Your company’s future success hinges on your ability to attract top-notch employees today. With a clear, enticing job advertisement, your open positions will be more appealing to the skilled, hard-working candidates that you are seeking. Crafting a stellar job advertisement requires you to do more than list a compensation range and a summary of job duties. Below are seven easy steps to writing the perfect job description for an advertisement.
1) Start with a captivating job title
“Want an eye-catching job description? Start with a strong title. An engaging job title (whether it’s silly, or serious) will keep candidates curious about learning more about your opportunity, while also showing off who you are as an organization.”
You only have one chance to make a captivating first impression with a job description. An eye-catching title that effectively captures the essence of the position is your key to attracting prospective employees who are scanning hundreds of job descriptions. For instance, the company Chewy uses the title “Time Ninja” to describe an experienced Time/Attendance Human Resources Coordinator who can successfully navigate their payroll software system. Here are a few tips to help craft an effective job title:
- Choose a title that makes it easy to determine the person’s role at the company
- Employ creativity when selecting a title but also think long-term
- Select a title that translates well to other workplaces
- Josh Linker, author and Forbes contributor, offers a great list of creative job titles to provide inspiration
2) Avoid the dreaded wall of text
Today’s job seekers have short attention spans. Just as recruiters spend an average of six seconds scanning a resume, today’s job seekers often fail to read an entire description before moving to the next description or haphazardly submitting a resume. Accordingly, one of the biggest mistakes you can make is to use one long run-on sentence after another to describe a position. Here are a few tips to help you craft a job description that is scannable:
- Use short, bold headers to draw attention to key points
- Use bullet points to organize job duties
- Do not forget to include a compelling call to action
3) Emphasize what the job offers rather than what the job requires
“(A) stack of mediocre resumes doesn’t reflect a dearth in available talent, necessarily, It may simply be the result of the language used in the advertisement for the opening. Ads have a better chance of drawing excellent candidates when they emphasize what the job offers, rather than what it requires, according to the results of a new psychological study.”
– Association for Psychological Science
The overall tone of your job advertisement can make a big difference in the quality and quantity of applicants. Highlighting the ways that a job will benefit prospective employees is one of the best ways to set a positive tone for your ad. As you prepare your description, be sure to emphasize skill development and career advancement opportunities.
4) Refrain from using too much industry jargon
While it is desirable to include some industry identifiers in a job description, it is important to avoid using language that is only known by insiders with years of industry experience. Industries introduce new jargon and acronyms all the time, making it challenging for job seekers to fully understand key points. If you decide to include jargon in your job advert, make sure you reference the context so job seekers will not get lost when reading your description. By refraining from overusing industry jargon, you will attract a wider pool of qualified applicants for the job you are advertising.
5) Make sure the job description accurately describes the job duties
“The job description should accurately reflect the duties and responsibilities of the position. When well-written, it produces a realistic picture of a job and answers the question, ‘What does the person in this role actually do?’ A job description not only describes the position’s responsibilities, it sets the foundation for recruiting, developing and retaining talent…”
– Wright State University
Creating a job description that reflects the primary job duties is essential to preventing employee confusion and dissatisfaction. Make sure the job description lists the expected work hours and highlights any special skills or certifications needed to fulfill job responsibilities. Avoid the temptation to ignore some of the less glamorous aspects of the job, as candidates deserve an accurate portrayal of day to day job activities.
6) Showcase the benefits of working for your company
Do you offer a sign-on bonus or a stellar retirement plan? Has your company been the recipient of recent industry awards? Or do you offer onsite daycare or a flexible work environment? If your firm offers perks to employees, highlight some of them in the job ads you post. Make a note to showcase any professional development opportunities or tuition reimbursement to show that your company is invested in its employees.
7) Use video and imagery in your ads
“Video-job posting platform Ongig‘s new study shows candidates spend on average 55 seconds viewing a text-only ads, whereas job seekers spend 5 minutes and 23 seconds watching a video advertisement (when they choose to play the ad).”
– Heather R. Huhman, Founder and President of Come Recommended
Using imagery is an effective way to make your job description stand out, especially if you are advertising on LinkedIn or social media platforms. You may also opt to use video to advertise a position and engage job applicants. Both methods provide a visual element that is often a welcome change from the standard black and white descriptions most frequently used.
The Bottom Line
The perfect job description will not write itself. When advertising a position, you must infuse your job description with creativity and engage with job seekers. In order to attract top-notch job candidates, you need to highlight a job’s exciting benefits while providing an accurate summary of the job’s day to day activities. By following the steps outlined above, you can prepare a stellar job ad that will captivate the high-quality candidates you are looking for.