Like Bees to Honey: Write Job Adverts that Attract Talent

By Tess Curle Taylor, PHR, CPC

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Job advertisements is not an exact science, but it is still very important for your organization to get right. Why? It comes down to this: You need job adverts that will attract the best talent for the position you are filling.

It’s a lot like planting beautiful and fragrant flowers that attract worker bees to your garden. Get this part right, and your garden thrives. Plant dull plants and the bees buzz right on by looking for a better garden.

If you are writing bland job adverts,  then you can expect to not receive the best resumes from candidates in the market. In order to attract the top talent, you should follow the five tips outlined in this post.

Tip #1 - Write a Job Ad and Not a Job Description

One of the most important tips when writing a job advertisement is that you must make sure what you are writing is an ad and not a job description. Even though these are very similar, they do have differences. A job ad should discuss what the culture is like at your company, what benefits you offer and what the possible compensation will be for the position. Stray away from discussing who the position will report to and other duties.

Tip #2  - Make Use of Subheadings

As with this post, it is important to use subheadings in any job ad you write. Many companies will write the perfect job ad, with excellent content, but will not structure the ad properly. When you use subheads, and bullet points, you can better organize your content and make it easier to read. The job ad should have at least three sections; qualifications required, job responsibilities, and how to apply. Breaking up the content will make all the difference in the world for those reading your job ad.

Tip #3 - Pick a Strong Title

The title of the job advertisement is just as important, if not more important, than the structure of the content. The title does not have to be the same as what the chosen candidate will have when hired. Instead, the title should include keywords that applicants use to search for this specific job you are advertising. This will help you receive hits on the ad from both search engines and social networks to bring in the right type of talent.

Tip #4 - Add an Instruction

Your job ad can also include an instruction in it somewhere. This can be as simple as “When submitting your resume, please put the words “Freelance Writer Extraordinaire” in the Subject line.” This will help you find the most meticulous applicants who know how to follow directions. Even though this seems underhanded and sneaky, it helps you weed out the candidates who did not read the ad thoroughly.

Tip #5 - Operate Like a Job Seeker

When the time comes to post your ad, act like a job seeker. This is the best way to figure out which job boards and social networks are frequented by your target candidates, not just the largest or most popular boards. When you act like the job seeker, search for the job you are trying to fill so you can determine which sites the ad should be posted to prior to writing the ad. This will help you understand where the top talent goes to find jobs.

By using these tips, you'll soon experience the sweet success of recruiting the best candidates for your mission. 

Image Credit: © Anatolii -

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