With the launch of Google for Jobs this summer, it has never been more competitive to get your jobs exposed to the perfect candidate.
So, to ensure that your job advert stands out and is indexed highly, you need to appeal with something that makes an impression on the heart, soul and/or wallet of your ideal candidates.
Some tips and tricks….
1. Use a specific location.
Always include the location and be specific (especially if you’re located in a huge city like London). People want to know exactly where they’re going to be working.
Give them opportunity to plan things like the commute, where they’re going to have their lunch, how easy is it to get out to buy Christmas presents, etc. So be explicit.
You can use the body copy of the advert to explain where your offices are and if anything sets them aside from your competition. “Award-winning offices” will certainly get more attention than ‘ideal location’.
2. Always include the salary (or salary range).
Would YOU apply for a job if you didn’t know the potential salary?
Neither would most job seekers.
The dreaded job advert cliché ‘salary negotiable‘ will do serious damage to your job advert conversions.
It immediately breeds suspicion and in candidates’ eyes roughly translates to ‘I’ll pay you as little as possible’.
3. Include the company name.
Google for Jobs does look at the company name, so it is worth checking that the same spelling of the company name is used across all websites and job boards where e.g. Limited and Ltd can catch people out.
4. Personalise the job advert.
You probably already know the kind of person you are looking to hire. So it’s important that you personalise your advert with that person in mind.
Use their technical language.
Unsure who you want to hire?
Think about people (past and present) who do a similar job to the one you’re advertising…
Who are the best? What are they like? How do they tackle things?
These are the kinds of people you want to attract with your job advert.
In fact, you could even speak to these people, ask them for their opinions and get some help writing your job adverts!
Then use the same copy across all job adverts, so that your adverts are indexed as one by Google. This also offers your transparency as to where your jobs are currently being advertised.
5. Use the right tone.
The issue with many job adverts is the way they are written.
This starts with the tone.
Your job description should be warm and inviting, with an added level of humour – if applicable, of course.
At the end of the day, many of the top candidates you are looking for are probably at a company already, but actively browsing. So in theory, you almost need to work even harder to sell the role to prise them away.
Also think about the key words and phrases that your potential candidates will be typing in and try to include these in the job advert.
7. Talk about company culture.
Small and organically growing companies may not have the money of big business, but can offer a huge cultural advantage over massive enterprises.
Small businesses are often more dynamic, have greater role flexibility and can offer more personalised perks for individuals and teams.
You should sell this in your job advert.
If you offer flexible working, then shout about it (this is a BIG thing for families). Perhaps you all get together on a Friday night together? Maybe you take part in a lot of charity work?
This is more of a focus for Millennials.
7. Shout about your values.
Morals and values are important to people.
They want to know they’re working for a kind-hearted company that cares.
So if you have any shared values, shout about them.
For example, progressive companies of all sizes are happy to highlight their green credentials.
Companies that recycle, use solar power or green lifestyle perks win serious kudos from this generation.
Whatever you care about, letting potential candidates know about it will really boost your employer brand – and therefore your wider brand.
8. Make it easy to read.
Many job seekers will only spend a few seconds on an advert, so ensure that the post is easy to read to avoid them glossing over it and either a) ignoring it altogether or b) applying when they’re not in the slightest bit relevant to the role (I’m sure you’ve suffered this before).
You should always get a second edit of any advert, ideally by someone outside their office to check that the language is natural, easy to understand and engaging.
Doing so can mean the difference between ads that have that batch-processed, impersonal feel to them.
9. Focus on the job.
This may seem like an obvious inclusion, but it’s easy to forget.
While it’s great to sell the company you’re writing the job advert for, it’s vital to remember that candidates are often searching to see whether they can do the job first.
Going into huge detail about business growth plans and the origins of its early days is all fine and dandy, but if you want to stay under 700 words, this kind of information might have to take a back seat.
Job seekers are eager to find out about the role itself, including day-to-day tasks and what kind of experience is required.
10. Avoid buzzwords and clichés.
Buzzwords and clichés should be banned from job adverts, for good.
These include things like:
- Fantastic track record.
Pragmatically, these aren’t phrases and words that candidates would look to include in their search string.
11. Link the advert to a video.
Keep your job advert nice and brief then link to a video on the company’s website!
Video marketing is SO popular right now – and if you create something really share-worthy, then it’ll reach much more people than a normal advert. (It could even go viral…)
And you don’t just have to talk about the company, the job and the benefits.
You could offer viewers a tour of the office, a glimpse of the (happy) people they’ll be working with and even insight into the kinds of events, projects and/or team tasks you manage, if relevant.
12. Remember the 8 basics.
Ok, some of these may seem a little bit obvious. But you may be surprised what gets missed out, when people are concentrating on other things.
- Job title.
- Job description.
- Company name (or brief description, if confidential).
- Essential skills.
- Call to action.
- Contact information.
13. Make your advert mobile friendly.
While this might be a slightly bigger element to consider, it’s worth implementing.
In terms of content length, mobile optimisation is another reason why we suggest keeping your job advert under 700 words. After all, a candidate doesn’t want to be scrolling for days!
If you can tick this box, you’ll tap into a whole world of potential job seekers who like to search on the move. This could be the difference between finding the perfect employee and not.
Especially if a candidate has set up a job alert and has been sent the job advert, as there is already a level of potential engagement.
14. Don’t forget a call to action.
To finish off your job advert, make it clear what they need to do RIGHT NOW.
How exactly do they apply?
If you’re using a job board for your advert, the call to action is really simple – “…click on the apply button below”. The job board will take care of the rest for you and will guide people through the process.
If you’re advertising offline (and in the current tech-savvy climate where everyone uses job boards as their first port of call, I’m not quite sure why anyone might do that (!)), then include clear actions you want someone to take, along with contact details of where to send their applications to.
Recording your results.
With Google for Jobs making it easier for candidates to apply directly to your jobs, it is worth tracking where your applications are coming from.
If possible, try to collate:
- The number of job ad views and applications.
- How relevant the applications were.
- The number of interviews conducted.
- The cost involved per hire and staff retention rates.