Constructing an Effective Online Job Advertisement

Michele Warg
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While posting job openings online has become an integral part of most recruitment advertising campaigns, few companies take the steps to maximize the return on their investment. Taking the initiative to compose an effective job advertisement will not only differentiate your company and draw a qualified pool of active candidates, but a dynamite ad can also persuade passive candidates – skilled workers who are already employed, but open to a great opportunity – to click the “Apply” button as well. Devote a sufficient amount of time to composing your job advertisement. Too often companies allot substantial resources to the selection of resources and candidate evaluation, but when it comes to writing an effective job ad, many recruiters are given little guidance and even less time. Companies must understand that more effective job advertisements attract more qualified candidate pools, save time, and increase return on investment. Communicate a mutually beneficial message. To reach out to the most qualified active and passive candidates, your job ad should include more than just requirements and compensation. Tell job seekers about the opportunity, not just the position available. Cite key points of differentiation, like potential for individual growth within the organization, involvement in important projects, unique management style, flexible hours, etc. Workplace dynamic and corporate culture are important factors for candidates, so give them an idea of the type of company to which they are applying. Employ strategic use of formatting. Be specific but concise and utilize a clear format. On the Internet, job seekers are presented with almost as many job ads as recruiters are resumes. Clearly identify both absolute and preferred requirements for the position and be sure to distinguish between the two. If your job ad is easy to skim and requirements are clearly stated, you’ll avoid resume overload while gathering a great pool of candidates. Use effective job titles. On most job boards, the title of your job ad is one of the few pieces of information displayed on the initial search results page. If you post an unclear or unattractive job title, it won’t matter what the rest of your job ad states because fewer candidates will click through to view the body of your posting. Use popularly accepted job titles that are easy to search for by keyword; just be sure that the title you choose clearly exemplifies the actual nature of the position. Avoid exaggerated verbiage. While the use of marketing-oriented language in a job ad is appropriate, do not go overboard. The best and brightest candidates can easily detect exaggerated language in job postings and excessive use of buzz words or overrepresentation of the opportunity may discourage them from applying. Include keywords and phrases. Keywords determine in which candidate searches your job posting will appear, and they are also the basis of search alerts. Search alerts are set up by candidates who perform keyword job searches and then request to be alerted by email whenever new positions identified by those keywords are posted. Candidates’ alerts stay active long after they have finished proactively searching, which makes alerts one of the best ways to reach passive candidates. Identify keywords that all potential candidates would use to search for your position, not just words you use to describe it internally. Include similar job titles, responsibilities and skills needed for the position. Go beyond the typical job advertisement. Investing the time to construct an effective job ad will increase the number of qualified candidates – both active and passive - who apply to a job posting, while reducing the number of unqualified candidate submissions. Incorporate these tips into your recruitment advertising efforts and watch your job ad perform beyond your expectations.

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