hr looking through job ad

Step-by-Step Template For a More Engaging Job Ad

Everyone is still struggling with sourcing applicants.

To be honest, it isn't getting any better.

And, rumor has it there's going to be a bunch of turnover happening... which means you'll need even more applicants.

The biggest issue I see employers struggling with when it comes to sourcing applicants is their job ad.

The job ads tend to be focused on the employer and not on the job seeker. And while they may not realize it, this technique is drastically harming their applicant flow.

The most effective way to better your sourcing efforts is to focus on your job ad!

Job Ad Template

Create engaging job ads sure to attract qualified job seekers for your positions!

Most employers only see their own data, specifically the number of applicants, and not...

    How many searches were performed,

    Where the job was displayed,

    How many people viewed their ad,

    And, how many started their application

Did you know for every 1 applicant you see in your inbox, there are at least 100 more? These job seekers may be qualified, but didn't make it through your process.

It's time to change your paradigm.

Most companies are using a job description as a job ad. When I suggested they adjust their ad to be more "jobseeker focused" they say it goes against the entire concept of what a job description is.

And while it does play an important part in HR and compliance...

A job description was never meant to be a job ad.

A job description is a legally reviewed document. This document is used between an employer and an employee to set the stage for what is required of new hires, and what their job will be. On the backside, it is used to fire somebody, discipline somebody, or show an employee that they're not performing their job the way they're supposed to.

When an employer switches from a job description to a job ad, applicant flow increases by 50-300%.

There are three pieces of content that will help drive applicant flow.

Each piece has a very specific purpose. If they're not used the right way, you'll end up hindering your applicant flow.

  1. The job ad. -- The goal of an ad is to attract and engage potentially interested candidates... not to filter.
  2. A list of job questions. - The goal here is to filter all the people that apply, so you can get to the best ones first. These job questions make it easy to auto-disqualify people who are clearly not a good fit. They allow you to rank the rest of the candidates from best fit to worst. They also provide quick access to information about the candidate without having to look through their resume.
  3. A legal job description. -- This document is typically created by HR or a legal consultant. It is used to provide clarity between the employer and the employee about the job and what is required. Most people share this during the interview or the hiring process, or even after they are hired. And, to be honest, most people don't really read them.
  4. I've decided to add a final part. We'll call it extra credit.

  5. Conversation starters. -- A conversation starter is what you share on social media, along with the link that takes somebody to your job ad.

Is a job ad compliant?

Now, maybe you're worried that your job ad won't be compliant, or feel obligated to display the entire job description before people apply. There's an easy way to have the best of both worlds.

Simply create an ad, not a job description, using my template below. Next, create a PDF version of your job description. Upload the PDF job description to your favorite file-sharing software. (This could be Dropbox, Google Drive, or loaded directly onto your own website or HTS system.) Finally, add a link to the body of your ad.

This way if somebody needs or wants to read the full job description, they can choose to do so! BUT it is not what we use to generate interest and convert them to applicants.

How to write an engaging job ad

I'll walk you through how this works. The primary goal here is to create a consistent flow that explains why a job seeker should want this job versus what they're doing right now. Most of them are working for someone else, doing a different job.

I will lay out all of the different sections of the job ad, with my go-to flow. You can reorder the sections by recreating different headings or adding a few more sections.

My biggest warning... Do not let this ad evolve into a job description.

This is going to feel really strange to use this type of ad. Your ads won't look or sound like your competitors or the previous ads that you have used. This is on purpose.

In a hyper-competitive talent market, you want to stand out from the crowd rather than blend in.

Have job seekers ever brought up your ad during the interview? Have they talked about how excited it got them to apply for the job? Probably not. This is because you have been using a job description..... Let's face it, they're not exciting!

Let's walk through the sections... I'll give you the heading and then we're going to tell you what the goal of the section is.

Section 1 - The elevator pitch.

This generally doesn't include a heading but is just a quick 1-2 paragraphs that are almost like a "Help Wanted" ad from the newspaper.

An elevator pitch is a short teaser with a few important pieces of information. This includes the job title, what you're looking for, where it's located, and whether it's part-time or full-time. This will help the job seeker know whether or not this is a job they're fit for and interested in.

This might be something like...

    "ApplicantPro is currently looking for a part-time sales rep in our XYZ location... if you are A, B, and C, this is going to be a great opportunity for you because of D, E, and F. If you are interested, please continue to read more now."

In the elevator pitch, you want to be sure that you point out, highlight, and even bold really key points that explain what the job is and the location of it. Be sure to highlight your biggest benefits or differentiators. For ApplicantPro, those would be...

  • Paid time off policy
  • Work from home
  • Flexible schedule
  • House cleaning bonus

You can ask a few questions to see if the job seeker is a good fit..."Do you love working with people, and you want to make a commission? You should apply."

