An advert that will be answered by quality candidates with the required skills and genuine interest in the role? This doesn’t have to be a dream, but a reality. We’ve got 12 tips on how to write a job advert that will attract the right candidates.
Why is the text of a job advert so important?
There are many more job vacancies than there are people looking for work. How to get out of this situation as an employer? You need to ensure that candidates choose yours from the flood of offers. With a well-written job advert.
Writing a job advert doesn’t have to be rocket science
A job advert isn’t just a technical job description – it’s a way to entice suitable candidates to work for you. On the one hand, the job advert needs to describe what the job is and what the candidate needs to be able to do, and on the other hand, it needs to present the benefits of working for your company. How to do it?
1. Absolute necessity
More than 73 % of candidates are only passively looking for a job. To convince them, you need to really impress them. Look at how your competitors are communicating with candidates and differentiating yourself, whether it’s graphically, through the style of your advert or even by using video.
2. Be specific about what you’re looking for
If you get one response from a single candidate who is a perfect fit for your position, that’s better than getting 500 responses from 500 candidates, none of whom are a good fit. So be as specific as possible about exactly what you’re looking for.
- Wrong: Technical knowledge is a must.
- Right: Knowledge of MS Word and MS Excel is a must. Knowledge of MS PowerPoint is an advantage.
Tip: In the job ad, distinguish which skills are a requirement and which are only an advantage.
3. Be specific about what you are offering
Candidates can choose from a wide range of job roles. So, the aim of your job advert is also to convince them that working for you is worthwhile. List everything that could be an advantage for a potential employee of your company. This could be, for example:
- an extra week of holiday
- sick days
- refreshments at the workplace
- the opportunity to work from home
- regular teambuilding sessions
- reimbursed training
- pleasant working atmosphere
Whatever the benefit, write it down. In the job ad, you are selling both your company and the specific position. And benefits matter to people.
4. Salary in a job advert: to state or not tostate?
There are extensive debates among experts about whether to include salary in a job ad. What are the pros and cons?
If you do not state the salary:
- You get room for negotiation.
- You get the opportunity to match the salary up to the candidate’s specific knowledge and experience.
- You lose the opportunity to entice the candidate to earn a good salary, and they respond to a competitor’s ad instead.
- You may find that candidates apply for the position with expectations higher than the actual salary offered. You spend hours sorting through resumes and setting up interviews, and when you finally tell the candidates the salary, they decline. And that’s a waste of time: both for them and for you.
So, is it worth stating the salary or not? It depends on the situation.
- If you have a fixed starting salary, don’t hesitate to include it in your advert.
- If you want to tailor the salary to the specific candidate, write the range and the factor on which the salary depends (for example, “£1,000 – £1,500 per month depending on length of experience”).
- If you don’t want to state the salary for any reason, that’s fine. However, avoid phrases like “appropriate salary”. Candidates get allergic to them.
5. Define your target group
Before you start writing, think about who your potential candidate is. How old is he or she, what is his or her gender, where does he or she lives, what is his or her education? Then match the parameters you come up with to the tone of your communication. What can you infer from the target group specification? Here are some concrete examples:
- If you are targeting the younger generation, don’t be afraid to include emoticons.
- If you’re targeting a younger generation and you’re also aiming for a friendly company environment, try a teaser in your ad.
- If you’re targeting rational people, use exact numbers.
Example of two identical messages written in different communication tones:
- We are looking for a marketing specialist for a start-up company.
- Are you a marketer through and through? Come shoot for the stars with us. ?
6. Make sure you have a headline
The headline determines whether a candidate will click on your ad. It must therefore convey as much information as possible in as little space as possible.
It should make it clear what the position is – specify whether you are looking for a junior or a senior. If there is a major benefit associated with the job, you can mention it.
Look at one headline written in two different ways:
- Accounts Payable Specialist
- Junior Accountant – up to £1,500 per month
And if you have a well-defined target group, you can target your headline directly at them.
7. Shorten and structure
Times are fast, candidates are impatient. If they’re actively looking for a job, chances are they’ll read dozens of job ads a day. Therefore, they are gradually losing their attention.
Don’t write unnecessary gravy or your company’s history 50 years in the past. Rather, be concise and to the point. Use bullet points, make important passages bold, and break up the text with headings so the candidate can quickly find what interests them. He will quickly scan your job advert with his eyes first, and then decide if it’s worth reading.
8. Write in a human way
A common mistake job ads make: Long and incomprehensible sentences, impotent gender and missing verbs. The text of job adverts often looks like it was written by a machine.
Prioritize the active voice over the passive voice.
- Wrong: The candidate will be asked.
- Correct: You will be asked.
Shorten sentences and use linking expressions. Where possible, prefer the verb over the nominal construction.
- Wrong: Due to the global reach of our company, there is a requirement for the candidate’s language skills to include primarily German and English.
- Correct: You will be working with clients from different parts of the world. Therefore, you should be proficient in English and German. It will be an advantage for you to know other languages as well.
9. Speak in the second person
Speak directly to the candidates, address them and tell them what they will be doing in the position, what benefits they will get… They will identify much better with the text.
- Wrong: The job description for this position is to send documents.
- Correct: In this position you will be sending documents.
- Wrong: The candidate should know XY.
- Correct: You should know XY.
- Wrong: Benefits: 25 days of vacation.
- Correct: You will have 25 days of vacation.
10. Make sure you mention everything important
There is a holy trinity of information that an advert should contain (and yet often doesn’t):
- type of contract
These are details that you take for granted and therefore may forget to mention. You will get applicants from Brno for the Prague office and students interested in full-time positions.
How do you make sure you mention everything important? Give the advert to someone who doesn’t know your company to read and ask them if everything is clear.
11. Add a call to action
Those who are at least a little bit adept at content marketing have not only heard of a call to action but are actively using it. In fact, it’s something that not only marketers, but also recruiters and anyone else who interacts with people and asks them to do something will use.
What is a call to action? It is a piece of text that tells people what to do. And research shows that if you add it, there’s a several times higher chance that they’ll do it. That’s why at the end of the advert you tell candidates exactly what you want them to do. Like this:
- Are you interested in the offer? Look at our website and read more.
- Send your CV to email@example.com and become part of our team.
12. Explain what happens next
Surveys show that most candidates would feel more comfortable if they knew how the recruitment process would work. Try including details in the advert about how many rounds the recruitment process will take or what candidates should wear to the interview.
We can help you with job ads
Don’t have time to write job ads or lack the poetic gut? No problem, we’ll write them for you. We know how to describe the job, capture the atmosphere of the company and attract the right candidates. Just contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out the form in the bar to the right.