9 Simple Steps to Writing a Compelling Job Advertisement

By Taylor Berman - Nov. 14, 2022
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A job advertisement is just like writing any other advertisement. Most of the time your audience is seeing your company for the first time, so writing a compelling advertisement is crucial in quickly filling the vacancy in your company.

Your advertisement should tell the reader about your company, what your product is, and what makes you different from the competition. To help you answer all of that for the reader, we have put together nine simple steps to writing a compelling job advertisement, as well as some tips to help get you started.

Key Takeaways:

  • When describing your company, included your company values and what moves you as a company to help relate to the reader more.

  • Make sure you are specific about the key skills, core competencies, and the most relevant qualifications to help eliminate anyone not suitable for the role.

  • Avoid using any company terminology to avoid confusing the reader.

9 Simple Steps To Writing A Compelling Job Advertisement

How To Write a Compelling Job Advertisement

  1. Create a catchy job title. This will be the first impression that someone will have of your company. You want to make the job title catchy but not too specific so that way it is search friendly. The job title has to be very clear and should in no way deceive or mislead the reader.

  2. Be specific about the role. This will allow candidates to compare what is required with their own skills and experience and discourage those not qualified from applying. Select the key skills, core competencies and most relevant performance or success measures and include them. This is where you will eliminate those applicants who are not actually suitable for the role.

    You should also try to incorporate three bullet points containing:

    • Benefits or incentives associated with the job

    • Salary or salary range

    • The ability to work from home

    • Proximity to public transportation

    You might even include something along the lines of “modern office; stunning harbor views or team lunch provided every Friday”.

    You also need to clearly articulate whether there are any essential qualifications, desirable skills, or any other “nice to haves” in terms of previous experience required in the role.

  3. Tell them about your company. Make sure you describe your company, but don’t give out a lot of details. You should include your values and what moves you as a company. After reading the job description, the candidate should be left with an interesting picture of your company and who is working there.

    You want to add just enough detail that won’t get the reader to get excited about the company and then not have any connection to the actual role. Remember it’s a job ad. Above all you want someone who wants to do the job in question. The fact that it’s for your company is an added bonus.

  4. Talk to the Reader. Pay attention to the tone of voice that you are using and the style. The best way to make your advertisement stand out is to write it like no one else. One way to do that is to talk to the reader. Use the word “you.” When you are writing your advertisement, avoid phrases like:

    • The successful candidate

    • The ideal applicant

    Phrases like that will make even the most suitable candidate question whether they’re right for the role. Rather say something along the lines of:

    • In this exciting role you will be working with

    • Coming from a strong sales background, you will be expected to …

  5. Look at the competition. Look at the job advertisements that your competition are putting out. This will help you figure out what you are doing right or wrong in your own. You will be able to pick out any keywords that they are using to help boost your own ads.

  6. Use subheadings. There will be a lot of paragraphs that contain the content, but that can be hard to read when you are looking for a specific piece of information. Using subheadings helps break the paragraphs up making it easier for the reader. Another great thing to use is bullet points. For example, put all of the job responsibilities in bullets to help break it up. This will help the applicant refer back to the job listing and find the information quickly.

  7. Include specific instructions. This a way to reduce your workload, especially if you are looking for detail-oriented candidates. Including specific instructions in the middle of the ad such as including a specific word or phrase in the email subject line.

    It may seem like you are being sneaky, but doing it will filter out those who read the entire advertisement carefully and those who just applied.

  8. Nail the short description, When it comes to online job ads in particular, you should be aware that on average four times as many people read the short description than actually click through to the ad itself. So put some effort into what you write … even if you only have 140 characters in which to say it.

    After all you don’t just want people reading the snapshot. You actually want people to read your entire advertisement … and of course you then want the best candidates to press “Apply Now”.

  9. Choose the right job posting site. When posting your jobs, try to post to different job posting sites to help your advertisement get the most traction. Do some research and figure out which platform are the most popular among your target audience. Also consider using social media websites such as Twitter and Facebook to help you get you reach the most people.

Tips For Writing a Job Advertisement

  • Don’t exaggerate. When a job sounds too good to be true, it generally is and will only attract applicants who are gullible, unrealistic and non-performers. If you are looking to fill an Office Assistant or Accounts Clerk role, you probably shouldn’t have the heading “Job of a Lifetime”. Sometimes it’s best just to keep it simple. “Office Manager – 3 days/week. Ideal for a working Mom”.

  • Provide a phone number for enquiries. This can help you eliminate unsuitable candidates early in the process. Trust me … you can learn a lot from a prospective candidate over the phone.

  • Offer challenges, not rewards. This is more likely to attract someone with drive and ambition, rather than someone just looking for an easy ride.

  • Ask for a cover letter. This can provide useful clues as to character, education level, and communication style and allow you to filter out unsuitable candidates prior to interview.

  • Talk to current employees. Talking to current employees will help you figure out what to write for your advertisement. Just listing the technical details won’t be appealing to many people. Have your current employees what if feels like to work there and go off of that. This will help your advertisement become more personal and speak to potential candidates more.

  • Avoid using company terminology. Use simple language and avoid any terms or phrases that are specific to the company. Candidates won’t understand what it means, making them more likely to click away from your ad.

Taylor is a freelance writer from Pennsylvania. Taylor got into writing because she enjoys writing articles that help people and loves creating stories that inspire. She earned a bachelor's degree in journalism and public relations with an interest in communications media from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Author

Taylor Berman

Taylor is a freelance writer from Pennsylvania. Taylor got into writing because she enjoys writing articles that help people and loves creating stories that inspire. She earned a bachelor's degree in journalism and public relations with an interest in communications media from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

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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.