Dream Job sign mounted on a brick wallThe job market is ‘hotting’ up. Okay, so it hasn’t quite reached the molten levels of seven years ago, but make no mistake, we’re through the worst of it. And as an employer, you’re increasingly going to have to impress a candidate to get him/her to apply. You want great people; write a great job ad. Here’s how:

1. Any job advert must have 3 sections

  • About your company
  • About the role
  • About the person you want to hire

That’s the bare minimum.

Too often job adverts do nothing to sell the company and that’s a major mistake; so, don’t forget to include a paragraph on what you are as a business. Speaking of which………

2. Wow the candidate with a killer fact immediately

Okay, we realize that not all jobs are amazing, not all companies are terribly exciting or the industry the company operates in might be a bit dull, BUT there are a few things you can do to make the job more appealing. There is always some interesting and appealing statistic that the company possesses. When describing the company, make sure you add in a measurable and impressive statistic. A sort of killer stat that will impress. Don’t just say, “We’re a young and fast growing company;” make it measurable:

We’ve grown from 5 people to 46 in just 3 years


Due to our rapid success, we are expanding our headcount by 50% over the next 2 years


We are the market leader in xxxxxx with over 45% of the market

Anything really. Just put an impressive and accurate statistic written right at the top of the job description to grab their attention. Have a look at any direct employer advert on any job board and ask yourself the question: Does that sound like a great opportunity? If it does, try and copy what that company has done.

3. If the job is a new role……………TELL THEM:

Have you ever recruited an entirely new role and never mentioned that in the job description? If you are, you’re missing out on a golden opportunity to make the business look dynamic and look like it’s really growing.

If the job is a new job……………TELL THEM:

Due to our continued growth, we are recruiting a new position of xxxxxx” or words to that effect.

4. Tell them to go to your website

Make it clear on job adverts you’re posting externally that it would be very beneficial to go to your website (providing you’ve actually got a half decent careers section).

Tell them what they can expect to see on your careers portal, i.e. lots more jobs, staff profiles, company video, etc. On the job advert, list anything you have on your careers portal that you think will appeal to them and tell them to go and have a look. They’re more likely to apply once they’re on your site.

5. Add some comments from your staff on the job details

Ever done that? Thought not.  Add a new paragraph with the heading: Comments from some recent hires. Then just add a sentence or two from them eulogising (well hopefully eulogising) about the company and how much they’ve enjoyed it, etc.

6. Lots of relevant keywords…….the first 100 words are critical

When job seekers do a search for a job, let’s say “Web Developer” in Miami, the job board will rank all relevant jobs by the number of times the phrase “Web Developer” is listed for any jobs in Miami. That’s a bit of a generalization, because they also place weight on whether the title matches the keyword search and how high up the phrase is in the job description, but as a general rule, the more times you mention those keywords, the better.

So if you’re going to advertise on a job board, make sure you use lots of relevant keywords as high up the job text as possible, i.e. the sort of words that candidates will be searching for. So in the above case, make sure you mention “Web Developer” as many times as you can feasibly do in the first 100 words. All the recruitment agencies swamp their made up job adverts with lots of keywords, so if you want to get above their jobs in the listings you’d better do the same.


7. Lots of relevant alternative key words

Occasionally you will advertise a role where the key words or phrases may have alternatives that are regularly used in the industry. For example, if you’re advertising for a Public Relations Manager, a lot of job seekers will simply put PR into the job board’s search box, and if you haven’t mentioned the identical keyword (in this case PR), your job is unlikely to appear.

So, if you’ve got any words/phrases that have alternatives commonly used, make sure you list them in the job description (ideally at the top). Another obvious example would be a Sales Manager vs. Business Development Manager. You might call the job “Business

Development Manager,” but if a job seeker searches for “Sales Manager” your job won’t appear. So make sure you cover all the bases and mention all possible alternatives as much as possible in those first 100 words. There’s nothing wrong with doing this at the start of the advert text on the job board to make absolutely sure: Sales Manager / Business Development Manager sought by xxxxxx

8. Use a relevant industry job title

Whatever you do, don’t be tempted to come up with some wacky title that no one in the industry is familiar with. If you’re hiring a Finance Manager call it a Finance Manager. Don’t call it Vice President of Cash Flow Enhancement. Remember that job seekers will search using fairly generic terms—HR Manager, Brand Manager, Web Developer—so if your job title is very different it may not appear in the search or your own careers portal if you have lots of jobs.

9. Every so often try, the world’s best job ad. Here it is:

ABC inc is growing.

No I mean really growing. The sort of growth you’d be bonkas not to want to be a part of.

We hire great people for great jobs and we can’t do our new xxxxx vacancy justice on one page so please visit www.abcinc.com/careers to find out about our story so far and discover where we’re going.

Now you’ve got their attention; which candidate would be able to resist the temptation of visiting your careers page?

10. Add an email so they can contact you

Job seekers are going to have questions. Sometimes about the job, sometimes about the company. If you don’t add in something like this:

If you have any questions about the role or our company please email hr@xxxx.com.

You may lose out on great candidates. Yes you might get the odd timewaster but it’s worth it to capture that superstar candidate who is curious and without an answer to their question, they would never apply.

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