There is a myriad of websites, advice articles and tips for writing a good CV that benefits both the job seeker and the employer, but what about then it comes to writing a quality job advert? Many adverts, somewhat hypocritically, include the sort of fluff and jargon that employers scoff at when they find it on an application or CV. An application must be just as well structured, concise and thorough as the applications it aims to attract. Olivia Lazenby, as part of our 600 Interesting and Useful Things for Recruiters series shares her tops tips:
1. Job Title
The job title is the most important part of the job listing for two reasons:
– It’s the first thing that job seekers will read
– It’s the primary phrase which job boards, such as www.jobsinmanchester.com, assess and rank for relevance – so the job title is the most important keyword in order to maximise visibility
The job title should be simple and concise. It needs to be a title that job seekers will actually search for, not a creative hook or a less well known title that is only familiar to people within your niche.
It should also be specific, for example rather than “marketing role” expand to “face to face sales and marketing role” – this specifies an otherwise very broad job title, which will prevent people who are unsuited for the job from applying, and also gives the applicant more information on the job role.
2. Short, punchy introduction
The first 20 to 30 words in your advert are the most important as they are the first the job seeker reads, and could either result in them returning to the search results, or continuing to read and sending an application. Rather than launching straight into a long description of the company, the first sentence of your advert needs to be short, neat, and include some vital information and keywords in order to pique the interest of the applicant and encourage them to read further. For example:
“Well Established Marketing Company is looking for a face to face sales and marketing co-ordinator with a background in sales or customer service and experience of sales techniques to join our expanding and ambitious young team”.
3. Avoid Jargon at all costs
Phrases like “hit the ground running” and “penetrate the market” should be avoided at all costs. They add nothing to the listing, and will convince prospective applicants that you are no different to the multitude of other recruiters using the same vague and nondescript buzzwords. Focus instead on explaining the job role and the desired requirements in a concise and direct manner that will attract the right candidates.
Jobseekers are more likely to respond to adverts that give salary information than those that do not. It also gives an idea of the level of seniority of a job – i.e. it will prevent entry level job seekers from applying to a higher level role.
5. The Level of Seniority of the Position
If you’re looking for an entry level graduate then make sure you include that information in the job specification. Equally if you are looking for someone with 15 years of experience in the field, then say so. You’d be amazed by the number of applications that simply don’t include this information and are then surprised when people of all levels of skill and ability apply. The more specific the job advert is the more likely it is to attract the desired applicants.
Another key element of how people search for a job is by location so it’s vital that you include the area, region or even the post code. Bear in mind that most job boards have the option of narrowing the search down to “within … miles of (postcode)”. If you don’t include information on location your advert could miss being seen by hundreds of job seekers.
7. Your organisation
The candidate will want to know about the company they are sending their application to so include a compelling introduction to your company. The introduction should be brief, consisting of a maximum 2 paragraphs. Include your company website so that they can research further if they want to find out more.
8. The job description
The job description of your advert is your opportunity to ensure that the candidates are well informed about the position they are applying for, so be sure to communicate relevant information with precise details of the job. Be clear and concise. Keep your paragraphs short and avoid repeating yourself or using jargon.
9. The person specification
This is your opportunity to ensure that candidates with the required skills apply. Ensure you include broad skills like time management and organisational skills as well as specific skills like knowledge of CRM. Some recruiters choose to divide this section into two; Necessary Skills and Desirable Skills – i.e. those that are a must in order to be able to do the job (specific to the job role), and those which are less intrinsic but would be beneficial (broad and transferrable skills).
10. Call to action
Make it as simple as possible for applicants to apply by either including an email address for them to send their CV, or clear instructions for the application process if you have an application form. The easier it is for people to apply the more likely they are to do so.
Olivia Lazenby is creative co-ordinator for www.jobsinmanchester.com. After graduating from Leeds University in 2011 she has lived in Cannes in France and as far afield as Sydney and Melbourne in Australia, but nothing compares to her hometown, Manchester. She writes blogs for the site with tips and advice for job hunters and recruiters.