Talent Acquisition

How to Get the Best CVs From Your Job Ads

In a candidate led market, it’s essential to stand out from your competitors if you want to attract top talent – and your job advert is your first opportunity to grab their attention.

But with so much choice at a click of a button, you need an engaging, informative and well-structured advert to entice the best applicants to apply. 

Below are six tips to help you create a compelling job advert, that lands you the best CVs.

Engage the reader

With so many roles being advertised, there are more choices than ever available to candidates. An engaging advert should both sell the benefits and features of a role, whilst intriguing a candidate to find out more.

Reflect on the job title you are using for your advert. Whilst an employer might use certain job titles in-house, it might be worth changing things up for the external market. Think of a relevant title that a candidate would actually be searching for this job online. Get on the job boards to gain an insight into which titles are appearing at the top of your search.

Look to incorporate questions at the beginning of an advert, enticing candidates to match themselves to the role. For example, you could use an opening such as: “Are you passionate about customer service?” for customer service vacancies. 

Sell the benefits

When writing a job advert, consider what matters most to your intended audience. Applicants are looking for more than just competitive salaries, so it’s imperative to focus on the additional benefits. 

Include a benefits section within your advert, highlighting any training provided, chances to progress within the company, as well as benefits such as bonuses, holidays, private medical or any additional perks. 

But do remember that benefits are more than just the package you offer. Factoring in flexible working hours or remote working days is also a great way to differentiate yourself from your competitors. 

Have a strong structure

When you’re reviewing CVs, a strong, well-organized structure makes it much easier for you to identify the best possible candidates. So, in a similar way, you need to focus on the structure used within your job advert.

Make your ad easy for candidates to digest, by using headers and bullet points to break up large blocks of text. 

Start with the most important information, captivating candidates to delve deeper into the advert. Highlight key details such as the location, salary and job title before going into a full description. 

Follow an easy-to-read format, commencing with an overview of the role, before providing details of the employer’s history and culture. Next, look to describe the company benefits, before listing the main duties. An advert should end with a candidate specification, showcasing the type of candidate you’re recruiting for.

Stand out from the competition

If you’re looking to compete, you need to be different. It’s important not to blend into the crowd by using buzzwords or cliché phrases such as “all we ask from you is” or “this is an opportunity of a lifetime”.

Instead, be specific, telling candidates exactly why this is such a great vacancy to apply for, reflecting on the company culture and the exact job duties. 

It’s not just other employers you need to differentiate yourself from. When writing a job advert, don’t simply copy and paste from a template – make each advert unique.

Check, check and check Again

Nothing puts off candidates like a poorly written job advert – it oozes unprofessionalism.

Before you submit your job ad, make sure to triple check it. Review your advert for small errors such as grammar or spelling mistakes and ensure it actually reads well – reading it aloud can help.

It can be hard to spot your own mistakes, so consider getting a colleague to read through an advert on your behalf. It might just be a simple mistake, but high-quality candidates may see it as a lazy employer who lacks attention to detail.

And it’s not just errors that you should review your advert for. Getting a current employee who is already in that position to review your job advert could give you a new perspective. Compiling their feedback could give you additional insight into whether a likeminded person would be attracted by the ad. 

Lastly, think over the length of your job advertisement. A long advert can become tedious to read, but an advert should be long enough to provide a clear overview of the role. Be sure to have a good balance. 

Close the deal

Even the most engaging advert needs a call to action. Once you have grabbed their attention, it’s time to seal the deal and secure their application. 

Whether you ask candidates to send their CVs with covering letters, complete an online application or even just give you a quick call, make it clear what action applicants need to take next. 

It needs to be straightforward for candidates to express their interest in a role. A complex application process could put off potential applications – so don’t put unnecessary hurdles in the way. 

By Andrew Fennell

Andrew Fennell is an experienced recruiter, and founder of CV writing service  StandOut CV. He also contributes to a number of leading career pages such as The Guardian, Business Insider and Huffington Post.