Writing a clear job ad is an art and in order to get the right candidates to apply for your open position, you need to make sure you master this art. On the biggest job boards, thousands of job openings are advertised so even if you get a potential candidate to click on your ad, if it is not clear and appealing they will quickly click “back” and keep searching.
First, you need to make sure you write a job ad and not a job description. They may sound the same, but they are not. A job description is an internal document and usually clarifies what the role entails, what the reporting lines are and how it fits in with the rest of the organization. A job ad, on the other hand, has another objective: to sell the job to the candidate. The main goal is to have the right person to click on “apply” instead of clicking on “back” to keep scrolling through other job postings. Hence, sell yourself!
Second, consider the candidate´s viewpoint. Most job postings consist of two parts, the first giving an overview of the role and the second listing the responsibilities that come with the job. However, very often, the third part is missing, which is why the candidate should apply for this job. Why do they need to apply for a job at your company? Make your job ad stand out. If you´re a candidate, you don´t just want to know the responsibilities of the job, you want to know as well what working for this specific company will be like. In any case, make sure to keep it short and sweet. Brief, to the point and easy to digest otherwise job seekers might become overwhelmed and disinterested if you stuff too many details in one paragraph.
Apart from selling your job and considering the candidate´s viewpoint, what else can you do to make your job ad super clear?
- Use subheadings
Give your job ad some structure by using subheadings, bullets and highlighting the most important information. Think about how you screen through the hundreds of curriculums, you take a quick look without reading everything in detail. If you like what you see during your quick look, you will take the time to read in detail. It works the same for a candidate, they will quickly screen through your job posting and if they like what they see, will read in detail what is in there. So make sure to give your job ad the right structure and to highlight the right info for it to capture the candidate´s interest during their quick screening.
- Pick the title of your ad with care
This comes back to the same principle, you need to catch the candidate´s attention. Don´t fall into the trap of just using the job title as your ad´s title, this is not catchy enough. Be original and realize that this is your tool to make the candidate click on your posting. This is what the candidate will see in the list of search results so it needs to speak to them.
- Be clear about any hard criteria
If you have any hard criteria that disqualify a candidate immediately, make sure to mention these. Avoid wasting your time and the candidate´s time and energy. For example, if a candidate needs to have a working permit in the country your company is based, make sure to mention that instead of leaving it open because the candidate might think you are open to sponsoring a working visa.
What other tips and tricks do you use to make sure your job ads are super clear?