Prepping a job ad for circulation is no small task; it’s a complex marketing project. Your ad needs to be strategically positioned to turn job seekers’ heads with cool, compelling details about the role, company and culture. Standing out in a competitive job market takes savvy and style — that's why we created our latest eBook, 9 Things Every Job Ad Should Have. Read on below for a preview, and check out the full version for more helpful tips!
1. Optimise Your Job Title
The job title is not the place to get creative. Resist the urge to use titles that have no real market value; likewise, refrain from truncating or abbreviating words within the title. As you know, many HR teams and recruiting firms use an ATS (applicant tracking system). While you may be the one writing the job ad, you may not be doing the backend work of sifting through the resumes that applicants submit. If you’re seeking a research guru, data whiz or a CHRO, your HR team or recruiting firm stands to encounter snares. Using universal, recognisable titles keeps this process streamlined for everyone involved.
2. Adjust Your Role Description
An overly restrictive job description earns too few resumes, but one that’s too broad attracts too many. Your challenge is to find that perfect middle ground. A good way to achieve this is to interview your outgoing colleague who previously inhabited this position or their manager. This way, you get a sense of what to highlight about the role. You may also consider looking at institutions that are similar to yours. See how they describe similar roles. It helps to do your research as you hash out what to emphasise.
3. Add a Pitch to Job Seekers
The introduction is where you plant you pitch directly to job seekers. Here, you offer three to five exciting reasons why job seekers should hop on board and come work with you. Maybe you want to sell them on your brilliant culture. Perhaps you want to tout your stellar perks or your amazing benefits.
Think about what employees love about your corporate culture — what you commonly hear them mention. Then imagine you have job candidates right there in your office, and write this part of your ad as though you addressing them directly. How are you going to get them excited to send in their resumes?
4. The Fine Details
Don’t you hate it when you get excited about a job ad, but it’s incomplete? For example, there’s no salary or benefits information listed? Don’t make that mistake. You are asking job seekers to send a lot of information about themselves; return the courtesy. Job seekers deserve that.
This is what they need to know:
- Salary range
- Benefits basics
- Work/life balance (a couple of highlights like PTO, option to telecommute, educational benefits, parental leave)
- Staff development (retention is highly valuable; support your staff in their advancement)
- Location/accessibility (let candidates know how they can reach you via train/bus line, and say whether you are fully accessible for applicants with disabilities)
5. Share a Driving Narrative
People want to work for companies whose values they share; in fact, a recent Glassdoor survey reveals that “73 percent of all adults surveyed would not apply to a company unless its values aligned with their own personal values.” Tell your company’s story, highlighting your company’s mission and the values that fuel your efforts.
Your story may answer questions like: Is your company big or small? How did you start? Whom do you help? What does it feel like to do that work every day? What is your culture like?
The story you tell about your brand earns emotional buy-in, so think about what drives your company’s work.