As a recruiter with over a decade of experience, I have seen a lot of great and a lot of poor job advertisements. In fact I have written lots of poor ones myself. What I have learned can be boiled down to three simple steps:
In job ads, as in marketing, only three things matter: Location, location and location. When a Canadian looks for a job they search by location such as Millwright Toronto or Calgary Maintenance Manager. The key is to list the locations where your candidates are likely to come from. So if you are located in a suburb of Vancouver, such as Delta, you may want to have Vancouver in the job title. Alternatively have an explanation: Located in the beautiful municipality of Delta 43 minutes from Vancouver by car.
Job titles are the second most common thing searched for by job seekers. Given the random way human resource departments make up job titles, this is a challenge. We often see generic job titles with dozens if not thousands of jobs listing positions like Project Manager. In reading one project manager post in Vancouver, I had to read through 506 words until I got to the words “Web or IT Projects” to realize this is not a post for a construction or engineering project manager. Why not put something more descriptive in the title? Follow this up with some alternative but similar job titles in the first and last paragraphs so people who are searching can use their terms. If you are in HR or are a Recruiter, you probably have not worked as a project manager — so ask the PM’s you know what titles they would search for.
Why the hell would an employed person want to work for your organization? What makes you unique from the thousand other employers in Edmonton or the thousands of other corporations that offer benefits? Can you address his or her professional goals and needs? Are you a privately-owned family company where all employees have access to an owner who listens? Do you have a wicked company BBQ every friday? Do you offer benefits from day one? You better have something unique or you will only get the unhappy and unemployed applying for your jobs.
Writing good job advertisements is an art form that takes a ton of work; these are just three pointers that recruiters might or might not give you.
What do you think?
What else do you think should be in a job ad? Share an idea in the comment section below.