Write a Job Ad That Reaches the Right Candidates with These 4 Tips

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Your business is growing, and you’re looking in the labor market to hire new employees. But how do you create job ads that draw the perfect candidates to your roles?

Writing a job advertisement that captures the attention of the right group of candidates isn’t easy. You need to put your company’s best foot forward, and you only have limited space to convey key concepts like your workplace environment, your company’s differentiators, and the reasons why a candidate should choose you over your competitors.

However, it’s not impossible. Follow these four proven tips to write a job ad that gets the right people into your talent pipeline:

1. Use a Clear, Concise Title

Clear, conventional job titles are the best way to be found by candidates. According to a 2020 Indeed survey, 36 percent of job seekers use the exact job title they’re looking for when searching through job sites. For example, if they’re looking for a job as a call center agent, they’ll search for the phrase “call center agent.” If you’re using a nontraditional role title, like “sales and marketing specialist,” then applicants will not find your job .

It can also help to avoid abbreviations and acronyms. Candidates will usually spell out words like “manager” and “senior” instead of using shortened forms like “Mgr.” and “Sr.” Fully spelling out titles makes it easier for candidates to uncover your roles in their searches.

2. Be Intentional With Your Formatting

Before you begin writing your job ad, consider how you will format each section, keeping in mind the overall readability of the text. Using short, succinct paragraphs that get straight to the point makes your job ad easy for candidates to read and understand.

One of the most powerful formatting choices you can make is to use white space to your advantage. Bombarding candidates with long, unbroken walls of text will only overwhelm them. On the other hand, studies show that white space enables people to process and remember what they’re reading. Use white space to break up paragraphs and direct candidate attention to key parts of the ad.

3. Be Original

When writing job ads, many companies simply copy and paste chunks of text from other companies’ job descriptions. Each job is unique to its business. Even if the job title is the same, an employees’ daily responsibilities and work environment will differ dramatically from organization to organization.

Asking a candidate to apply for a job opportunity with a stolen job description is, frankly speaking, lazy and dishonest. Furthermore, your copied job description may not even accurately convey what your role is like. That’s not a great way to attract the right people.

Instead, do things the right way. If you’re not 100 percent certain of the role’s daily realities, take some time to research the job. Ask the person who will be managing this new hire to give you some insight into the necessary skills and personality traits for this role. Ask about the specific obstacles they’ll face and what the team dynamic is like. Your job ad should be as specific to your company as possible — because no organization is identical to yours.

4. Sell Your Company

The recruitment process is all about selling. It’s just that, instead of selling a product or service, you’re selling your job and your company. Your goal is to inspire interest in an audience and get them to buy what you have to offer.

Your job ad should be informative, of course, but it should also be persuasive — and the best way to do that is to treat your job ad like a landing page.

To quote Andi Coombs of KlientBoost, “A landing page is a linchpin in your digital marketing strategy. It’s a standalone web page that exists for one reason: to get a click (a conversion).” Given the significant overlap between recruitment and marketing, it makes sense that recruiters should take a page from the marketer’s playbook and make their ads function like landing pages.

The goal of your ad is to convert interested candidates into applicants. Optimizing your job ad toward this end could be as simple as removing confusing language and explicitly clarifying next steps so that candidates know exactly how to apply. You might even take it a step further and create actual landing pages for each position, using calls to action to funnel more candidates into your roles.

Writing a job description can be challenging, but your job ad can be your most powerful recruitment tool if you use the right formatting, language, and information.

Make your company appealing to the applicant. Show them why working for your business is the best choice for them. By following these best practices, you’ll write a job ad that reaches the exact candidates you’re looking for.

Lucas Miller is a freelance blogger, direct response copywriter, and content marketer at Echelon Copy.

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By Lucas Miller