3 Tips for Writing Winning Job Ads to Attract the Candidates You Want

Feeling frustrated with HR because they’re providing inadequate candidates to fill the open positions within your marketing team? Sparking the interest of the best and brightest job candidates to help your company succeed requires the right techniques. Remember, first impressions are crucial, and the first time potential employees “meet” you and your company is through your job ads.

Consider what the job position is and what your goals are before deciding which combination of Google, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest will help you achieve your goals. And believe it or not, some businesses are also using traditional print ads.

If you opt to run a print ad, make sure it aligns with the position. Take a look at this print job ad from Twitter … yes, Twitter. It seems odd that they are advertising in print and asking to apply by mail for a position on their Global Mobility team. What do you think?

Twitter uses print ads to recruit a "Creative Specialist" for its Global Mobility Team.
Twitter uses print ads to recruit a “Creative Specialist” for its Global Mobility Team.

3. Think About the Big Picture When Creating a Detailed Job Description

This is your initial opportunity to open the door for that perfect job candidate, so make it count. Everything is in the details, so develop a job description that clearly outlines the key responsibilities and outputs of the position. Then, define the behavioral characteristics of the person you feel is your ideal candidate. Have someone who truly understands this position work with HR to write it. Creating a job ad to “fill head count” will get you zero results.

  • Use a Searchable Title: Now isn’t the time to be clever and vague. If it’s not common enough, common job seekers won’t find it! Use a job title that is searchable and relevant to a broad audience, and be sure that it clearly describes the position. Be sure to include the stage of the career (junior vs. senior). Smart candidates will certainly incorporate some of these key words that you’ve advertised into their cover letter and resume
  • Sell the Role: Shout it from the rooftops — what’s so great about this job? Don’t expect your potential perfect employee to hunt for reasons to work for you. Tell them. Will they be working with interesting clients? Who? Spell it out for them. Emphasize what this person will be doing and what he or she could become if successful. You’ll attract the best people this way. Make sure any promotions and job opportunities are advertised, too. When thinking about their career path, your candidate will be more interested in a job that provides job growth.
  • Sell Your Company: Tell potential job recruits why it’s cool to work for your company. Do you offer flexible hours or free breakfast Friday? Tell them what the culture is like. Also consider adding links to your website, news, press releases and any other social media presence. Top performers often research different companies to see if your values are in line with theirs, so be sure this information is easily accessible and clearly stated
  • Use Appropriate Technical Language and Skills: It’s the best way to pinpoint the right candidates for the job. For example, if you are looking for UX Programmer to build and maintain your website, be sure to include specific terminology that encapsulates the technical requirements for that position.
  • Use Targeted, Strong and Narrow Keywords: Smart job searchers know to pick up on these words and incorporate them into their resume and cover letter to show they really want the job. In the world of SEO, be that company that uses the right words to find the right employees.
  • Use the Appropriate Tone: In order to attract the right talent to your job, be sure to use the right style. Don’t be technical if you’re looking for a highly creative individual. For example, here are two different descriptions for Art Director roles, but they appeal to two different types of candidates:
    • Close-knit in-house creative team seeks a Senior Art Director to be the visionary behind cross-channel web/print campaigns for a Fortune 500 brand.
    • Prominent local branding agency is looking for a Senior Art Director to drive web and print creative in a both hands-on and conceptual capacity for a hip children’s clothing client

In addition, job seekers are most interesting in companies that they feel comfortable with, so try not to come off sounding like a total robot. Establishing a more personal tone in your job descriptions will appeal to their “human” side.

Author: Michelle Robin

The toughest marketing challenge of all is marketing you, and the purpose of this blog is to help marketing superstars, like you, conquer that challenge and excel in your career.

Passionate about direct marketing and helping people find jobs, Michelle Robin has translated her extensive B-to-B marketing background into a career focused on her true love: creating powerful career marketing documents that lead to interviews at her clients’ target organizations. As Chief Career Brand Officer at Brand Your Career, she works with executive-level sales and marketing professionals across the U.S., and helps them discover their personal brand and fast track their job search.

An award-winning and dual-certified resume writer (NCRW and PARW), Michelle’s work has been published in the book, Modernize Your Resume: Get Noticed...Get Hired.

Need help discovering your personal brand? Download Michelle’s free Personal Branding Workbook. Just launching your job search? Get 26 action-packed tips to accelerate your marketing job search. You can also connect with Michelle on Twitter, LinkedIn, or email.

2 thoughts on “3 Tips for Writing Winning Job Ads to Attract the Candidates You Want”

  1. For what it’s worth … I ran creative departments for 30 years and found I got the best leads when HR let me run ads written in my voice, not the company voice. They usually began with something like, “Help! I need…” and carried on from there. Takeaway — It was a CD running the ad, not a company. And from the tone, prospects could get a feel for the type of person they would be working for.

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