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5 top tips for posting a great job ad
What makes a job ad compelling to candidates? Our Head of Social Media shares his top tips on crafting a great ad that converts candidates to applicants!
Creating a job ad should always be something you take pride in and that is specific to your company. You don’t want your ad to be the same as anyone else’s – it needs to reflect how you’re different and help to build your employer brand! Think of the job as your product and ask the same questions you'd ask if you were marketing to a customer. What are the unique selling points? Why would someone want to ‘buy’ your job? Who is your market? Once you’ve honed in on your candidate persona you can start to consider what makes them tick and mould your job ad accordingly.
Here are 5 crucial things to bare in mind before making your ad live:
1. Use clear job titles
There are some truly bizarre and wonderful job titles out there these days (Retail Jedi, Chief Happiness Officer, BD Ninja to name a few). But it should be immediately obvious to applicants what your job involves. If the candidates you’re targeting don't understand what job they’d be applying for, the likelihood is they will ignore your ad and move on to the next one. It’s also important to note that most job boards use algorithms to process job titles – so, the more standardized your job title, the better your job matching will be. Save those creative copywriting skills for the regular text instead (and the job pitch!).
2. Include authentic images
When it comes to the imagery you use to promote your job ad, your own photos are always preferable and are guaranteed to make more of an impact. Of course, they need to be good quality images (both in terms of the resolution and the composition), but they don’t need to have been shot in a studio with a full team of photographers. As a general rule, images of happy and engaged people will always be better than images of buildings or computers – even if you’re looking for a tech person.
Specifically, applicants will always be more interested in seeing photos of your employees and your office to get an idea of what your work culture is like. If you can’t readily get hold of these you can use stock images, but try and make sure they’re not the same ones you’ve seen plastered all over LinkedIn! There are many free ones available, such as pexels.com and unsplashed.com (but again, be aware that lots of companies use the same free images).
3. Keep it short and snappy
A crucial thing to keep in mind when creating a job ad is the length of the text. Don’t make the text too long and keep it mobile friendly (if it seems long in desktop view, it’s super long on mobile!). It’s also important to vary your sentences – it can be really boring to read lots of sentences that are the same length, so break them up. It can sometimes help to write like you’re on Twitter; imagine you have just 250 characters to make someone click. Additionally, differentiate your language depending on who the job is for – different jobs will inevitably attract different people. For example, more techy jobs are likely to attract logical minds, whereas more creative jobs will attract creative people – so it’s important to adapt your language accordingly.
Try not to use phrases like ‘The successful candidate’ or ‘the ideal applicant’ as this will make even the most suitable candidate question whether they’re right for the role. Focusing on the emotional component is always a great idea. For instance, for the pitch: “Want to be a part of our amazing journey of international growth?” / “Want to help us change the X industry and at the same time make our planet a better place?”/ “Here’s a role for anyone who likes lots of freedom and responsibility – with a big central office and lots of great restaurants nearby”. It’s ok to mention some of the requirements of the job, but don’t lead with that. Really highlight the perks and you can even use emojis or GIF’s if it’s suitable for the role you’re hiring for.
4. Easy application form
When applicants are applying for roles they’re so often put off by long or overly complicated application forms. Make it as simple as possible for them (while also ensuring you gather all the information you need). The more difficult questions you include, the more applicants will decide not to apply. The majority of users these days tend to research jobs on their phones, so (again) make sure it’s mobile friendly. Do you absolutely need them to submit a CV? Could they write their LinkedIn URL instead? If so, this will make it much easier for candidates to apply directly via their phone!
Make sure your apply button is very clear and prominent – don’t write “Have fun!” or something similar, it needs to be obvious. But you can change the button text to something more enticing like “Apply with or without CV” / “Apply easily in 2 minutes” to bait the click a bit more.
5. Let your brand shine through
Lastly, but most importantly, make sure all the components of your ad represent YOUR brand! Are the USPs of why people should want to work at your company highlighted? Do your images demonstrate your company culture? Is the tone of voice consistent with your brand? Make sure everything ties together and really entices candidates to hit that apply button.
Above all, remember that you’re recruiting for people and not robots. Think about things from the candidate point of view and what you might find attractive in a job ad. Follow these 5 simple steps and build your employer brand, give candidates a great experience and engage the best talent! Happy Recruiting 🎉