4 Tips to More Effective Job Ads

Sep 12, 2014

infojobs toilet paper dispenser adThe writing process for a job advertisement should be the same as that of any other advertisement: Begin with identifying your customer.

Thinking of your role as a product will enable you to structure your job advertisement in a manner that best appeals to the target customer of that product, tailoring your language and the format to suit them.

Your job advertisement should meet four basic criteria:

  • Attract the attention of the relevant job seeker;
  • Spark the interest of your ideal candidate;
  • Inspire that person to pursue the job opportunity;
  • Provide the necessary information for the job seeker to get in touch.

The key to getting these four steps right lies in the language you use. With the right words your ideal candidate will be able to find your job advertisement online and there will be no ambiguity over what the role is or what it entails. It is vital that the responsibilities of the job are made clear in the description, particularly if they have not been made so within the job title.

If you have permission to do so, you may consider using the name of the client employer in your ad to generate interest. Many large companies with household names deem it detrimental to the hiring process to mention the brand in a job post, while others recognize that their brand name can attract high caliber candidates.

Be Creative to Stand Out

It takes a lot to capture the attention of a busy job seeker, let alone get them interested in the opportunity you have to offer. If you have the budget to step away from the job board then do so!

Put your creative hat on and draw inspiration from what you know about the role. You have already identified the candidate you’re hoping to recruit so as well as thinking about the social platforms they will use and when, consider great and unique ways to get your advertisement noticed in the big wide world.

Here are some top tips to get you started on your creative recruitment campaign:

1. The Problem Solver

Are you looking for someone with great mathematic skills and a curious mind? Create your job ad around a candidate’s drive to find a solution while testing their suitability for the job with a formula. For example, Google created the following billboard – “First 10-digit prime found in consecutive digits of”

While this may not have had the success rate the search engine hoped for when finding high caliber candidates for the company, it certainly grabbed the attention of all the right people.

2. Must Have An Eye For Detail

When the majority of jobs require the applicant have a reasonably good eye for detail – and all candidates include attention to detail as one of their skills – how do you determine who is telling the truth?

You create a job advertisement littered with errors.

Applicants with a talent for spotting grammatical errors, spelling mistakes and who also appreciate a cleverly thought out ad will be weeded out before you have even seen a CV.

Do You Love Working With People?

People who love working with people tend to be very social – so what’s the best way to get their attention? Post an ad in a bar, restaurant or shopping center and don’t be afraid to make it funny. The chances are that if you are looking for a candidate with excellent people skills you want them to have a great sense of humor and appreciate a little informality.

This gives you the freedom to be completely creative about what you say in your job ad and where you place it. For example, the U.S. recruitment agency used a toilet roll dispenser to get the attention of potential candidates. The dispenser was cleverly emblazoned with the slogan “Take your Payroll HERE – Looking for a better job?” followed by the company’s web address.

Sticking With Tradition

If your ideal candidate is more the suited and booted type, there are plenty more alternative methods of sparking their interest with an effective job advertisement.


Once you have settled upon the most effective structure for your advertisement, consider the queries your ideal candidate will use when searching online. If the role you are recruiting for requires a solicitor with at least two years PQE and the firm is based in the South East, your target candidate is likely to be using the following search queries in search engines:

  • Solicitor jobs south east
  • Solicitor jobs 2 year PQE
  • In house lawyer jobs
  • In house solicitor
  • Job vacancies in south east
  • Legal job finder south east

Keywords allow you to tailor your content to meet the specifications of the job role while increasing the likelihood of your perfect candidate coming across your job advertisement.

Presenting Consumable Information

Job seekers rarely use print media anymore, and will often use their commute, lunch times and evenings to search for suitable job opportunities as a matter of convenience. This means that they are using smartphones, tablets and laptops, and scanning through reels of information quickly to find what stands out and appeals to them most.

Separating your content out with bullet points and sub-headings will engage readers. You are presenting bite size pieces of information, from which your candidate can take what they need at first glance. If your advertisement has been effective they will read further and respond.

Job seekers are less likely to absorb key facts from large paragraphs of content, while bullet points or short, one sentence paragraphs give them the opportunity to take what they need in a matter of seconds. You may also consider beginning each point with a verb – this implies to the candidate that you are getting straight to the point about each aspect of the job description.