Section 2 - About our company.

This is where you explain why somebody would want to work for your company. This section of the job ad is all about what your employees would say at a family barbecue to explain why they like working for your company.

Then, just some general information about the company, like...

  • X number of years the company has been in business
  • An idea about company size... "we have over 180 employees in 3 different states"
  • Culture, mission, or values

What is it like to work for your company?

    "We hire people, not resumes."

    "We believe in internal career growth"

    "We are very focused on being humble, hungry, and smart as core values."

This section is about the experience of working for your company. We're not talking about your product, whether or not you're world-class, or if you fit into certain places in the market space. The most important takeaway is...

What would somebody tell their friends and family members about why they like working at your company and what it's like to work there?

Section 3 - A day in the life.

This is the most important section of your job ad.

This section replaces the duties and qualifications in the job description. This is where I put the job title and explain in an engaging way what the job is actually like. I like to break this up into four main areas:

    What do you do every day, all the time?

    What do you do once a week?

    What do you do once a month?

    What do you do randomly?

This is your moment! Talk about what they'll do. Which software will be used? How will they interact with other people? What are their managers like? Let them know what it's like so they can picture themselves doing the job.

Section 4 - The work schedule and environment.

Be as specific as possible here... especially if you believe that you're going to get people from outside of your industry for this job. Make sure they understand the work schedule and environment...

    When will they be expected to work?

    What are the environment and office space like?

    Is this work from home? Is there flexibility?

Section 5 - Job requirements.

You can make a bulleted list here, but ONLY with the hard requirements. This doesn't mean...

    Bachelor's degree preferred.

    Or, X number of years experience in sales.

If it is not a hard requirement, meaning, you would boot an employee who doesn't have these, leave it out! Focus on soft skills and functional requirements. Functional requirements for a sales position would be...

  • Experience cold calling.
  • Must have a proven track record of closing deals.
  • Must have experience using Salesforce CRM to manage leads.

These are all functional requirements of what you're actually asking them to do on the job, not vague experience or education requirements. You could also use...

  • Great communication.
  • Excellent typing skills.
  • Ability to interact with other team members and great at talking with customers

Stick to less than 10. Remember, they have to be hard requirements. Where, if they don't have them, you will not even consider them as a candidate.

Section 6 - Call to action.

The difference between information and marketing is that marketing calls people to act. For whatever reason, we leave this out of job descriptions. This is your time to explain and push them to step forward.

The title of this section could be....

    "Ready to join our team?"

    "Would you like to apply?"

Then you'll have something like...

    "If this job sounds like a great job for you, then we would love to talk to you! Please fill out our quick 3-minute online application. We will follow back up with you with more specifics regarding the position and what the next steps will be."

If you tell them what comes next, it makes them more likely to actually engage.

A few final notes...

The more specific, the better. Don't just say "PTO" ... explain how much PTO you provide. If you are embarrassed about the specifics, meaning you don't compare well to your competitors, then it's evidence of a bigger problem to solve.

The tone of the ad should match the tone and culture of your company.

    If your company is laid back, your ad should also sound laid back.

    If you don't take yourself too seriously, the ad should not sound too serious.

    If you're sarcastic and storytellers, then write ads that tell sarcastic stories.

Create the job ad, not the job description!

This is the step-by-step process of how to create an engaging job ad.

You can download our Job Ad Template with a before/after example to see how we utilize this outline.

Post it and see what kind of results you are getting. I promise you that you will see amazing results!

job ad template guide

Increase your applicant flow rate with step-by-step template!

Create killer job ads with our step-by-step Job Ad Template and watch as you stand out against your competitors.

First Name*
Last Name*
Share this article

Trying to compare Applicant Tracking Systems?

This buyer's checklist will help you weigh all of your options!

Get My Checklist

Curious what ApplicantPro is all about?

Find out how we can help you streamline and optimize your hiring process!

See a Demo

Related Articles

nail your job ads
Nail Your Job Ads and Snag Top-Notch Talent

Job ads are a marketing game and SEO is your winning strategy. Discover the art of using searchable titles and keywords and crafting concise job descriptions. Tone, wording, and salary transparency are vital in attracting top talent.


work at home mom with child on lap
Do 80% of job seekers really want remote work?

Uncover the power of using "flexible" in job ads and learn how it attracts 7x more applicants than "hybrid." Understand the real desires of job seekers and how flexibility goes beyond just the location of work.


group of employees working together
Building Employee-Employer Relationships: The Key to Boosting Business Success

A strong employee-employer relationship is critical to the success of your business. Check out these ideas that you can implement to keep your employees happy. Happy employees equals a thriving and successful business!


Want a tour?

Schedule a Demo

Let's get started!

FREE Trial