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How to write adverts that get more job applications

Published by Marketing on

Hiring the right people is fundamental to any organisation’s success. Most Business Leaders and HR Heads agree that they need more job applications to offer hiring managers a better choice of candidates.

Attracting more job applications for each vacancy is a skill and one that few have mastered. There are so many reasons why the right candidate won’t see your job advert, including:

It’s time to learn how your job advert is discovered and how jobseekers read ad qualify your job.

People don’t read your job advert

Direct feedback from jobseekers confirms that most of them don’t read your job adverts in full. They scan your advert for clues as to whether the job is relevant. They haven’t got time to read hundreds of adverts, just as you don’t have time to fully read each submitted CV.

As an employability expert, I have presented CV advice to groups of jobseekers. When I told them that their CV isn’t read by recruiters, they looked shocked. When I asked them whether they read each job advert in full, they shrugged their shoulders and got the point immediately.

You job adverts are scanned by jobseekers, not read in full. We need to work out how to get their attention.

How do jobseekers find your job?

Jobseekers often start with an internet search engine like Google. They find job boards by using search terms like “admin jobs in surrey” or “care worker jobs”. Alternatively, they head straight for indeed or another well-known job board.

Each job board has its own method for showing the most relevant jobs to jobseekers. Each job board has its own special algorithm and that often considers advert age, job location, job title and the number of times a job title is mentioned in the advert.

So, if you have a “Care Worker” job, make sure that the job title is repeated several times in the advert body. That should improve its chances of appearing in search results.

How are job adverts reviewed?

Jobseekers scan adverts for critical information. Before they read anything in detail, they want to know:

  • What the job is
  • Location
  • Salary

If there’s a fit, they may look for the following:

  • Required skills, experience and education
  • Responsibilities

If interested, they will consider:

  • Organisation type
  • Size of organisation
  • Personal prospects

We know that jobseekers scan your job advert. Now check whether it’s easy to quickly find relevant information.

The first line of your advert should clearly state what the job is. Don’t waste a valuable opportunity to grab their attention by giving a history of your organisation and why it’s great employer.

Make sure you split sections up with titles and bullet points to make scanning your job easier.

What, where and salary

Most job boards prefer you to give the plain job title as the title of the advert. Indeed is just one job board that complains if you include other details like location and salary. Read why your jobs aren’t appearing on Indeed if you want to know more.

Your mission is to get basic information into your job advert near the top. “We are looking for a senior PHP Developer to join a team of 5 other developers in our Maidenhead office …” would be a good first sentence.

To supplement this, write a headed remuneration section, giving the salary and benefits. A headed section makes it easy to find.

Responsibilities and Requirements

As jobseekers go on to qualify your job, they want to know what type of work they will be doing. They may try to understand how it helps them with skills or career development and whether the work will be interesting enough.

Bring the job to life so that people can visualise it. Don’t make the mistake of only listing the qualifications, skills and experience you need.

Write something about the organisation, its ambition and the potential influence of the role. Think about the scale of the opportunity, the level of autonomy and the impact you’re expecting from your new employee.

When you do list responsibilities, it’s a bad idea to infill with basics like ‘Write good quality PHP code’. The best potential applicants can qualify out because the brief sounds too junior.

In Conclusion

You can get more job applications by writing better adverts. Just recognise that there is a science to writing them. Yes, it’s more work and you might not be able to fix any recruiting barriers like your location or salary. But, making your adverts easier to find could help you reach more jobseekers. Making them easier to scan could develop more interest and more job applications.

Want to know more?

Stuart Haddow is the Product Director for CVMinder ATS. He has been a Board Member of successful Software Companies, a Recruitment Business owner, delivered CV masterclasses to senior executives and advisory classes to jobseekers.

CVMinder ATS is an award winning Applicant Tracking System for employers. It comes with an Advert Analyser to help you get more job applications.

Contact us now if you would to know more about job advertising or our Applicant Tracking System.


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