Published on July 11th, 2012 | by Amy Edwards1
Top 5 online job advert mistakes to avoid
By Amy @BubbleJobs
There’s no doubt about it – the job market is pretty tough at the moment. There are something like 20 applicants for every job across the UK as a whole so in theory, recruiters and direct employers should have their pick of the bunch when it comes to finding a new employee but that isn’t always the case.
Yep, it might be pretty hard to believe but here at Bubble we’re constantly in talks with recruiters and employers who have been finding it tricky to attract the right kind of candidates (when using other job boards, not Bubble I hasten to add!). Why? Because their job ads are letting them down.
OK, so I realise I’ve ranted about this before but it seems that recruiters simply aren’t taking heed when it comes to crafting a well-rounded job advert that appeals to their target audience. Even the smallest decision on what to include in a job ad can be off putting and deter potential candidates from sending in their application so it’s worth spending some time to make sure you’ve got it right from the off.
The number 1 rookie mistake to make when creating a job advert is not actually creating a job advert at all. But surely that’s impossible, right? Wrong! Many recruiters simply believe that putting the complete job specification up as an advert is the best option because that way they’ve made sure they’ve covered every point. While that might be true, job specs can be pretty hefty and can look pretty overwhelming when they come under the gaze of potential candidates. The solution? Come up with a compelling job advert that appeals to your ideal candidate and is super descriptive (2 lines won’t cut it!) – and include the job spec as an attachment. Include some information on the main duties and responsibilities and be sure to include a short description of the employer in question.
I understand it can be tempting to leave the salary off a job advert but by failing to advertise a salary, you’re potentially turning off a shed-load of perfect candidates. Why? Because whether we want to admit it, everyone cares about salary – and everyone wants to know that the job they’re applying for will be able to pay the bills and keep a roof over the heads. While putting ‘Highly Competitive Salary’ down can seem like a good option, that too can alienate candidates who can’t actually work out what a ‘Highly Competitive Salary’ might be for that particular role or location. The best option? Be honest and transparent – if you don’t hide anything from candidates, they’ll be less likely to hide something from you.
OK, so the role in question might call for a ‘Web Developer with Java, ASP, .Net, C#, Python, Perl and Magento skills’ but you don’t need to put all that in the job title! The job title is the first thing a potential candidate sees so you need to make sure you get it right! Make sure the job title accurately describes the role in question and is not misleading or down right incorrect. Take a good hard look at the job spec and look at how similar roles are being marketed – this should help you to come up with an effective job title that appeals to the best candidates in your niche.
Just like everything else on the web, the formatting of your job ad can have a major effect on how much of it gets read or whether it gets read at all! It’s no secret that large blocks of text can be a major turn-off but believe it or not, we keep seeing job ads laid out like this! STOP it! Candidates have tonnes of job ads to read through every day so you need to make sure yours is easy to read and digest – large blocks of text might be easy to copy and paste but it’s really not worth it if you’re serious about attracting quality candidates.
Last but not least, having too many stages to the job application can be a major turn-0ff. OK, so this one isn’t strictly to do with how you create your job advert but it’s still super-relevant. Yep, as we said earlier, high quality candidates can be pressed for time so it should come as no surprise that if you encourage candidates to apply then hit them with a 10 page application form immediately after, the drop out rate could be quite high. If an application form is essential, why not encourage candidates to apply, then only ask the ones you like the look of to fill out an application form?! This should encourage more candidates to apply initially and will ensure the ones you do like the look of are committed to the role in question.
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