Create attention-grabbing job advertisements

Writing attention grabbing job ads and posting them in all the right places can mean the difference between attracting few applicants and having a selection of candidates from which to choose.

In today’s tight labour market, it is more important than ever to create job ads that attract attention, and to post your ad where it will be noticed by the right people.

Step 1: Writing great job ads

Your ad is the way to set your business apart from the competition and help you attract the best talent.

Be mindful of tone and be sure to write for your audience: your ad represents the environment of your business. Keep in mind the kind of candidate you’re hoping to attract: established worker or entry level? Blue collar worker or white collar? Think also of under-represented worker populations such as disabled people, minorities, young workers, and older workers. 

Your job ad sets expectations of the position and the business. If those expectations are not met during the interview, or later after hiring, then it’s likely the employee will start looking elsewhere and you will be back on the hiring merry-go-round. 

Think about your vacant position as a product you are selling. What is special about your business, industry, location or any other segment in which you compete? Consider: what is your competitive edge?

  • Great group of employees
  • Near transit, free parking or where people live
  • Wonderful community, housing options, family friendly and/or single friendly environment
  • Training and learning from other employees on your team or the courses you send them to
  • Great hours of work or days off schedule
  • Family friendly flexibility
  • New products, processes
  • Steady work through business cycle ups and downs
  • Great wages and/or benefits
  • Excellent safety record, perhaps in an industry not usually noted for it

The structure of your job ad should be short and sweet; job seekers just want to know the essentials. Use plain language – avoiding jargon – and use bullet points rather than long lists. The job description is a great basis for the job ad as it can help you distil the main responsibilities of the position. 

Step 2: Where to post your job advertisements

There are many options to consider, depending on your budget of both money and time, including the Internet, print, social media, your community centre or college or university job board, etc.

Here are some opportunities for posting job ads: 

  • Government job boards
  • Local or city newspapers or their recruitment websites
  • Kijiji or other classified websites
  • Professional organizations
  • Commercial recruitment websites
  • College/University hiring websites
  • High school message boards
  • Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn
  • Community Association newsletters
  • Employee, supplier, and vendor referrals
  • Your own website