How to Write an Effective Job Ad

An effective job ad is key to attracting the best candidates for your available position. Hiring is an exciting process; there’s so much potential that comes with a new employee. However, going through hundreds of applications looking for the right people can get tedious. An effective job ad should help make the process easier, and should entice the best talent on the market. Because job ads are so important, it’s crucial that you have a plan in place for what the ad will say, and what requirements it will ask for. When drawing up that plan, consult this list of ways to write an effective job ad, and you’ll be just fine!

Be Specific

Be detailed and explicit when describing the role. Use language that clearly states what the job expectations are, and what qualifications you’re looking for from prospective candidates. The job ad should refer to specific tasks that will be performed in the position, databases and computer programs that will be used on a regular basis, and any other information that could let someone know whether the position would be right for them.

The more information you give in your job ad, the easier prospective candidates are able to determine whether they should apply. Ideally, you want the experience of reading through your job ad to be one where job hunters can easily self-reject if necessary.

Be Clear on the Essentials

It’s important to use clear language when relaying what the necessary and desirable qualifications are. If you don’t use firm language when it comes to what skills are a prerequisite, then you’ll get a lot more applications from people who don’t actually meet the requirements for the job. Be firm; differentiate between the skills that prospective candidates are required to have and those that would simply be preferred.

Highlight the Challenges

While you definitely want prospective candidates to get a good idea of the benefits of working for your company as they’ll be more likely to apply, you want to restrict the number of incentives you list to two or three. Putting too much emphasis on the incentives of applying can actually have an unintended consequence. Job hunters will be compelled to apply for the position not because they are qualified, but because the job sounds so great. You can easily become inundated with applications from people who don’t fit the qualifications, giving yourself unnecessary extra work.

It’s important to strive for quality, not quantity, when it comes to creating a job ad. Highlighting the ways in which a position will challenge prospective candidates is a great way to get better quality applications. Job hunters who are driven and ambitious will be drawn by the prospect of a workplace that will challenge them and push them to grow, and these are exactly the kinds of people you want to apply.

Have a Compelling Short Description

If the prospective candidate is job hunting on a job search engine, it’s likely that he or she will be seeing hundreds of job postings. Statistics show that one way candidates deal with the inundation of job ads is by only reading the short description. This way, they can quickly determine if the job ad is of interest without having to go through each individual posting.

This means that it’s crucial that you have a compelling short description. It should give a clear idea of what the job entails, while also leaving the job seeker with questions and an interest that will cause them to click on through to the full job posting.

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Shannon Telepanich

Shannon Telepanich

Shannon is a Sr. Engineering Recruiter at the Ian Martin Group; a recruiter who is as much at home qualifying candidates and communicating with clients as building a search strategy. She has an in-depth understanding of search tools, skill requirements and ability to leverage professional networks to allow swift design and ability to impact strategic talent sourcing strategies that dive deep into industry sectors to identify game changers. When Shannon isn’t recruiting she is busy with two tenacious kidos and a big shaggy dog; A lover of all things nature minus the bugs.
Shannon Telepanich