Writing an awesome job advert is critical when recruiting, but it’s a skill that is often overlooked. With job seekers spending on average 90 seconds before moving onto their next role, what are the changes you could make to your adverts that will help you convert a candidate’s interest into an application?
We have listed some of the changes you could make from quick wins through to Jedi level job adverts.
“Show me the money”
A recent study from Madgex showed that 70% of job seekers are more likely to apply when salary information is included. That is a huge difference in application rates. Try and navigate the internal politics that make you put “competitive” and you will benefit from the uplift in applications.
Digital Overlord = Website Manager
Having a quirky job title might seem fun and could grab a candidates attention, however how many people are searching these weird and wonderful job titles? The answer is not many.
Think about what potential candidates will be searching for, and what keywords they might use. Google Trends is a free tool that you can use to compare the popularity of job titles and phrases, which could give you some insight into what job title you give your role. For example the term “Marketing Executive Jobs” is searched for 240% more often than “Marketing Officer Jobs”!
Formatting an advert isn’t just about making an advert look good – it helps job seekers find the information they need quickly. This becomes even more important when candidates are scrolling through content on their mobile - 84% of 18-35 years olds frequently use mobile to search for jobs.
Don’t forget to use bullet points, bold headings and break up an advert into relevant sections – whether that’s job responsibilities, qualifications/skills required, or how to apply. Make sure adverts are top-loaded, with the most important facts first, to keep them reading on.
Drop the non-essential
Why include a barrier to an application? Only list what is truly essential for a role and think hard about whether a degree is really needed – a 2:1 in History doesn’t make you anymore qualified to be a Marketing Officer than a candidate with an NVQ.
Benefits, benefits, benefits
Why should a job seeker pick your organisation over another? Perhaps you are lucky enough to have agile working (and don’t forget to explain what that is!) or a generous pension – perhaps there is the option of yoga Tuesdays or a thriving softball team. The candidate needs to know what’s great about working at your organisation – sell don’t tell.
SEO – Search Engine Optimisation
Beyond the job title the next big change you can make to improve job search SEO is ensuring you are incorporating relevant keywords into your introductory paragraph, and where possible in the main body text for keyword search optimisation.
Job boards like Indeed and Google For Jobs will scrawl this “metadata” and bring the most relevant job adverts to the top of search engines and job boards.
Longer isn’t always better
Indeed research shows there is an optimal length for job content to attract the best candidates. Roles with descriptions between 700 and 2,000 characters get on average 30% more – what can you shave off (or add on!) your adverts?
What language are you using in your job adverts and how might that be attracting (or not!) candidates of different genders? There is a wealth of evidence about the impact of gendered language on behaviour – you can run your adverts through a “Gender Decoder” and find out more about the science that influences behaviour here.
Alternative methods of application
Remember to give candidates an alternative method of application – your application portal might not be geared for candidates that require a more accessible process. Always give candidates the option to contact you to discuss their requirements in more detail.
Does the job board you use allow you to host video content? They don’t all do but you will find some niche boards, like Charity Digital Jobs, or even larger ones like Guardian Jobs, will allow you to embed a video. You might have a general recruiter video or perhaps some that are a “Day in the life of” – this is content you can reuse and share on these platforms improving candidate engagement.
If you are recruiting roles where you train people you might want some explainer videos – just like these ones from Avenue Trust.