How to get the most out of your job advert

Monday, April 19, 2021

Job boards are so popular these days, they’re the easiest way to advertise your job and make it easily accessible to thousands of people. Unfortunately, that means it can be difficult for your advert to stand out and get the applications you’re looking for. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to increase the effectiveness of your job advert and maximise its potential.

Give a clear job title

One of the first thing that a candidate will see when scrolling through job adverts will be the big, bold job title above each advert. It’s your first chance to catch the candidate’s eye, so make sure that it is clear as to what they job is, and try to leave brackets, hyphens and symbols out unless absolutely necessary. They make the job title look messy and mess less likely for a candidate to notice it as a job of interest when they scroll. Also, key to make it as eye catching as possible, perhaps you have a niche name for your role that no one outside of your organisation is going to have a clue what it entails. Try to make the job title as understandable for a candidate as possible.


Location, location, location

When a candidate searches for a job, they tend to get invited to search by their postcode, therefore they will search for a certain radius of where they live. It can sometimes be believed that by keeping the location as broad as possible, you will maximise the reach of your advert, but this is not necessarily the case. You could actually be missing out on candidates who live nearby but haven’t seen your job because the location you have put falls outside their desired radius. Recruitment agencies tend to be a little less specific in order to stop other agencies from working out which companies they’re recruiting for, but if you’re a direct employer then that doesn’t matter, so be as specific as you can.


Less is more

When a candidate is job hunting, they’re probably looking to apply for more than one role. Therefore it can be a long and laborious task sometimes when reading job spec after job spec after job spec. Candidates don’t want to spend their whole day on the job board, so no matter how interesting your job might be, if they don’t find it at the right time they might get bored and move on before realising its an ideal job for them.


We tell candidates to make their CVs as interesting and readable as possible, and the same goes for a company writing a job description. You need to find the balance of explaining the job with enough detail, without going overboard and writing a short novel about it. Find a middle ground of between 450 to 500 words for a job advert as a general rule of thumb. Sometimes a job description will require more, but you should still try to keep it fairly concise and as easy to read as possible.


Good formatting

The number of job descriptions that you see online that have bullet points out of line from the rest, un-bolded heading, or large unnecessary gaps in places is surprising. If a candidate sent you a CV that looked like no effort had been taken to create it, would you shortlist the candidate? Probably not. So, the same goes for your job description. Check your formatting as you go and check the live advert as soon as you publish it to check for any issues with formatting and fix them quickly.


Display the salary

We know that there are reasons why a company might want to hide the salary on the job advert, and that is understandable. However, if you can avoid hiding it, then avoid it. The reason being that a vacancy with a salary on show will get more applications than an advert with a hidden salary or ‘competitive salary’ message. A candidate will of course be keen to see what salary the job is paying, so you risk turning a candidate away by not displaying it. Even if your salary is a range, put it on display.