10 Essential Elements Of An Effective Job Ad

essential elements of an effective job ad

Writing an effective job ad is a crucial step in the hiring process. It’s easy to write a basic ad and post it online in just a few minutes, but in order to attract top talent, an effective announcement will help you get the candidate results you want.
Crafting a job ad that’s as effective as a cat video on the internet is an art. The good news is that you don’t need to be a word wizard. You just need to learn to speak the language of your future team members.

Job ads = first impressions

A job ad is generally the first impression a candidate gets of your business. This initial glimpse into your company sets the tone for the entire candidate experience. It’s your chance to make them think, “Wow, this place is where I want to be!” Think of your job ad as the trailer for the blockbuster movie that is your workplace.
Companies that want to attract the best and brightest talent know that job ads aren’t ‘help wanted’ advertising. A creative and effective job ad can be a marketing tool for your company.

USE the AIDA model for the best results

There isn’t a set recipe or formula for a perfect job ad, but using the AIDA model is a good idea. AIDA stands for Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action. It’s up to you to grab the job seeker’s attention, pique their interest, appeal to their employment needs, and drive them to apply. Don’t worry—it’s not as hard as you might think.

Let’s break down the acronym:
А – Attention: This is the initial stage where the goal is to capture the job seeker’s attention. The job ad should have a compelling headline or opening statement that stands out and makes the candidate want to learn more.
I – Interest: The next step is to generate interest. In this phase, the job ad should provide information that makes the candidate curious and engaged. Highlighting unique aspects of the job, company culture, and exciting projects can help maintain the candidate’s interest.
D – Desire: Once the candidate is interested, the job ad should build desire by showcasing the benefits and opportunities associated with the position. This could include details about professional growth, unique perks, success stories of employees who have excelled, and any other factors that make the job appealing.
A – Action: The final stage is to prompt the candidate to take action. This is where the job ad should clearly outline the next steps the candidate should follow, whether it’s applying online, submitting materials, or scheduling an interview. The call to action should be straightforward inviting, and convey a sense of urgency to encourage prompt applications.

10 essential elements of an effective job ad

To write an effective job ad, include the following elements:

  1. Intriguing job title – Choose a catchy job title that encourages the job seeker to read your entire job ad. Instead of a plain “Software Engineer,” try “Code Whisperer.” For a Marketing Specialist, go beyond the norm with “Brand Storyteller.”
  2. Introduction – Briefly introduce the job opening. Rather than drowning candidates in a sea of bullet points, create a compelling snapshot of the role. Personalize the job ad by asking questions like, “Do you want to work for a company that will change the world?” or “Are you keen to join an award-winning team?” Engage the job seeker and capture their attention.
  3. Describe your ideal candidate – Define the required and preferred qualifications, skills, traits, experience, and certifications that job candidates must possess. Be specific.
  4. Job description with responsibilities and duties – Describe the job. Give the job seeker a glimpse into a day in the life of this role. Mention the team, hours, goals, responsibilities, and other pertinent info.
  5. Company culture – Showcase the company’s values and mission. Peel back the curtain on your company and offer a sneak peek into the soul of your organization. Additionally, share stories that exemplify your organization’s values in action. Perhaps your team embarked on a charity initiative or collaborated on a groundbreaking project.
  6. Company information – Provide a quick snapshot of your company. Tell job seekers what your business is all about. Create a highlight reel of the company’s accomplishments, team, awards, products/services, culture, and brand.
  7. Salary and benefits – Be upfront and honest about pay and benefits. Job seekers want to know this info sooner than later. Salary transparency is important to employees. According to a StaffingHub survey, the majority (88%) of workers want to know the full salary range for their jobs.
  8. Desired qualifications – Lay out the qualifications you’d love to see in an ideal candidate, but keep it grounded. Be realistic about experience levels, too.
  9. Required skills and experience – Tell the job seeker what to do after they apply. This is a test to see if they can follow directions, but also provides guidelines on what to expect next.
  10. Videos and photos – Remember, a picture is worth a thousand words. Include snapshots of your team in action, your vibrant office space, or even your office mascot. Let candidates visualize themselves in your dynamic work environment. Videos and photos bring your job ad to life. Here is a great example from WorkBright customer Avid4Adventure that incorporates many of the elements above. In particular, they have a killer video that clearly describes a typical employee’s work. Check out the full page here for inspiration when creating your next ad for a job.

