A job advertisement is an important communication tool for your business. With the growing difficulty of finding skilled and suitable talent, the job offer can be key in attracting qualified candidates.
Yet, many companies are careless when writing their job offers, using incomprehensible jargon or not thinking about keywords. There are many practices that will take you away from your ideal candidate - so do not underestimate the message your job offer sends about the company, because your employer’s brand is at stake. When well-written, an offer increases the company’s attractiveness in the eyes of the candidate, and can help you find a rare bird.
To succeed in writing effective and valuable job offers, you’re given Do's and Don’ts that are essential to every part of the ad. And additionally, at the end, you will find a condensed to-do list for crafting a successful job offer.
An attractive and relevant ad title
- Use a clear and simple job title. The candidate must understand what it’s for from the start.
- Choose a title that the greatest number of candidates will search for, rather than an original title. To find a community manager, simply label your ad "Community manager." You'll have plenty of time to get creative in the body of the ad, and add as many details as you want. This is an important aspect of your ad’s online visibility (SEO). Indeed, by using the right keywords in the ad title, your ad will come up more in search engines.
- Do not use an original title for 'ninja dev' or 'finance guru' ads. On the SEO side of things, when candidates type keywords, they will not find you. Here are some examples of difficult offers for candidates to search for and find by keywords:
A description of the rewarding company
- Include information on the line of business, the company size, and the board, so the candidate can contextualize and determine the company culture. He can then visualize himself in the company’s organizational structure.
- You must value the company to work its benefits into the ad. It’s important to show it an an attractive light. Rather than flatly describing its activities, don’t hesitate to write about its core values, the work environment, and the company’s state of mind to add some flavor and stand out from other companies.
- Don’t use vocabulary that may be misunderstood or confusing to an outsider. It’s common to see job offers written in technical terms or company-specific jargon.
Detailed and precise goals
- Describe precisely the projects and daily tasks that the candidate will be carrying out. The more detailed they are, the better the candidate can visualize themselves there.
- You can also help her situate herself by detailing her place in the organizational chart. This will let her know which department she will answer to and what level she will be.
- Do not hesitate to use the 2nd person "you" to directly involve her and keep her engaged.
- Jargon and obscure acronyms are once again out of place here. Rework your sentences to align with the goals as much as possible, so they’re clear and understandable. No, the candidate will not understand what you’re trying to tell him by "managing SNB products every morning asap using the 2nd dev."
A candidate profile that combines skills and qualities
- In one sentence, describe the education level expected, degree required, and years of experience needed. If you’re open to profiles that do not exactly check all these boxes, say so. You may get some good surprises.
- Then, outline the prerequisites for the position, expected skills, and desired attributes. The candidate must not get lost in too many skill requirements, and keep himself from applying if he thinks one of the skills is mandatory when you only see it as desirable.
- Don’t forget the human qualities that go along with the job, and the work environment on offer.
- Don’t include a long list of required skills, as it will close the door to a large number of candidates. Though you are looking for the rare pearl, you must go for the basics. When a candidate comes across an ad looking for a rare bird, he’ll easily get discouraged.
- Don’t copy the description of the candidate profile from a description of whoever occupied the position before. Indeed, by over-valuing criteria that align with the person leaving, you risk losing out on diverse skillsets that could enrich your team. Stand firmly by the job description and think objectively about what is or isn’t necessary.
God is in the detail
If you followed these tips, you’ve done most of the writing for your attractive and optimized job offer. However, there are still some details that should not be overlooked.
- Clearly identify the type of contract, even if you have to mention it several times, or insert it in the title of the advertisement: fixed-term, permanent, internship, work placement, civil service, etc. It seems basic but many job offers are still confusing about the duration and terms of the work.
- Including compensation is not mandatory, but it is very attractive for most candidates and offers that indicate a salary receive more applications. If you don’t want to state a specific amount, you can specify a range. On the other hand, if the compensation is not very attractive, it’s better not to include it.
- Clearly explain the application process: how and when to apply, the deadline, contact details, CV format if necessary, etc.
- You can also detail the recruitment process. Candidates are interested in whether there will be more than one interview, a trial period, or a meeting with the director.
- There are rules to adhere to when writing a job offer: non-disclosure agreements, legal notices, prohibited activites, etc.
Finally, don’t hesitate to rework your ad in time. Indeed, if you notice flaws or that candidates come back to you with misunderstandings, do not hesitate to change it - it’s the best way to improve.
Your to-do list for writing a perfect offer
Here is a summary of 6 key aspects we consider essential for a successful ad:
- Be clear and concise
- Give as many details possible
- Make the company and job attractive
- Get the reader involved (“you”)
- Look for the rare bird
- Change, update, polish
You now have all the tools to write a powerful and attractive job offer.
Next step is the recruitment process!