Writing Better Job Ads

Writing Job Ads

An alternative way to think about crafting genuine and engaging job ads

The content marketing industry has a trick up its sleeve where they analyze the language used in online product reviews, play around with it and then repurposes it for its marketing campaigns.

The idea behind this approach is to tap into the language of the target audience and create marketing copy that resonates with them, leading to increased sales for the marketed product.

By leveraging the words and phrases used by the people you’re trying to reach, your marketing message is sure to hit home.

TA teams can try putting this kind of spin on the digital marketing hack and bringing the same level of authenticity to their job ads.

This is relatively easily done because the members of the teams you hire are the experts on what makes working at your company so great. By running some simple workshop sessions with them, you could capture their thoughts and experiences to create job ads that truly stand out.

This would also arm you with dialogue that translates well across other forms of content. Think, social posts, career page copy, and even candidate packs.

Writing job ads doesn’t have to be a dull and uninspiring task and by tapping into the perspectives of your team, you can craft job ads that truly reflect the spirit of your company and attract the right kind of candidates.
Job seekers are tired of reading the same boring and generic job ads repeatedly. 

Phrases like “You will” or “Due to exponential growth” are often used, but the truth is, candidates, don’t really care. They only want to know how these things will make their lives better.

Most job ads or careers page copy is lackluster because they’re not written with the reader in mind. Not many recruiters are copywriters, and not many copywriters are recruiters. But your current team were all once candidates themselves. So why not tap into their experience and perspective and write job ads that speak the language of your audience?

Let’s be honest, we’re all tired of corporate mumbo jumbo and big words just for the sake of it. We connect with genuine language.

For example, none of us goes to the pub with our friends and says, “Due to an exponential downturn in liquid refreshments, we are seeking someone else to go to the bar and buy the next round.” (Although, now that I think about it, that could actually be pretty funny!) We just tell Dave it’s his round (for once, allegedly).

As Katrina Kibben puts it, “the only purpose of the job ad is to make a reader self-identify as a candidate”. By leveraging the language of your team, you can create engaging and genuine job ads that make candidates feel opt-in or opt-out.

I hope this helps you think differently about how you go about your job ad writing.

Give it a go and just ask if you have any questions. I’ve put some resources together below that may help you move this quickly

Process

1. Write an email to your teams explaining your idea.

Use this as a template;

Good morning team,

I hope this email finds you all well. I’m bugging you today to ask you for some help with an exciting experiment I’m trying to run.

As you know, most job ads can often be dry and formulaic, making it difficult to convey the real spirit of working for a company. To tackle this, I’m looking to reimagine the way that our company job ads are written, with the goal of crafting something that’s more engaging, more insightful, and more genuine.

To do this, I’d like to talk to you all (either as a group or individually, depending on your preference) to understand in your own words what the team builds, how it impacts customers, the tech landscape, and what technical challenges you’ve been working on recently. I’d also like to know what makes being a part of this team so good, and what makes it unique.

Once I have this information, I’ll be using your narrative to create job ads that should help attract the right kind of people to join our team. I think there’s something powerful in using your language because thats the language that should resonate most with candidates. I also hope that it will attract people who are a good fit for the team and whose values align with ours.

I would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions on this experiment. If you’re interested in talking further, please let me know if you’d prefer to chat as a group or individually. I’m open to either option.

Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Best regards

[Your Name]

2. Run a workshop with the team or individual sessions.

Workshop Objective: To gather information and insights from team members to create more engaging, insightful, and genuine job ads.

Agenda:

  1. Introduction and overview of the workshop objective
  2. Group discussion on the current job ads and what can be improved
  3. Individual or small group discussions to gather information on the following topics: There are some ideas in the table below but get the team talking about their objectives and mission. Things like;
    • What the team builds and its impact on customers
    • The tech landscape and current technical challenges
    • What makes being on the team so good and unique
  4. Summary of key takeaways from the discussion
  5. Next steps

Questions:

Topic/Questions:

  • Current job ads
    • What do you think of our current job ads?
    • What can be improved?
  • Team and impact
    • Can you explain what the team builds and its impact on customers?
  • Tech landscape
    • Can you describe the current tech landscape and any technical challenges the team has been facing recently?
  • Team culture
    • What makes being on this team so good and unique?
  • Tech stack
    • What technologies are being used the most within the team?
  • Team structure and positions
    • Can you describe the different positions that make up the team?
  • Development methodology
    • How does the team build products (agile, waterfall, hybrid, etc)?
  • Roadmap
    • Can you give us an overview of the team’s roadmap and upcoming projects?
  • Additional insights
    • Do you have any additional insights or suggestions for the job ads?

3. Collate Feedback.

This table should provide enough space for you to capture the individual responses from each team member as well as the group dialogue. You may need to make some adjustments based on the specific needs of your workshop, but this should give you a good starting point.

Example Feedback Table

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