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Quality of job adverts influence quality of applications

 April 30, 2013

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So they want to employ the No.1 perfect candidate. They expect effort, a carefully tailored CV and focus on the role at hand. Yet so many online job advertisements themselves are totally woeful. They are dead boring, full of unfamiliar acronyms, lengthy descriptions that serve little purpose and they prattle on not really giving any real sense of the job.
But then you find an exciting engaging advert - one that inspires and ignites interest. Hoorah!

Who is this company then? What do they do? What candidates will best match their offering?

Here are the key points to remember if you are writing a recruitment ad online.

1. People read a lot slower online, so cut the copy of the advert and keep it relatively short and snappy.

2. Remember that a job advert is NOT a job description. They perform completely different roles. A job advert is designed to grab candidates' attention, make the curious and get them interested in the  job. Do not just copy and paste the actual job description online. Remember Coco Chanel's "Less is more!".

3. Break up the advert by using space, paragraph breaks and bullet points. Large blocks of text are almost impossible and unexciting to read online.

4. When candidates look at job adverts online they are quickly scanning and looking for relevant information. Therefore the advert has to have all the important information at the top and use the right keywords.

5.  Always get a colleague to read and check through the advert for feedback. There is no excuse for  spelling mistakes or poor grammar.
So work to a simple straight forward structure when writing an ad online.

Break the job advert down into 5 paragraphs with ideally no more than 2 lines per each paragraph:

1. Headline
This is the “Attention Grabber”. Insert keywords, use positive adjectives, generate interest. Almost 90% of candidates will only read the first two lines of the advert. What are the most interesting and differentiating aspects of the job? Do not start the adverts with "corporate waffle" - ever!

2. Introduction
“Set the scene”. Refer to the job itself, the company, work culture, market, or industry sector

3. Role
This promotes the highlights of the job in terms of role responsibility, areas to be covered, any relevant support, exciting opportunities, status and so forth

4. Person
Clearly outline and identify the essential requirements of a successful candidate

5. Salary package
Many companies have a policy of not stating salary but candidates need some indication of reward. Outline all the benefits.
And finally, make sure the candidates know what to do next. There must be a very clear and explicit 'call to action' at the end of each job advert.

Apparently around 90% of online job adverts are simply woeful. It is easy to differentiate yourself online. Go for it!

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