Think of your job postings  the same way that you think of any advertisement that you see on TV, online, or in print.  Boring advertisements won’t catch the eye of the intended consumer, much the same as a boring job posting won’t catch the eye of the stars that you are trying to attract.  You need to give these stars a very good reason to want to interview with your company and leave the relative comfort of their existing jobs.

Creating compelling job advertisements will take you some time and effort, but in the long run, this time and effort will really pay off as the quality level of the applicants should significantly improve.

Below are some best practices that I have put together to assist you in crafting job advertisements that will attract and excite potential star applicants.

1. Research What Leading Companies Are Doing

Want some ideas of how other industry leaders are crafting their job advertisements? Then, look online at various job posting sites to see what your competition and leading companies are doing in developing their ads. It seems like a pretty easy way for you to get some general competitive intelligence as well as some great ideas for your advertisements.  Doing this research also may assist to get your creative juices flowing!

2. Know Your Target Audience

What type of skills or background are you trying to attract with your job advertisements?  Job ads which try to attractive information technology applicants or engineering applicants should not look the same as ads which try to attract sales applicants. Technology and engineering applicants are generally excited more about your technology versus sales applicants who may be focused on both the technology as well as your customer base.

3. Why Do I Want to Work For Your Company?

This is probably the most important piece to your job advertisement.  Stars will generally only leave their current company if they see another company who has a more exciting technology or product as well having as a smart and passionate team that is working to develop and sell such a technology or product.  Stars don’t leave to go to a boring job!  Stars sometimes hit a “rut” in their current job and may poke around to see “what else is out there”.  The opportunity to become part of an exciting company and work as part of a smart and creative team would be very appealing and exciting.

You need to be able to point out all the pluses with what your company is doing (e.g. describing your exciting  technology or service, some background on your workforce, any awards that your company, product or work culture has won, etc.)   Don’t be shy in your description!  Feel free to brag!

4. Develop a Descriptive Job Title

Boring job advertisement titles (such as Senior Engineer or Sales Representative) won’t tell your target audience anything about your company or the actual job itself.  A sharp title such as Senior Engineer-Designing Cutting Edge Consumer Electronics Technology will certainly catch someone’s eye; more than likely these will be the top folks that you are seeking for the role.  A secondary reason for having a more descriptive title is for SEO purposes as people search for the jobs online.  The more keywords in the title that correspond to the type of candidate that you are seeking will raise the odds of the top stars spotting your ad.

5. Creative Description of Duties, Projects

Too many job advertisements read like boiler plate job descriptions.  While you need some “job description verbiage” in any job advertisement, you need to take the time to specifically and creatively describe the role’s duties and describe any products or projects that the role will work on.

One other pet peeve of mine as I see this a lot is don’t include a sentence at the end of the duties that says “Other Duties As Required”.  What does this tell anyone?  It is quite boring and actually takes away from any creative flow to your ad.

6. Accurately Describe Essential versus Nice-To-Have Skills

Again, just like the job duties section of the ad, take the time to accurate describe what are the ESSENTIAL Must-Have skills to be successful in the role versus the NICE-to-Have skills.  I see too many job advertisement skills sections that contain a long list of must have skills that makes it virtually impossible that your company will find some who is a master at all these skills.  In fact, not separating the must-have skills from the nice-to-have skills will be a turn off for many applicants applying for the role.

By following these six steps, you can optimize your job advertisements and help ensure a higher level of applicant quality.