Attract Top Candidates with a Top Job Ad – Part 2

Now Hiring SignYesterday, we took a look at some things to consider when writing your job ad to ensure you end up with an enticing, informative advertisement.

Today, let’s finish up with a few more ideas that will take your job ad from really good to out of this world:

  •  Use a clear layout with a logical flow. Just like you skim resumes, applicants skim job ads to decide if they want to take the time to read details. Open with a short but enticing introduction that will keep them reading. (Remember, in some online postings, all the reader sees is this intro until they click through to the full ad). Use bullets (dashes or asterisks are best for online postings), keep information of the same type grouped together, use concise sentences.
  • Use descriptive (but accurate) adjectives. If your job ad is dry and uninteresting, why wouldn’t an applicant suspect the job will be, too? Use adjectives when explaining tasks or requirements, but keep it realistic. Would you rather work in a “good environment” or “a casual atmosphere where employees are encouraged to be themselves”?
  • Give clear instructions on how to apply. And make sure you provide what they need to do so, including deadlines. If they need to go to your website to apply, be sure to include a link or the url. If you want them to submit their resume via email, be sure to include an email address (or directions to “reply to this post”) and the types of document formats you will accept (.doc, .pdf, etc.). Limit applicants to 1 or 2 methods – this will save them confusion and save you the necessity of centralizing applications from many sources.
  •  Include a keyword section. Keywords help your ad be found in general internet searches and on job posting sites. Include a paragraph at the bottom of the ad with words relevant to the position and your field. For example, a posting for a legal secretary could include:

Keywords: legal secretary, law firm, assistant, Microsoft Office, legal writing,bankruptcy, typing, LexisNexis, scheduling, office manager

  •  Lay the foundation for future interactions. Maybe the candidate won’t take action and apply now. But a good ad will keep your company in their mind and influence them to try your service or apply for a different position in a year’s time. Again, this is a marketing exercise, and you have the potential to cultivate customers as well as applicants.
  •  Consider social networking opportunities. Maybe this job isn’t right for the candidate reading your ad, but she thinks it will suit her roommate perfectly. Will your headline or intro grab a reader if she shares your ad via LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or email? If possible, can you include share/follow buttons right within your ad? Social network sharing is free word-of-mouth advertising – but people have to want to share what you’re putting out there.

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About Melissa Kolinsky

Having recently relocated from Miami, Melissa serves as Project Manager here at TestUP. She lends her talents to everything from test development to website copy, marketing, PR, and product development.

In the past, she has enjoyed stints as a teacher and tutor, family therapist, freelance editor, legal assistant, standardized test reviewer, waitress, and retail associate (ok, maybe it’s stretching the truth a little to say she “enjoyed” these last two). She holds a B.A. in English and an M.S. in Family Therapy.

In her free time, Melissa can be found volunteering at various events around Boston, spending time with family in Providence, RI, voraciously reading British murder mysteries and turn-of-the-century histories, baking tons of yummy muffins and cookies (if she does say so herself!), and paddling the occasional kayak.

She is the author of: