Tips for Writing Better Job Ads

By Veronica Scrimshaw

help-wantedDuring our recent Global Conference, our friends at Monster (an NPAworldwide Alliance Partner) were on hand to discuss best practices in the world of job adverts. Here are some of their top tips and best practices for writing better job ads:

Monster recommends starting with an outline that breaks your job down into the following components: title, marketing summary, responsibilities, requirements, and benefits. Your job ad needs to be written in such a way that it is easily findable by the search engines (and returned to potential job seekers in search results) AND that job seekers will actually click and apply.

Job Title

  • Make sure this is both SEO-friendly and also uses words that job seekers would use
  • Skip internal titles and abbreviations, for example use “Receptionist,” not “Director of First Impressions”
  • Do NOT include job location or salary information in the job title

Marketing Summary (your “pitch”)

  • Get creative with this section of the job ad, with a focus on “sizzle”
  • Do not overpromise or exaggerate
  • Talk to the job seeker, using “you” and “your”

Responsibilities

  • Include only the main responsibilities of what the candidate will DO
  • Make it personal; describe how your job is different from other similar jobs
  • Avoid the use of internal jargon and other corporate speak; use standard language
  • Include relevant rich keywords that will help boost SEO

Requirements

  • These are the qualities/traits/skills/experience a candidate MUST possess in order to be hired
  • Write EXACTLY what you want, for example “fluent in Spanish” as opposed to “must be bilingual”
  • Include a separate section for “preferred qualifications” – these are the “nice-to-haves” that identify superstar candidates

Benefits

  • Focus on writing FOR the job seeker – what’s in it for THEM
  • Describe why a candidate would want to work for your client, including awards, accolades, or other traits that separate your client from their competition
  • Include non-traditional benefits, if applicable, such as casual Fridays, ability to work from home, etc.

Call-to-Action

  • End your job ad with a strong and CLEAR call-to-action
  • Consider a button that says Apply, Apply Now, Submit Your Resume or similar

A couple of last tips for writing better job ads: Before you post, search for similar jobs to see how easy they are to find and what kind of language they use. Double-check your ad for the use of jargon, and read it aloud to find any last typos. After you post, search for your job and review it. Apply to your job from both a mobile device as well as a desktop system to make sure the process works well. Do you have a favorite tip for writing job ads? Or a tool or service you can recommend? Please share in the comments!

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1 Comments

  1. Achyut Menon, 29-March-2017:

    Thanks Veronica. I must say I had some blind spots..location, no SEO friendly keywords, usually forget benefits !!

    Love the part of the pre-posting & the candidate experience post posting.

    Great nugggets. Keep em coming :)!

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