Crafting a Job Ad That Works

Did you know that the perfect job posting is only 500-600 words long? Research shows that postings of 4,000-5,000 characters produce a 12-15 percent click-to-apply rate–shorter or longer posts produce significantly less response rates. That’s not much space to tell your candidates every responsibility of the role and list the many qualifications and degrees you want the perfect employee to have…but maybe that’s not the most effective information to include. Let’s consider the four purposes of a job ad:

1) To help you define your target candidate

By the time you start to write a job ad, you will already have written the job description, which is long and very detailed. But crafting a job ad that works is an exercise in thinking through the kind of person you’re targeting and tailor your words to attract him or her. Do you want a problem-solver, team player, maverick, or skills ninja?

2) To help you define your company culture

Your ad should also realistically portray your company’s personality at a glance. Is it fun, team-oriented, famous, or making a difference in the world? A company’s culture is something candidates really want to understand before they apply, and it’s an important thing for you to define now if you haven’t already.

3) To market your position to job seekers

All too often, job ads read exactly like job descriptions, which list the job’s responsibilities and your expectations for skills and education. A brief job ad, however, should show what the applicant can expect to get out of the job, how his position will fit into the company as a whole, and why his work will be important, advises Rikka Gordon of Will this position give the candidate new skills, boost his career, allow him to change the world, or make him rich beyond his dreams? The ad is your chance to sell the opportunity your company uniquely provides.

4) To get qualified candidates to apply to your job

It’s not realistic or even desirable for everyone who reads your ad to apply–you’d end up with a pile of mostly useless resumes. Crafting a job ad that works means it will motivate the right candidates to apply for your open position after they read it. Throwing down a challenge is a great way to draw in high-quality candidates, and honestly describing the role, expected outcomes, opportunity, and company culture will help filter out those who aren’t a good fit.

Job Ad Checklist

Using our own 57 years of experience and advice from hiring experts like Roy Maurer, here’s a checklist for crafting a job ad that works:

  • Your company name
  • Location of actual work
  • Position title (no more than 50-60 characters long)
  • Honest preview of the type of work, specific responsibilities, and expected outcomes
  • Must-have experience, skills, and education, plus preferred qualifications
  • Realistic portrayal of company’s personality or culture
  • Opportunity
  • Challenge
  • Compensation, benefits, bonuses, and perks unique to your organization
  • Limited to 500-600 words
  • Written from a job-seeker’s point of view
  • How to contact you (1-2 options) to apply

Today’s in-demand professionals have many options for potential future employment, so remember that your job posting is an important marketing piece! In crafting a job ad that works, hold in mind the question, “If I were applying for this position, what would I want to know?” Your job posting should be informative and persuasive enough that qualified professionals can’t wait to click the “Apply” button.

Do you need help acquiring top professionals? Amtec can help you land the best people by actively marketing your job opportunities, connecting you to passive job seekers, and assisting with offer negotiations. Click here or call (714) 993-1900 to get your search started.

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