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.

  • Clearly State Your Requirements: Spell out “must haves” and “nice to haves” very clearly. Make it clear that experience in a certain area is a “must have,” but experience using a specific technology is a “nice to have.” It’ll improve your chances of finding the right candidate for the job significantly. For example:
    • Ability to deliver 70-plus projects per month, on time, under budget.
    • Must have five-plus years of healthcare experience.
    • HTML5 coding is a plus.
  • Tell Candidates What You Need to See from Them: Communicate what you want to see in a portfolio or resume. Their choice to ignore it or nail it will give you an idea of how they will perform in the job.
  • Ask Job Seekers to Do More Than Push the Send Button: Request a blurb on why they’re a great fit for this position, or ask a relevant question that they can answer as part of their job submission. You’d be amazed at the additional details you could discover that might not translate in a standard cover letter.
  • Give a Timeframe: Whenever possible, try to let potential employees know when you’re prepared to fill the position. If your candidate is as good as you think, other companies will notice, too. Time is of the essence!
  • Follow Up: There is nothing worse than being ignored after interviewing at a company — especially those that have had several interviews, often with high-level decision makers that indicated they were the top candidate. Please do not give anyone the silent treatment — it’s unprofessional and rude.

So, being very direct about your needs, requirements and expectations of potential candidates in your job ads will greatly improve the quality (versus quantity) of talent. Don’t fall into the trap of writing ads to weed out weaker candidates. Write them to attract the stronger ones. People are the most important asset in any company, and a successful, long-term commitment begins with attracting the right candidate.

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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