How to Write A Job Ad [The Ultimate 8-Step Checklist]
If you don’t write a robust job ad, you’ll shoot yourself in the foot.
The average time a job seeker spends on a job posting is 49.7 seconds (according to Ladders’ research.)
If you fail to grab candidates’ attention within that timeframe, your chances of magnetizing solid hires will drop off a cliff.
You’re about to see how to write the perfect job ad and attract the cream of the crop (guaranteed, or I’ll send you a goldfish.)
Table of Contents
Stick to a Simple Job Title
I get it: there’s an $8.5 trillion shortage of great talent.
You might be tempted to use playful titles like Director of First Impressions (receptionist), or Sales Ninja (sales rep).
Don’t do it.
As Piotr Sosnowski, Head of HR and Co-Founder at Zety, puts it,
If you don’t go with a clear, keyword-searchable job title, your ad might look spammy. Also, it won’t show up in search, and that will lightsaber your application rate.
Want a pro-tip to pick the most searchable title?
Use Google’s Keyword Planning tool and punch in title variations (separated by a comma) to check the search volume for each.
Then, stick to the one with the highest volume to reach more candidates.
Pen a Laser-Sharp Summary
Want to see the wrong way to start a job ad?
We’re a fast-growing company that keeps a constant focus on the future and promise to create and deliver thoughtfully designed products. We support a cross-departmental atmosphere where employees are encouraged to utilize all of their skills to their full potential…
Why is it bad? It’s fluffy and doesn’t give candidates specifics about the job. So, here’s how to start a job ad the right way.
- Who you are
- Who you’re looking for
- How the job helps the company
Need a real-life example?
We’re a US-based IT company seeking Content Marketing Specialist who thrives on teamwork and accountability to help us reach new European markets. If you aren’t OK with hard startup culture, this place might not be a good place for you.
List Essential Job Duties
This one might seem like a no-brainer.
But—there are several rules you want to stick to:
- Use bullet points to make the ad scannable.
- Don’t list every single duty you can think of. Instead, pick the top four-five to help the candidate better understand the job.
- Be ultra-specific with duties and don’t speak in general terms.
- Consider adding percentages at the end of each duty. It’ll help with clarity and let candidates understand the split between the job’s core functions.
- Use powerful verbs to describe responsibilities. Start each bullet point with a strong verb (g., designing, creating, publishing, crafting.)
Add Skills and Requirements
If you drop every skill and requirement into the job ad, you’ll lose solid hires.
Why? The chart below explains:
In fact, men apply for a job when they meet 60 percent of the qualifications, and women apply only if they meet 100 percent of them (based on Hewlett Packard internal report.)
Skip the laundry list and list only the key requirements. Everything else can go under Nice-to-haves.
Include a Salary Range
Here’s the thing:
Most job postings don’t list salary. Some companies think it’s not necessary, and that it gives them more negotiating power.
Listing a job salary helps pre-filter candidates that don’t work in your pay range. And it also helps in attracting more candidates too.
Remember, salary is the driving force behind the candidate’s decision to join a company (based on a Glassdoor study.)
Include a Location
This one is simple: always push your location in the job ad.
It’ll help candidates understand where your office is located and how long the commute will take.
The best way to think about your job ad is as an extension of a company’s advertising.
At the end of the day, the best candidates already have a job. But—it doesn’t mean they don’t keep an eye out for new opportunities.
In fact, a jaw-dropping 51 percent of people who have jobs watch for openings.
To get golden-rip candidates to apply, you need to stand out.
Best way to do it?
Spotlight benefits. Got great role flexibility, dog-friendly environment, etc.? Show it with bullet points.
Here comes another interesting stat:
As many as 50 percent of candidates use smartphones to apply for jobs. It means they don’t have the time to scroll for days through a never-ending posting.
You need to make your job ad look good on a smartphone. Here’s how:
- Aim for the overall word count of 381 words (ideal job ad length.)
- Use headings, bold, or italics to break up different parts of job ads. Listings that that bold the important bits get twice as many applications (based on a Monster study.)
- If possible, optimize listings for one-click apply.
So—What Do You Think?
There you have it.
An ultimate job ad checklist that will 10x your chances of attracting the cream of the crop.
What’s your advice for penning a sold job ad? Did you ever come across any weird postings that made you cringe?
Let me know in the comments. I’d love to chat!
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