Writing a job ad is just like writing any advertisement. You need to know your target audience, address them in a language they understand and offer them what they want.
There’s nothing worse than writing an ad for a position you are hoping to fill, posting it online and then either not receiving any responses at all, or perhaps worse still, being inundated with applications from candidates who are completely not suitable for the role.
An effective job ad is not just a job description. It is a carefully crafted message with the aim of attracting the best qualified candidates for your job. Here are some ways to sharpen the focus of your ad:
Be specific about the role
This allows candidates to compare what is required with their own skills and experience and discourage those not qualified from applying. The job title has to be very clear and should in no way deceive or misled the reader.
You should also try to incorporate three bullet points containing the “punchiest” benefits associated with the job. Provide a salary range as well – if it is not in their ballpark, they won’t waste their time and yours by applying.
Distinguish ‘Must Haves’ from ‘Nice-to-Haves’
You need to clearly articulate whether there are any essential qualifications, desirable skills, or any other “nice-to-haves” in terms of previous experiences required in the role.
When a job sounds too good to be true, it generally is and will only attract applicants who are gullible, unrealistic and non-performers.
Offer challenges, not rewards
This is more likely to attract someone with drive and ambition, rather than someone just looking for an easy ride.
Tell them about your company
Next you need to describe the company – but not too much in detail. The information you include in the actual description of the job and the profile of the ideal candidate should come easily to you – assuming you have a proper job description and prepared a performance profile for the role.
Select the key skills, core competencies and most relevant performance or success measures and include them.
Talk to the reader
Avoid phrases like “the successful candidate”. Instead say something along the lines of “In this exciting role, you will be working with…” Talk to the reader. Use the word “you”.
Nail the short description
And finally, you should be aware that on average, four times as many people read the short description than actually click through to the ad itself. So, put some effort into what you write.
You can always include at the bottom of your job ad as a bit of a disclaimer: “Only applicants meeting the strict criteria outlined above will be contacted as part of the shortlisting process.”
Good job ads make a difference – always remember that first impression matter. A concise, enticing, and transparent job ad will attract the best candidates for your company.