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Writing Better Job Ads

Writing your ads specifically for an online audience brings dividends. Not only do well written job ads attract a greater number of applicants, but often they also attract a more qualified applicant. Why? Because jobseekers find ads that are plainly written and formatted easier to read and are more likely to absorb key facts about the role. Candidates are therefore more likely to disqualify themselves if they are unsuitable.

So how do you write a job to appeal to an online audience? Use the techniques outlined below to enhance your results.

Search results headline and summary teaser

This is the first thing a jobseeker sees. After identifying what sort of job they are looking for, the candidate is presented with a list of results that consists of a short description of each role.

Here are the top five pieces of information jobseekers look for on a search results page:

  1. Salary. Use the Salary fields to include salary on the search results page, jobseekers LOVE to know whether they are in the ballpark!
  2. Location. Mention the suburb or town.
  3. Work environment. Busy office? Working in a team or an autonomous role?
  4. Employer profile. Blue chip company or small family business? The name of the company is even better.
  5. Your requirements. If there are ‘must have’ skills, you may wish to include them here.

For example, rather than:

Administrator
Melbourne – Mikon Recruitment

Administrator wanted for busy office. Fantastic opportunity!!!!!!! $$$$$$$

Try:

Administration Assistant
Melbourne – Mikon Recruitment – $38,000

New dynamic business, boutique CBD office. Immediate start, loads of perks. Excel skills a must.

Job Title

This is the information that appears at the top of your job ad template. An official title is often the best approach here. This won’t be appropriate in every situation, but according to research, it is what the jobseeker expects to find.

Bullet Points

People reading information on a screen tend to scan the material, rather than reading it in-depth as they might a book.

Your goal should be to present the things most important to you and most appealing to the candidate first.

  • Bullet points allow key points to be easily scanned.
  • You can get a lot of information across.
  • You can do it in a relatively small space.
Ad Details

Content

If your job ad is competing with a number of similar positions, consider what makes your role more attractive. A fantastic location or unusual perks of the job, supportive work life balance policies or flexible work hours can be effective selling points.

Details about the business are one of the more requested pieces of information to include near the top of your ad details. Executive jobseekers particularly repeatedly request more information about this topic.

Your key requirements of the role are definitely important to include. Jobseekers can quickly disqualify themselves from the role this way, meaning less time-wasting resumes will find their way to you!

Formatting

The way you present the ad details will have a big impact on the sort of response you receive.

Consider using subheadings to break up your ad details into more easily digestible pieces. Bolded sub-headings make it easy for a jobseeker to scan through the details to what they consider most relevant.

Another trick is to ensure you don’t have any large paragraphs of information. Keep your paragraphs to two or three sentences at the most.

Go with the flow

Have a logical order when you present your information. If you lead logically from one point to the next, the jobseeker is more likely to read all the information provided. Start with the most important information, the key selling points for the role, and your absolute requirements. Follow with more information about these key points, including any additional information you feel may be relevant.

Use the formatting recommendations in this document to ensure your ad details are easy to read. You may even wish to pass your job ad to a colleague to read to ensure you have taken the right approach.

Keywords

Ensure you include keywords in the details of your ad. This means including the names of software and qualifications, the full name of the business, and if appropriate, variations of the name for the position. For example: content writer, technical writer, communications are all words that can be associated with a writing position.

Jobseekers increasingly use the keyword field when searching for jobs because they return a smaller but more relevant list of results.

Other considerations

Start date, requirements such as visa obligations, or your need to run a police check may be important pieces of information but should be left toward the bottom of the page. These details may be relevant, but are less likely to be deciding factors for the candidate on whether they should apply for the job.

View the full range of SEEK Classifications, Sub-Classifications & Specialisations to decide the most appropriate placement of your job ad. It’s important to select the most appropriate categories for your job ad to reach the most relevant jobseekers.

SEEK’s jobseeker survey consistently highlights salary as one of the most requested information in a job ad. Why? It helps jobseekers to quickly determine whether they need to read through the ad details, or to move onto the next role. Jobseekers like to compare their current salary to those displayed in job ads and that can be a powerful incentive!

When listing a salary range make sure you don’t cast too wide a net. If possible keep the range tight, $25,000 to $32,000 rather than $25,000 to $50,000.

Contact details

Finally, don’t forget to include your contact details and a phone number and contact name if possible. Common jobseeker behaviour is to print out an ad to refer to later. If you don’t have your number on the job ad, it may be harder for them to find you when they need to.