10 tips for unbeatable job ads

There are a lot of job ads and information for a candidate to notice, screen and assess. On average, candidates spend less than six seconds with a job ad before deciding whether to continue reading or skip the text. 

What makes a compelling job ad? 

All the more important is a job ad text that convinces immediately. In this blog, we have summarized the 10 best tips for your job ads:

  1. Less is more: at VONQ, we place thousands of job ads a month. We see that the most successful job ad copy is between 500-700 words long. 
  2. Turn old into new – please don’t! Many companies recycle their job ads and use them as a starting point for each new ad. The hiring manager just adds 2 new key points and the text is ready. The result is job ads that are far too long and don’t get to the heart of the job in the end. Better to start all over again.
  3. Keep it short and to the point: Too many filler words can impede the flow of reading and unnecessarily bulk up the job ad. At best, use no more than 18 words per sentence. 
  4. Write in bullet points: Candidates scan your ad before they read it. So the job ad should consist of at least ⅓ bullet points and be well structured. Paragraphs and subheadings support the reading flow. 

Interesting tip on diversity:

The number of bullet points can impact how many men and women apply for a job. If you have too many bullet points, fewer women will apply; if you have too few bullet points, fewer men will apply. As described above, the golden mean is currently around ⅓.

  1. Direct approach: The most successful job offers speak directly to the candidates. So feel free to use you, we or you. Very formal or indirect phrases like “the ideal candidate has” usually result in fewer applications. 
  2. Speak the language of the target audience: If you’re looking to hire an IT person, you’ll naturally write differently than if you’re looking for an engineer or a salesperson.
  3. Include local conditions: A rooftop terrace with a unique view? Or perhaps perfect public transportation connections? Including this information makes the company more personable and tangible.
  4. Find a sparring partner: The easiest way is to always have a colleague proofread the texts and get feedback. Proofreading is great, but feedback on content is what makes the most progress. Marketing colleagues can also provide support here.
  5. Evaluate continuously: How many applications did you receive? How many of those candidates were qualified enough for an initial phone interview? How long did it take to fill the position? If you collect all your job performance data, you can use this info to continuously improve your job ads. 

Performance Evaluation Tip:

Recruitment analytics technologies help identify the most successful job ads and media used, benchmark successes, and make meaningful optimizations along the candidate journey. Read more about this topic here.

  1. Create a best-of folder: There’s nothing wrong with using an old job ad as a template if the performance data was unbeatable. Create a folder for yourself, save everything consistently, and share it with your team. 

Feel free to download our cheat sheet on creating an attractive job ad. From Awareness to Action – in the cheat sheet we go over the 4 phases from the first contact to an application for an optimal job ad structure.

Charlotte Heiche