
Are there frequent transport links to work?
What are the local amenities?
Does the job role involve a lot of traveling or working from home?
Is their an onsite cafeteria?
Is their a gym nearby?
Does your client’s organisation socialise as a group outside of work?
Once again you need to be very specific about where the potential employee will be working, and then make them want to work in that environment. This is were the use of a company photograph or image is particularly useful.
7 – The Importance of SEO
When writing the job add you need to keep in mind the importance of SEO. Everything is now available to read online, and you need to ensure that your job ad is read by as many people as possible. This means using keywords and key phrases, so that when an individual who is browsing job boards or performing a search via Google, can easily find your job ad. The general rule of thumb is that when writing your job ad, ideally you need to use your chosen keyword or key phrase a minimum of three to five times in order for it to be picked up by the search engine. While most job board search functions only require the job description once, on more general search engines like google.co.uk, every little helps.
8 – Use a Simple Layout
Presentation is everything when it comes to how successful a job ad is. The key point to remember here is that the simpler it is on screen, the better. Use simple font to begin with, not elaborate script that is difficult to read. If any potential client cannot read clearly what is on screen, then they will continue on to the next job that is advertised. It is also important that the layout is very simple with a few choice colours and separated segments that are clearly labelled such as Experiences and Salary. All information should be succinct with the reader being able to gain all relevant information the very first time that they read your ad.
9 – Choice of language
When writing your job ad it is vital that you write with the target audience in mind. This means that you should use the appropriate language. When you post an ad in the local paper or online, it will obviously cost you money and you want to get it right first time. What you don’t want to happen is to get no response which is very disheartening; or to be inundated with the wrong type of candidate which is equally frustrating. This is why the words you choose are very important. Write for the type of employee you want and pitch the ad towards their level of learning and expertise.
10 – End with Call to Action
At the very end of your job ad you want the potential employee to remember you and for them to want to apply for the job. Therefore you need to entice them in with a call to action. In order to do so you need to be friendly and approachable while maintaining a professional stance. Ideally, what you want the reader to do once they have read your ad, is to contact you either for further information or for a job application form. You therefore need to give the information on how they can find out more about the job role and share links of how they can apply via email or post. You also need to be very clear on what happens after they have applied for the job. This is done by clearly stating a closing date for applications and a reply date for successful candidates.
We have discussed all of the points that you should consider when writing that killer job ad, but what are the things that you should never do? Below we have listed a few things that are on the no go list.
• Elaborate graphics that fill every space on the page – keep it simple.
• Font that is too large or small – Stick to a 12 or 14 font so that it is easy and quick to read.
• The use of CAPITAL LETTERS in the body of the text – Just don’t.
• The use of italics – They are very difficult to read and may put some individuals off.
• A patterned background or image – Keep the background colour simple.
• Lots of technical details and elaborate words to describe the job – Remember to keep the job description basic.
• Overfilling space, believing that a double page spread will help you sell the job. This is just off putting. Just use the space you absolutely need.
These helpful tips should hopefully empower you and give you the necessary skills and tools in which to write that killer job ad. The basic rule here is to keep everything simple. You don’t need to use fancy words, font or create a visually stunning image on which to post your ad. All of these will simply distract from the actual job description. Remember to be friendly and engage with your potential employee. While creating your ad, keep in the very front of your mind that what you write is more than just an advert for a job. You want to help sell your client’s company and tell that potential candidate why they should work for your client.