Hiring Wizard Insights


7 Ways to Improve the Quality of Candidates Applying to your Job Ads

Are you receiving too many low-quality responses to your job ads? Are you tired of wading through seas of candidates who just aren’t right for the role? We’ve all been there. The truth is that the problem may actually lie in your job ad itself.

Even if you think your job ad might be perfectly crafted, in reality it might just need that little bit more optimisation to turn your responses into high-quality ones. Remember that when writing your job ad, you shouldn’t be looking for the most applications possible, you should be looking for the most relevant, highest quality ones.

So what are the top 7 ways you can improve the quality of your ad response?


1. Go Branded or Go Home

We’re going to start with the number one most important feature of successful job ads…


Good branding creates trust. And high-quality candidates don’t waste their time on untrustworthy ads. Why would you be interested in an opportunity if you don’t even know who it’s with?

In fact, branded adverts can receive up to 43% more applicants than non-branded adverts. That’s the power of branding!

So if you want the best candidates to engage with your job ads; get the branding on there.


2. Show The Salary!

Scroll through job boards and you’ll see the same old phrase over and over again.

‘Competitive salary’…

What does it even mean? What counts as competitive? Surely not every salary can be ‘competitive’?

You’ll find that being so vague with salary can not only attract lower quality candidates trying their luck, but it can also actively discourage quality candidates from applying.


This clever LinkedIn job description heat map study shows that the single most important feature in a job ad is… Salary!

Don’t be afraid to put your salary out there. Even just a salary range. Choose your boundaries and put them on show. If you want, you can offer flexibility in the job description, but you need to offer at least some guidance to your candidates. Respect your candidates!


3. Be Descriptive, Not Restrictive

The job description is one of the main features of a job ad. The key is in the name. Your ads should describe, in detail, everything candidates need to know about the job.

And it’s not easy, we know. Finding that balance between providing enough information and keeping things short and snappy can be a real challenge.

It’s like walking a tightrope.

Don’t waffle - stick to easy to read formatting and wording. Bullet points, short paragraphs, and snappy writing can do wonders to increase reader engagement and grab the attention of high-level candidates.


4. Nail the Tone

The tone of a job ad is so important to how a job is perceived by the reader. In fact, having an incorrect tone can create the entirely wrong image for the business and the role, actively discouraging great candidates. Make sure to pay close attention to the tone you’re creating for your job ad, matching the writing style with the culture of the business.

And remember, job ads don’t always have to be overly formal!

The tone of your writing alone can completely influence the candidate’s perception of the company. Is your working environment quite friendly, a bit on the casual side? Feel free to use more informal writing. Writing your job ad in a style that’s too rigid can create a bit of disconnect in this instance.

Why write a job ad in a way that’s misrepresentative of the business?

employer branded job ads


5. Proofread, Proofread, Proofread

nobodu likes a job ab fullof typos

Even tiny mistakes can make your job ad look very unprofessional, and that alone can mean you miss out on top candidates. Job ads that aren’t fully proofread can devalue the opportunity. It says to the candidate that the job isn’t important enough to bother proofreading.

Sure, we all make mistakes every now and again. Everyone’s missed the occasional apostrophe or added an extra letter here and there. But the best candidates notice. Remember that spellcheckers only catch certain errors, there’s still a lot they miss. Errors that can’t be reliably detected by software.

So before you put out your next job ad, read it through. Then read it again. Then get someone else to read it. And read it yourself once more.

The chances are you’ll catch something you never would have noticed otherwise.


6. Key Information – Make it Clear

Don’t be afraid to use different types of formatting to help key pieces of information stand out. Using features like italics, bold, and sometimes even different font sizes can help draw the reader’s eye to the most vital bits of your job ad.

Just don’t overdo it. Remember that this only works when key information stands out. Throwing different formatting around too much can just make your ad look jumbled and unprofessional, and defeat the whole purpose of using it in the first place.

Look at the following examples and see which is better at displaying key information;

“As this offering is a sales role, day-to-day responsibilities include extensive call time and customer interaction. As such, excellent communication skills are essential, and strong experience in relevant sales roles is preferred”

“As this offering is a sales role, day-to-day responsibilities include extensive call time and customer interaction. As such, excellent communication skills are essential, and strong experience in relevant sales roles is preferred”

See how the second one draws particular attention to the most important part of the ad, without drawing too much away from the other features.


7. Keep it As Simple As Possible

Don’t fill your job ads to the brim with jargon. It makes your job ad harder to read, it disengages the candidate, and to be honest it’s just boring. There’s nothing wrong with sticking to simple language in your ads, it can often make them better received.

You don’t have to avoid jargon altogether. Sometimes it’s impossible to accurately describe your role without a few technical phrases here and there, but too much can just make your job ad convoluted. Be inviting, not intimidating, and make it as easy as possible for applicants to digest your ad.


If you want to improve the quality of candidates you receive from your job ads, give us a call at Hiring Wizard on 0161 696 8899. We provide premium job advertisement services, posting branded adverts for your role on all the major job boards.