Picture this. It’s Friday morning. Your steaming coffee is sitting on the desk next to you. You fire up MS Word to write a stellar job ad in hopes of attracting the person that will make a massive impact on your bottom line.
Click. Click. Click.
Here comes the bad news:
You only get one shot. According to a study, most job seekers spend 49.7 seconds to review the job post before they click away.
So—you can’t just write a job ad, it has to be perfect. Unless you want your posting to have the same impact as a fly on a windshield.
Don’t stress, though. Today, you'll learn how to pen a robust job advertisement that will help you attract the cream of the crop (guaranteed or I’ll send you a goldfish!)
Not Addressing Candidates’ Expectations
First things first. When you pen a job ad, it needs to (1) reflect your work environment and (2) connect back to your values.
Why? It’ll help vet applicants for cultural fit and improve your chances of having a stronger candidate pool right from the get-go.
Here’s an example:
We're looking for Content Marketing Specialist who thrives on collaboration and accountability to write guest posts for authoritative media outlets. If you don't think you'll be OK with a hardcore startup culture, this place won't be a good fit for you.
Now — make sure you don't sugarcoat things and mention something your organization doesn’t stand for. Ultimately, when the person joins you, the reality will hit them. And if their expectations fall flat, be prepared to see the person walk out of the door as soon as they hit the one-year mark.
The bottom line— be upfront in your job ad about your culture and work environment to pre-screen potential hires on autopilot.
Coming off as Run-Of-The-Mill
The best way to think about your job ad is as an extension of your company’s advertising.
In the end, the best candidates already have a job, but it does mean they aren’t looking for new and exciting opportunities.
That's why a listing that pops with personality goes a long way in talent attraction, especially in the case of startups.
True, as a small business, you might find it challenging to compete with heavy hitters that have an established brand and a product-market fit.
Now— what you can offer instead to win candidates is personalized perks: little to no bureaucracy, ultimate control over projects, great role flexibility, dog-friendly environment, etc.
Sprinkle a few robust selling points like that in your job posting, and you'll start to attract golden rip candidates in a heartbeat.
Using Meaningless Buzzwords
Like most companies, you’re probably looking for a laser-focused candidate with blue-sky thinking and a self-starter mentality. And lots of skills on a resume, of course.
The problem? A staggering 64 percent of people won’t apply for a position if they don’t understand what it’s about.
So what can you do about it? Don’t cram your job posting with buzzwords or fancy words because it might drive away solid applicants.
Instead, use simple, fluff-free language such as:
We’re looking for Sales Manager with excellent communication skills in client-facing situations.
Not Going Mobile Friendly
Here’s some food for thought: A whopping 50 percent of candidates use smartphones to look and apply for jobs.
That means a vast majority of candidates are on the go and they don't have time to scroll for days through long job listings.
So make sure to keep your job ads under 700 words and optimize them for one-click apply buttons, especially if you’re using LinkedIn to hunt for talent.
Tick that box, and you'll to tap into a much larger candidate pool.
Stacking in All Up
Writing a killer job ad can be intimidating. You need to know how to sell yourself to applicants enticing them to apply.
But if you manage to avoid these job advertisement writing pitfalls, you'll stand a much better chance of sourcing your next Elon Musk.
Max Woolf is a career expert at ResumeLab. He’s passionate about helping people land their dream jobs through the expert career industry coverage. In his spare time, Max enjoys biking and traveling to European countries. You can hit him up on LinkedIn.