Keep it Real | Writing an honest and attractive job advert

Writing an honest and attractive job advert

According to the video game developer Ubisoft Montreal, candidates spend an average of 14 seconds looking at a job description before deciding whether to take the next step and apply. This implies that the first few sentences of your job adverts are critical – because if they are uncompelling and lack inspiration, candidates will very quickly move onto the next best job advert that captures their attention. Therefore, it is vital to focus on the “hooks” – those critical opening lines that influence whether a candidate will continue reading.

Have you ever read a job advertisement that made it sound as though you would practically pay for the privilege of walking through the door and being part of the team? Staff discounts, tuition assistance, team building… “all this can be yours if you apply to this job role!”

However, even though employers would like to produce a glowing ad that makes their business look great and worth joining, sounding overly optimistic and almost too good to be true can have a backlash effect on candidates reviewing the job position. Employee retention is very important, and if you have painted an unrealistic image of what it is like to work at your company, you run the risk of higher staff turnover in the long-term. If you have attracted candidates who are not even remotely qualified for the job role being advertised, then you have not really yielded the results you desired. Therefore, being clear, concise, realistic, and direct when crafting job adverts is key.

Bluntness & Honesty

When creating job adverts, instead of predominantly listing all the great things about the position, do the opposite! This means listing all the difficult and challenging aspects of the job position. Sound absurd? It does! But this is often the best outcome from writing a successful job ad. It is not about the quantity of applications you receive, but the quality.

If you are trying to find someone to fill a manufacturing position for example, you should look at the challenges previous employees faced in this job role and list these obstacles in your job ad, to prevent the wrong applicants from applying. Being clear, concise, and upfront about what the job role demands and what you are looking for, such as for example someone who can stand on their feet for 12-hour shifts and complete repetitive tasks, conveys who and what you want directly. At his point you may be thinking that you will receive a lot less applications, and you are right! However, you will most likely avoid receiving applications from people who are not qualified for the job role you are trying to fill. Applicants are more likely to be informed, qualified and competent for that position, which can benefit the company in the long run due to higher employee retention rates. Becoming more deliberate decision-makers as a company rather than perfect decision-makers is the goal here.

Personalize the job ad

You probably already know the kind of person you want to hire; therefore, it is important to personalize the advert with the image of that person in your mind. For example, using technical language, asking questions, and making statements directly to them and imagining what they would want from a new job, are ways to craft job descriptions. Questions such as “Are you an outgoing, approachable person who likes combining socializing and organization simultaneously?” – this would be an eye-catchy question for an event manager role for example, where the appropriate candidate would feel directly spoken to and trigger an emotional response which could lead them to potentially apply to the job.

In order to help you imagine what the person you are trying to hire looks like, think about the people in your company that have left this job position or are currently doing a similar job, and consider what makes them stand out and be successful in their role. In fact, you could even speak to some of these employees and get their opinions on what they believe encapsulates their role, which could help you write your job advert in a more honest manner.

Use the right tone

Many times, the content in the job advert may be clear and concise, directed at the appropriate potential candidates, but the style of writing utilized is unfitting. Job adverts should be warm and inviting, with an added level of humor (if applicable of course), to make the applicants reading the ad feel welcomed and approached. Since many of the candidates you are trying to attract are probably working in a company already but actively job searching, it is the employer’s responsibility to work even harder to sell the role to prize them away from their current position.

A final point regarding tone is, make sure you address the reader directly and avoid constantly using “we” and “our”, as it can leave the job advert feeling passive and self-absorbed. Using the second person “you” and “your” adds to the personal aspect of the job ad and makes the candidate feel involved already.

Optimize the job title with key words

The job hunt leads millions of people on daily basis to search millions of keywords. The latter highlights the importance of SEO as part of the recruitment process, especially when writing job ads. It is important to make the job role stand out and convey exactly what you are looking for. It is not necessary to be creative for established roles, since this could confuse applicants with regards to what your company is looking for. For example, a content marketing position should not be renamed as an “Audience Crafter”. Instead, keeping it simple and titling the job role exactly to what you are looking for is of key significance. If you are a B2B company for example, with clients globally, you could add a few more adjectives to the job title such a “Global B2B Content Marketing Coordinator” rather than just “Content Marketing Manager”. As well as this, considering the experience level of the ideal candidate you are looking for is vital, since if you are hiring a mid-level content marketer, words such as “strategist”, “specialist” or “manager” would be important to use. Keyword-friendly job postings are key here!

At GRS our experienced team of Consultants can guide you on constructing an attractive job advert that will appeal to your ideal candidate. Contact a member of our team on +357 25342720 or +356 21680800 or email