How to Create a Successful Job Ad to Attract the Perfect CandidateAugust 28, 2017
Put simply: a successful job ad is one that works.
You want to hire someone, but, first, you need to connect with them. That perfect job candidate is out there waiting for YOU to write the perfect job description to lure them in.
You’ll need to woo the candidate with your words, and that’s not always easy. However, I can help. Words are kinda my “thing,” and helping YOU is my passion.
There are seven elements every successful job ad has in common. Make sure your job ad has the following seven components, and you’ll be well on your way to hiring someone special.
1. Write to One Person
Even if you’re looking for a few job candidates for a position, write your job ad like you’re writing to one special person. Think of your ideal candidate and write to him or her.
Keeping one person in mind will help you keep your writing friendly, and like you’re writing to an actual human being (not some vague concept).
If you already have employees, choose one of your favorites in your mind and pretend you’re writing to him or her. What makes that person the perfect employee? How would you convince them to join your team if they weren’t a part of it already? Really think about what makes that person special, and write your job ad to attract someone just like they are!
Write your ad as if you were talking to one of your employees: professional yet friendly. Don’t be afraid to show your humanity. Be very specific about what you’re looking for, but not overly technical.
2. Write a Successful Job Ad
There’s a big difference between a job ad and a job description.
A job description can be a part of of a successful job ad, but it shouldn’t be the entire thing! You’re writing an advertisement — and advertisements sell something.
That’s right: you’re selling the position you’re hiring for, not just describing it. This is another reason why writing to appeal to an actual human being is important. They’re the ones “buying” what you’re putting down.
Include a paragraph about your company and what makes it great. Don’t exaggerate or get overly-braggy, but do write about your company with passion and pride.
Also “sell” the job to the candidate by mentioning any potential “rewards” your company offers. These don’t have to be monetary (I’ll get into that in a moment) — flexible hours, a company insurance plan, or even a high-end espresso machine in the break room are all enticing “rewards.”
3. Mention Payment
Unless you’re hiring an intern or a volunteer, mention what you’re paying.
If you don’t feel comfortable naming an exact payment on the job ad, at least mention something like “payment negotiable” or “pay will be based on experience.” Write something that indicates you plan to pay the candidate upon hiring.
When I go on a job hunt, I won’t even bother to fully read an ad that doesn’t mention payment somewhere in the text. And I’m not alone in this line of thinking.
There are a lot of job ads out there that have been written by people who expect to get something for nothing — and potential candidates have grown wise to this. Job applicants have gotten a lot more selective over the years, and payment is one of their main areas of scrutiny.
If you plan to pay, say so.
4. Use Keywords
Keywords aren’t that tricky. To create a successful job ad that not only lures in the perfect candidate, but also shows up in search engines, simply think: “How would I search for this…?”
Put your keywords in your job ad’s title. Again, it’s all about getting into your potential candidate’s head and thinking up which words they’d use to find you.
Sprinkle your keyword(s) throughout your job ad as well, to boost your search engine viability. Don’t overdo it! If your writing starts to sound robotic or repetitive, tone it down a bit.
Think of keywords like adding spice to soup. If your soup is too spicy, no one will want to eat it! Just a dash will do ya.
5. Don’t Be TOO Picky
Yes, finding the perfect candidate is the goal, but don’t make that goal impossible to obtain.
Not every qualification is a “must have.” Some things are just nice to have. Make sure you know the difference.
Make a list of qualifications that are absolutely necessary, and then a second list of things you’d “like” the ideal candidate to have. Keep these lists separate on your job ad as well. Make sure the applicants know what they must have, and what extra qualifications they could bring to the table to give them a boost.
6. Ask for a Cover Letter
Cover letters tell you way more about a potential candidate than a resume ever could.
A resume is just a list of previous jobs — a cover letter gives the candidate a chance to tell you why they’re perfect for your job offering.
Not every candidate will be a wiz at writing, so read with a forgiving eye. (Unless you’re hiring a writer or editor — then scrutinize the heck out of their writing!). Look for indications that the applicant has a good understanding of your industry, that they understand what the job entails, and that they truly want to be a part of your company. A few typos can be forgiven if they get the rest of those marks right on the money.
7. Create a Screening Process
Add a line in your job ad that states that you will only consider candidates who do a certain something.
A successful job ad almost always has a built-in screening process. For example: “I will only consider candidates that write ‘Gee Golly Jeepers!’ in the subject line of their e-mail to me.”
The perfect candidate is the candidate that pays attention. You can weed out a lot of unqualified and unmotivated individuals simply by adding a screening procedure directly into your job ad.
If the candidate is willing to thoroughly read your job ad and follow your directions, they already have two qualifications every good employee should have: the ability to understand and follow the boss’ instructions.
So now that you know the seven secret ingredients, it’s time for you to get out there and SELL your job position!