By Laura Blakesley
Job ads are hard. We get it.
If you pull up any of the 3.7 million job ads that are out there, chances are it looks like someone took a mundane three-page job description (learn about great job descriptions HERE), slapped on an impersonal paragraph or two about the company, and added an “apply here” button.
If you don’t take the time to write something to draw in that perfect candidate, what makes you think that the perfect candidate will take the time to read through your laundry list? You need to honestly think about the kind of people you want to appeal to.
What does an effective job ad look like?
We have some tips to help you get away from those impersonal ads and appeal to the type of person you want on your team.
Tell a Story
This is the single most important thing you can do when writing a job ad. This is your chance to brag about your company and your team. Use this opportunity to bring your company values to light. By sharing your passion and goals, you’ll attract candidates that will fit much better with your company culture. This is your company’s WHY (more on that HERE).
Limit the “Must-Haves”
People want to know what kind of experience and education are needed for the position. Instead of giving them a page-long list, pick 3-5 “Must-Haves” that a candidate NEEDS in order to be successful. Yes, we said 3-5. This might take some getting used to but if you focus on having fewer Must-Haves, you open the door for people to bring their own experience and successful past performance. Why put limitations on them before they ever walk through the door?
What’s in it for Them – The Scope of the Position
So many times, we see ads that are very employer-centric. Only focusing on the needs and wants of the company will discourage people from applying. When writing about the responsibilities or scope of the position, include what is in it for them. Appeal to their internal motivators – Are there educational opportunities? Room for advancement in the company? Will they be in charge of a team? Changing your post from employer-centric to candidate-centric will increase your top tier candidate response by 185% (*according to a multi-university study)!
Chance for Referrals
In case the reader doesn’t fit one of the must haves, or maybe they are looking for a different type of position, at least you have made an impression! I use this opportunity to add something to the end that lets the person know we are always happy to speak to their friends and family. We have gotten so many referrals this way! Draw them in, let them get a better feel for the position, and encourage them to share with their friends. You get many more passive candidates that way – and voila, you just expanded your talent pool.
As I mentioned in the beginning, there are 3.7 million job ads out there. What will you do to stand out?
Let your creative juices flow…and if you hit a block, let someone else do it for you. We love helping companies with this. While we don’t always post ads (because we use many other avenues to attract candidates), we love helping companies create something that tells a story – better yet, tells THEIR story. Get out of the rut of traditional ad writing – let your story be known.