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How to Write Ads That Get Great Candidates

Source: jurvetson

A lament we often hear when we meet talent at events around the country is how little time hiring managers, HR, or recruiters spend looking at their resumes.

Which, according to a study by TheLadders is right around six seconds.

Sadly, that six seconds window is  a fact of life. The best thing to do is make those six seconds count. (Which is why we try to create content for job seekers like 5 Tips for Creating a Winning Resume and Tips for Making Your Resume More Engaging.)

But in an interesting turn of events, a newer study by TheLadders may prove there may bit a of the pot calling the kettle black going on.

In a study of job seekers looking at job descriptions, most spent fewer than 60 seconds reviewing a job posting before deciding to apply or pass (even though the majority of them had said they’d spent up to 10 minutes reviewing a job description to see if they were a good fit.)


So now that the shoe is on the other proverbial foot, what’s a hiring manager to do to attract great talent?

Selena Hadzibabic, director of product and user experience at TheLadders suggested that anyone writing an ad for a job should recognize where potential candidates will be spending their attention and write clearly to their audience. She said many people, “write job descriptions in ways that aren’t very easy to scan or understand. So the job-seekers get lost in run-on paragraphs...”

Here’s where the participants in the study spent the majority of time looking:

  1. Title
  2. Company (23 seconds avg., but skimmed)
  3. Job requirements (14.6 seconds avg.)

The bottom section was often skipped entirely. (You can check out a heat map to see where participants’ eyes went on the ads.)

Ms. Hadzibabic also pointed out that job titles should also always be clear,”If you’re looking to hire a Java developer, that’s what the job title should be even though they’re going to join your team of ninjas.”

Read the whole study to see if you’re spending your writing time wisely.

Need help coming up with compelling copy to find that needle in the haystack? Check out our posts 6 Steps to Writing a Great Job Posting and  A good job description will attract good talent.

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