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5 Creative Ways To Make Your Job Ad Stand Out

By Michael Overell - Apr. 24, 2012
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Making your ad stand out is important in any form of advertising, not just recruitment.

If you don’t get noticed, you’ve wasted your time and money. But if you’re trying to attract talented people who may not be actively seeking work (these are the passive job seekers), then it’s absolutely vital that your ad stands out from the crowd.

Passive job seekers are the ones who are currently employed and therefore not necessarily checking job boards every day. When they do, they’re looking for something better than what they’re doing now. That’s what your job ad has to portray and there are various techniques you can employ to get this message across:

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1. Catchy Job Title

Senior Armageddon Avoidance Engineer

Senior Armageddon Avoidance Engineer

It’s the first thing they see and has to hook them in straight away. Remember that four times as many people read the headline of an ad than continue on to read the body copy. A series of bullet points then need to highlight the strongest benefits of the position in a handful of well-chosen words, which could include the salary, the company culture, working conditions or the challenging nature of the job itself.

Once you’ve caught their attention, you need to hold it by providing a succinct description of the role itself, highlighting any associated benefits.

 2. Innovative Design

Good design will not only grab attention, but can help to sell the job as well. Jobgrams are a classic example. The brainchild of New Zealand based Engage Innovations, Jobgrams are designed to be passed on and shared on Facebook and Twitter. Each Jobgram features an engaging layout with a theme that’s relevant to the position. The details of the job are related like a story in symbols, graphics, short snappy sentences and lots of colour. They are actually fun to read and are more like comic strips than recruitment ads.

 3. Include a Video

Job boards such as Seek allow you to embed a YouTube video in your job advertisement, which is a much more interesting and innovative way to show a ‘day in the life’ of the job and your organisation.

It’s not expensive to do either. All you need is a digital camera and a few willing subjects. Go onto the floor and interview the manager and team members the candidate will be working with. Show what the job entails. What you come up with is only limited by your imagination and the requirements of your organisation in terms of brand portrayal.

When you’re done, you can edit it and then upload it to your YouTube account.

 4. Run a Competition

Best job in the world

An innovative way to attract job candidates is to run a competition of some kind. The most successful of these in Australia in recent years was the ‘Best Job In The World’ competition run by Tourism Queensland.

As well as filling a position for an Island Caretaker, they generated a massive amount of publicity for Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef.

Admittedly, the publicity was the main aim of the recruitment campaign, but the novel form the job search took attracted 34,000 applicants from all over the world.

Recruitment competitions that were publicity stunts, but also about finding potential new employees include Sugar Magazine’s search for a team of young talent to produce their next issue and’s competition to find a new fashion advisor, who was duly appointed to the team on a salary of $50k.

5. Share on Social Media

More and more job boards and web sites give you the option of sharing your job on social media such as Facebook and Twitter. Be sure to enable this option when it is available, as it gives you the chance to reach a whole new audience of potential applicants.

Once you’ve got their attention, it’s important to make sure your job ad delivers the goods. Like any good ad, it needs to follow the classic AIDA format (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action).

Make the ad about your target audience, not all about you and your business, and stress the benefits (challenges, opportunities, perks etc). Get them excited about the possibilities.

Then bring it home. Convey a sense of urgency. Let them know that the vacancy won’t last long and they’d better apply now. Give them several ways to apply and make them simple (i.e. email address, phone number, website etc).

Creative job ads will not only attract the right sort of applicants. They will also portray your company as an innovative organisation that applies creativity to everything you do. When you write a creative job ad, you are effectively marketing yourself as well, so put in the effort to write a great one and you’ll reap the benefits on all sorts of levels.


Michael Overell

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Find Your Next Hire Out Of Over 5 Million Candidates

Get connected with quality candidates whose resumes on Zippia best fit your job description.

Topics: Candidates, Hiring Talent, Recruitment