The structure

As a rough rule of thumb, the best way to structure the job description bit of your advert is as follows:

The Opening:
Getting the reader to ‘want’ to read more

The Role:
Several paragraphs on what the role includes, using bullet point lists to accentuate key points

The Candidate:
Key requirements and skills for the eventual successful hire

The Package:
Full details about the remuneration package someone can expect. Include all of the salary information and benefits

The Company:
This is your chance to ‘sell’ your business. Tell a compelling story, get the reader to want to work for you.

The Hook / Call-To-Action:
Prompting the reader to apply

Additional Keyword Optimisation:
More on this later…

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Now, how you structure each advert may vary depending on the role and I’d encourage you to try different formats and styles until you get something that works for you.

Here’s what to include in each of these sections.

The Opening

The opening is probably the most difficult element to write, and yet the most important because of it’s relevance to mobile.

It’s here that you either capture someone’s attention properly, or not and make them want to read the rest of the advert, or not.

Ideally no more than 3-4 lines, use it to give an overview of the role, what the job entails, and where the job is located to boost relevance.

There are a couple of ways you can do this and in truth, you may need to test both to see what works with your target audience.

Approach 1

The first approach is to ask the reader a question, framed in a way that gets your ideal candidate nodding, thinking “yes, that’s me”.

For instance, you could say something like this:

“Are you an ambitious, motivated, and highly experienced salesperson who wants to progress their career and earn limitless amounts of money with one of the country’s leading business services providers?”

Obviously you’d need to tailor the text to whoever you’re aiming the advert at, but in the example, we’re talking to salespeople, who by virtue of what they do, need to be money motivated.

The question also self-qualifies relevant job seekers in advance by saying that they need to be movitated and experienced, but then you’re appealing to their desire to earn money, along with the opportunity to work with a brilliant company.

In one sentence, you’ve managed to write something that’s so appealing to your target market that they want to read the next sentence.

And remember, the skill of writing your ads is exactly that – to get the reader that excited by your job, that every sentence makes them want to read the next, and the next and so on, right up to the point where they apply for the job.

Questions work well because you’re pre-closing your audience.

The idea is that everyone in your target market is nodding, saying yes to themselves.

For instance, what salesperson on the planet wouldn’t want to earn limitless amounts of money?

Approach 2:

The second approach is to frame your requirements in a statement along the lines of…

“We’re looking for a…”

This approach doesn’t seem as powerful as asking a question, but different markets work in different ways, and we’ve seen better results using this approach in some sectors.

Using the sales-led example, we could say something like this:

“We’re looking for an ambitious, motivated, and highly experienced salesperson who wants to progress their career and earn limitless amounts of money, to join one of the country’s leading business services providers.”

The changes are subtle and the objective is the same; to pre-close your target candidate, get them nodding along, reading the next bit of the job description and ultimately sending you their CV.

The Role

This is where you describe the job in detail, again with the sole objective of getting to reader to empathise and see themselves in the role.

The best way to write this part of the advert is to summarise three or four of the role’s key activities, duties and responsibilities in prose format, ideally using short, easily readable sentences.

You’ve also got the opportunity here to list some key tasks about the role in bullet form (5-6 max). If the role involves shift patterns or unsociable hours, etc, then here is the best place to mention it.

It’s best to keep these lists short and relevant, otherwise they simply won’t get read and they will unnecessarily increase the length of the advert.

The Candidate

In this section you detail what you’re looking for in your ideal candidate.

Don’t go into too much detail here – summarise any essentials but avoid bullet point lists if you can get away with it.

Our opinion is that you’re better off keeping this part of the advert more open to help you generate a larger response.

If you’re too specific this could result in someone who may be right for the role but doesn’t hit that specific criteria, ruling themselves out for the role.

Obviously, in saying that, if you have some really specific, essential criteria that are absolutely vital, then mention them here, but no more than 3-4 of them.

The Package

Hopefully your perfect candidate is still reading your advert, and this is your chance to now seal the deal.

Here you have an opportunity to outline the salary, bonuses, perks and benefits of the role.

Detailing the benefits is really important:

– Is there a pension?
– Does it include flexi-time?
– How much bonus might they earn?
– How many holidays are there?
– Healthcare cover?
– Complimentary gym membership?
– Is there a car allowance?

This is an often overlooked section but, if pitched correctly, can really help push someone to apply.

The Company

So you’ve got someone really excited about your proposition, they tick all the boxes you’ve outlined and they like the sound of the money on offer.

But are you the right company for them?

In this section you have the chance to really sell the business and why someone would want to work for you.

The trick here is to keep this section to no more than 2-3 sentences, talking about what makes you special or any other positive attributes that you feel will really help someone decide that your company is somewhere they want to work.

It might be state-of-the-art offices, great location, incredible staff satisfaction, any awards you’ve won, new contracts you’ve secured, reputation/history, etc.

Every company has a story to tell – your job is to find the one that keeps the reader nodding.

Additional Key Word Optimisation

To understand this, you need to understand how a job board search engine works.

If your target candidate searches for ‘Sales Manager’ jobs in ‘Birmingham’, the job board will look for the most relevant jobs that match the criteria.

Now one of the ways it judges relevancy is the number of contextual mentions of the exact term that’s been searched.

Please Note: Contextual. The algorithms that power job boards will penalise repeated mentions of the same keywords

So, one really neat trick is to liberally sprinkle several mentions of your targeted job title throughout your job description text.

This takes some practice, but once you get the knack you’ll be surprised how naturally you can shoe-horn the job title in.

Ideally, you don’t really want more than 4-5 mentions of the targeted job titles.

The Hook/Call-to-Action

So you’ve built a brilliant advert that is going to get your ideal hire excited about the prospect of joining your business.

All that’s left now is to use an old marketing trick to add a sense of urgency and to prompt the action of applying.

You’d be amazed at the difference just using the words “Apply Now” at the end of your advert will have.

Some years back we ran an experiment and we saw a 21.73% increase in applications just by including a similar call-to-action at the end of the advert.

There are loads of alternatives you can use – just make sure you use one of them. Some examples include:

“Interested? Then send us your CV now and we’ll consider you for the first round of interviews.”

“So if you want to join the UK’s best food service company, get in touch today and apply now.”

“So you think you’ve got what it takes? Send us your CV now before someone else gets the job.”

Other Job Titles

Another way to try and capture more traffic is to mention other job titles that your target candidates might be searching for.

So in this instance, a Sales Manager might search for a ‘Business Development Manager’ role – so that could be worth including.

How can you do that?

Well, we tend to include a short line at the bottom of the job advert saying something like:

Well, we tend to include a short line at the bottom of the advert saying something like:

“This job could be suitable for people with a background in the following roles:”

Then we list the job titles that are potentially relevant to the ideal hire’s job search.

Again, this will take some lateral thinking, and it’s really important not to list off hundreds of potential job titles.

Because that will be considered ‘spammy’ by the job boards, and it could mean that your advert gets penalised, so keep it to 4 or 5.

Also, from a user perspective, having a long list of job titles just looks a bit weird, so bear that in mind.

AdBuilder takes care of all of the above when creating your job adverts.

It removes any thinking you have to do by producing adverts that are fully optimised to rank highly on job boards’ search engines, and to be written in a way to entice the reader to click the apply button.