Additional things to keep in mind:

  1. Understand the target audience – Tailor your job ad to resonate with your ideal candidates’ specific needs and preferences, ensuring that the language, tone, and content align with their persona.
  2. Write an ad, not a description – Job ads and job descriptions have a lot in common. However, they are not one and the same. Each serves a specific purpose. Job descriptions are created, in part, as an internal guidepost that clarifies the role and a direct supervisor for the person filling the role.
  3. Inject some personality – Organizations that want to stand out in a crowded sea of job opportunities know they have to make a connection with the right candidates. Don’t be afraid to inject some personality into your job posts.
  4. Ditch the corporate-speak, use clear and concise language – Communicate in straightforward terms, avoiding jargon and industry buzzwords, to create an authentic and easily understandable message for potential candidates. Avoid job titles like “Guru, Ninja, Rockstar” – they’re cringe and may not appeal to all candidates.
  5. Include SEO keywords – SEO keywords aren’t just for blogging or website content. They work wonders for job ads, too. Using the right keywords in your headline and throughout the body of the job description can attract candidates seeking those positions. Suppose you’re seeking a qualified graphic designer for your creative team. Using keywords like graphic design, visual communication, multimedia, and even design specialist are ideal ways to draw in your preferred candidates searching for open positions

Include these essential elements, and you’ll be on the right track to finding strong candidates. Remember that the job ad is your first interaction with a job seeker. Always strive to make a great first impression.

Final steps

After crafting an effective job ad, the next step is to get it live and in front of your best-fit candidates.

Choosing the right job boards and websites is crucial in your job ad distribution.

Once your job ads are created, share them on relevant social media to attract more candidates and to create engagement. By leveraging social media platforms, you can amplify the reach of your job ads, tapping into diverse talent pools and fostering engagement. This broadens your candidate pool and cultivates a dynamic and interactive community around your employer brand, ultimately enhancing your recruitment efforts and creating lasting connections with potential candidates.

Example of an effective job ad

So, what should a great job ad look like? We’ve included an example below as a guide to get you started:


Job Title: HR Manager – Architect of Workplace Culture

Location: Chicago, IL (Hybrid Working Model)

Are You Ready to Shape the Future of Our Workforce? Join us at Innovate Corp, a trailblazing company that’s redefining industry standards! We’re seeking an HR Manager, but we’re not looking for Toby from The Office. This role is for an Architect of Workplace Culture – someone who will lead our HR initiatives and be the heartbeat of our vibrant workplace.

Who We Are: At Innovate Corp, we’re not just a team but a community. With numerous industry accolades and a legacy of groundbreaking projects, we pride ourselves on nurturing a dynamic, inclusive, and ever-evolving culture. Our mission? To empower every employee to unleash their potential and make a lasting impact.

Your Role:
As our HR Manager, you will be the catalyst in creating an environment where creativity meets strategy. Your days will be filled with:

  • Developing and implementing innovative HR strategies that align with our business goals and culture.
  • Championing a diverse and inclusive workplace where every voice is valued.
  • Managing the entire employee lifecycle, ensuring a memorable journey from onboarding to development.
  • Crafting policies and practices that comply with legal standards and foster a positive work environment.

We’re Looking For Someone With:

  • Passion for transforming workplaces and nurturing talent.
  • A proven track record in HR with a flair for strategic planning and problem-solving.
  • Exceptional interpersonal and communication skills.
  • A Bachelor’s degree in Human Resources or a related field; SHRM certification is a plus.

What’s in It for You:

  • Competitive salary package with transparent and attractive benefits.
  • A dynamic work environment that encourages innovation and growth.
  • Opportunities to lead transformative projects and shape company culture.
  • A supportive team that celebrates every milestone and success.

Ready to Join Us?
If you’re excited about the prospect of becoming a key player in a company that’s shaping the future, we’d love to hear from you. Apply now, and let us show you what being part of Innovate Corp means!

Submit your application, and let’s embark on a journey of growth and innovation together!

Innovate Corp is an equal-opportunity employer committed to diversity and inclusion.


Make sure your hard work is not wasted

Once you have honed in on your job ad and begin receiving applicants, you’ll want to have a strong applicant tracking system and new hire process in place to manage everything.

Depending on your needs, this could be as simple as a spreadsheet. Usually, companies that have more than a few new hires annually find it easier to move to an employee onboarding software designed to automate paperwork and notifications while ensuring you stay compliant. Other companies look for onboarding solutions that enable remote onboarding. Remote solutions allow applicants and new employees to apply and complete all of their new hire paperwork from any location, using any device.

You will need to assess what makes the most sense for your company—the key is to ensure you have a plan ahead of time. To find out if WorkBright might be a good fit to help manage your applicants, request a 15-minute consultation to discuss your needs here.