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Writing the perfect job ad

13/04/2023 2023/04

Writing a job ad is your first action to fill open positions? Then you are aware that an ad is the first point of contact job seekers have with your company in the candidate experience. First impressions count and they should be impeccable. Precisely worded job ads lead to targeted and quick filling of open vacancies and serve to set you apart from other companies and their advertised positions. Here you can find out how to make your job ad look promising.

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What is included in a perfect job ad?

Job title

If you want to write a successful job ad, the job title should briefly and concisely represent the advertised position. A keyword analysis is recommended so that a job title with the highest possible search volume is chosen. Tools such as the Google Keyword Planner, Google Suggest or the Keywords Explorer from ahrefs can help here. The goal is to formulate the job title exactly as the potential applicant target group itself searches for it. Indeed offers its own statistics on search volume, especially in the Indeed Job Board.

We do not recommend fancy job titles, such as "number cruncher" for an employee in financial accounting. In print and for social media campaigns, these job titles can attract attention, but the findability in classic online job boards and Google Jobs is zero. Here, at least a combination should be used, e.g. "Number cruncher as financial accountant".

Furthermore, the job title must at least contain the addition (m/f/d) to address all genders. Gendering, i.e. naming the position in its masculine and feminine form, e.g. logistician is not prescribed by law. Each company is free to decide here whether to "counter-gender" or not.

Brief description of the job

The brief description of the position should attract the attention of the applicant. When you write your job advertisement, it should provide a brief insight into your company as well as the future job and indicate the place of work. Here, the employer value proposition should already be noticeable and, if available, outstanding benefits should be mentioned. It is up to you whether the reader is addressed as "you". Make the decision based on your corporate culture, for example. Is your company on a first-name basis? Then adopt this for your job advertisements in the sense of an authentic address. It is also possible to make the address dependent on the applicant target group. If you are looking for working students or interns, for example, we recommend a casual "Du". If you are interested in filling a management position, it may be more appropriate to address the candidate by their first name. No matter what your decision, it is important to maintain the same form of address throughout the application process.
In this context, you can also publish the salary or salary range of your advertised position. Compared to other countries, there is currently no legal obligation to do so in Germany. It is up to your own decision to what extent you want to indicate this or not. However, on more and more job boards such as Stepstone, salary information is mandatory or has a positive effect on the number of clicks and applicants and probably also on the positioning in the search results (e.g. GoogleJobs).

Corporate Benefits

In order to stand out from other companies' positions, it is essential to list the benefits of working for your company and thus underline your attractiveness as an employer. In a survey of job seekers, 78 percent of them said that these benefits were relevant when choosing a job. So think carefully about what you have to offer your employees. For example, do you contribute to a good work-life balance by offering flexible working time models? Or do you offer your employees health promotion services such as free massages? Then you should definitely highlight this as a benefit - the more concrete, the better. Then assess the relevance of the individual benefits based on your target group and then list them. Working students, for example, are interested in a good compatibility of studies and part-time job or the offer of further training. Management positions, on the other hand, are interested in attractive compensation and a good work-life balance.

Tasks

When writing a job advertisement, the tasks of the advertised position should not be missing. The focus should be on a detailed description of the core tasks, so that they are formulated concretely and with a high information content. Try to avoid common phrases such as "collaboration in exciting international projects" and supplement them with concrete descriptions. 

For the sake of clarity in a job advertisement, you should avoid formulating the tasks in complete sentences if possible. Rather, summarize the core activities of the job under five to a maximum of eight bullet points. This ensures that the candidate's attention is not lost while reading.

Requirements & qualifications

The enumeration of the job's activities is followed by the paragraph of requirements and qualifications needed. Only when a potential candidate is attracted by the tasks will he or she consider the requirements. The layout in five to a maximum of eight bullet points and the listing in descending order of importance should be continued here.

The requirements that applicants have to fulfill can be formulated in terms of hard skills, such as a degree, vocational training or work experience, and soft skills, such as teamwork or communication skills. Weigh up which requirements are mandatory for the advertised position and which qualifications are more of a plus. Then select the most relevant requirements for the advertised position. Do not list too many requirements. This could discourage potential applicants from applying.

Components of success of a job advertisement

The success of a job advertisement can be attributed to several components. First, the completeness of the content must be considered as an influencing factor. At all times, ensure a balance between detailed information regarding the position and the company and a short and concise presentation. In this way, you will ensure that the attention of potential candidate:s will not be lost while reading the job description. By following our previous tips, this is definitely ensured.  The content should also comply with the General Equal Treatment Act (AGG). This stipulates that the information in your written job advertisement neither excludes nor restricts aspects relating to gender, ethnic origin, religious affiliation, age and disability.

However, it is not only relevant to write the job advertisement correctly in terms of content, but also the design of the job advertisement. Clarity is the be-all and end-all in order not to overwhelm the reader with too much information. In addition, as is well known, "the eye also eats. Integrate a suitable image into your job ad that presents the job description and draws the reader's attention to your position. 

Your job ad is then only complete with a clear "call-to-action" with which you encourage potential candidates to apply. The hurdles should be kept as low as possible. In the digital application process, it is advisable to set up a button that leads applicants to an online form, which can be filled out in no time, the candidate's contact data recorded, and submitted with a single click. If you prefer an application by e-mail, a direct link to open the mail program can of course also be provided.

Publishing the job advertisement

Finally, you should not only publish your job ad on your own homepage. To increase the reach, you can present it on a wide variety of job boards and portals. Which channels you use for your job should depend on your target applicant group and post the job where they are increasingly aware of new positions. Interns, working students and young professionals, for example, are very likely to be reached on the university's own job boards. It is also advisable to use industry-specific job portals, such as heise.de for IT positions.

Conclusion

With these tricks for writing job ads, nothing stands in the way of addressing suitable applicants. You don't want to leave the success of your job ads to chance and prefer to entrust this work to a professional? Then we are the perfect partner for you! We will optimize and advertise your job ads on job-relevant portals for you. For absolute peace of mind, we are also happy to supplement our services with suitable applicant management and a wide variety of personnel marketing measures.

About the Author
Sally Kießling
Employer Branding & HR Marketing Consultant

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