You’ve worked hard to create your new product, and now it’s time to market it to eager customers. Your product provides fantastic benefits, so you’re confident that it’s going to fly off the shelves.
You’re so confident that your product will sell itself that you put little effort into marketing it. Instead, you use generic templates that list product features. No context or creativity included.
But instead of selling out as quickly as you planned, all you hear is crickets. Because even if your thing is impressive, it won’t appeal to anyone until you advertise it the right way, right?
Successful businesses invest time and effort into marketing their products creatively to attract customers and differentiate themselves from the competition.
Now instead of your product or service, imagine you’re advertising an opening on your team.
Why would you use the same generic template with a long list of bullet points?
You wouldn’t if you wanted to recruit qualified A-players to work for you. And honestly, those are the kind of people you need.
Many founders and hiring managers think candidates will rush to apply if they post a job ad online. But this “if you build it, they will come” mentality doesn’t work.
And if you’re reading this, your job ad probably isn’t working either.
Think of your job ad as the marketing tool that it is.
Qualified candidates are looking at hundreds of job ads and offers. Your ad should convince them that picking your company is a no-brainer.
But doing that is easier said than done, especially when you’re short on time and need to fill a role ASAP.
Here are three of the most common mistakes companies make in their job ads and how you can quickly correct them.
3 reasons why your job ad isn’t attracting A-players
1. Your ad is you-centered instead of candidate-centered.
Let’s be honest. The only reason why you’re even writing a job ad is that you need someone to do something for your business in exchange for money.
But that doesn’t mean your ad should focus only on your needs. To get people excited about applying for the role, focus on the benefits they’ll enjoy by joining.
And by benefits, we don’t just mean sick leave or vacation days. Those are expected by now.
What are the real perks of filling this role and working for your company?
Take your job ad from you-centered to candidate-centered by focusing the ad on a few key highlights:
- Does the job offer room for growth?
- Do you provide access to mentorship, online courses, and other resources for professional development?
- Will they get the chance to let their problem-solving skills shine?
- Will they be able to run their own show or work independently?
- Will they always have something new to work on?
- Can they choose the projects they work on?
…the list could go on.
To make these perks easier to describe, think about the target audience your job ad is meant for and put yourself in their shoes. Or ask people on your team to describe some of the benefits they see.
Remember, you’re “selling” a role in your company. The candidates reading your ad are all thinking, “So what? What’s in it for me?”.
Your job ad should get people to drop everything else and apply to work for you.
Focusing on the benefits of the job is how you get that to happen.
2. You’re not speaking to a specific type of person.
Saying that you need a Customer Service Agent, Sales Representative, Developer, etc. is not enough.
Be specific. What kind of Customer Service Agent, Sales Representative, or Developer are you really looking for?
The ambitious type? The ones that enjoy working independently? Or the ones that prefer working in a team?
Are they seasoned professionals or entry-level?
Instead of casually mentioning these things in one-liners, select a persona and speak directly to their interests and motivations throughout the ad. Just like you choose a target audience when running a FB ad, do the same here.
So instead of:
- Using a generic title, like “ Sales Agent Wanted For Start-Up.”
- Copying your company bio from your About page
- Detailing a laundry list of responsibilities
- Using keywords in the job title to immediately attract the kind of person you’re looking for, like “Do You Have Experience In Cold Sales And Want To Build A Career In Online Marketing?”
- Introducing your company by highlighting what might appeal most to the ideal candidate. For a Sales Agent role, you could mention your company’s current sales track record, the types of prospects you sell to, the size of your sales team, or the unique benefits of your product or service.
- Leading with the most exciting job requirements and, if possible, skipping the basic ones that are assumed, like “ Tracking your sales progress.”
3. Your ad is hard to skim.
The first goal of a candidate is to decide whether the role is for them. They’ll try to understand whether:
- They qualify
- They actually want the job or not
Remember, there are hundreds of job ads for them to go through. And submitting a job application takes at least an hour if the candidate is serious about getting the job.
If they can’t quickly decide they want to join your company, they’ll soon move on to the next.
Here are a few fool-proof ways to make your ad easier to read:
- Use simple but straight-forward titles, headings, and subheadings
- Use bullet points to break up large paragraphs of text when possible
- Say more with less – use direct and concise language
- Skip the corporate jargon
- Highlight or bold key points
- Focus on one idea per paragraph/section
- Use analogies or “it’s kind of like” to explain complex ideas
- Give examples when you can
- Use varied sentence length
- Hook readers with what they care about most
Here’s an example of a job ad we created to help one of our clients hire in under two weeks. We included the three points we’ve covered in this blog post and a few others that we’ll describe in a future Part 2.
Creating A Killer Job Ad Is Easier Than You Think
Hiring and recruiting is a painful process for so many people, especially when they’re busy running a business and servicing clients.
But it really doesn’t have to be so hard. Set yourself up for success by starting with an ad that:
- Speaks to a specific type of person.
- Focuses on the benefits from the candidates’ point of view.
- Is easy to skim.
And for a few more tips, check out Part 2 of this series 3 More Reasons Your Job Ad Doesn’t Work (& What To Do Instead).
Need us to take a look at one of your ads?
Schedule a free 30-minute consultation with us today! We’ll review your job ad for free and give you three to five tips for improving it.
After our free consultation, you’ll be one step closer to hiring A-players for your online business.