One major component of attracting the right applicants is your catchy headlines for job ads. If you’ve ever scrolled through an online job board, you know they can be a crazy place. With legitimate, high-quality positions featured side by side with spam listings and abysmal “commission only” sales jobs, it’s no wonder candidates say they hate pretty much everything about the job searching process.
However, job boards aren’t going away any time soon, and if you want to be a competitive employer, you have to learn to stand out when posting jobs online.
We’ll share examples of catchy headlines for job ads, explain why they work, and show you how to write your own titles that get your desired results.
Why Headlines Matter in Job Ads
With online job posts, finding the right candidate is a numbers game.
It comes down to conversion rate–the portion of people from a total pool who will complete the desired action, like clicking on a job ad or filling out an application. A normal conversion rate is between 1 and 2%.
So, let’s say you have an optimal conversion rate of around 2%. Of all the people who see your job ad, 2% of them will click through to view the full description. And 2% of those people will fill out an application.
If you start with an audience of 10,000 people, that’s 200 click-throughs to view your job and just four actual applicants. Hopefully, all four have the right qualifications to receive an interview–if not, you may need to cast an even wider net.
As you can see, it’s in your best interest to do everything in your power to raise the number of click-throughs your job ad receives. That takes a catchy headline.
Related: How to Leverage Data to Improve Your Recruitment Process
On the other hand, maybe you have the opposite problem–too many applications from ill-fitting candidates to sift through. Writing better job headlines will help with this challenge, too.
When your headline is too generic, you encourage blanket applications from candidates who figure “it’s worth a shot.” This creates more work for your hiring team and eats up resources. Compelling, role-specific headlines will help narrow your applicant pool, improving the quality and suitability of your candidates and reducing the time and labor you spend on hiring.
What Makes a Good Job Advertisement?
Describes the job
A good job ad makes it clear what the position is. Giving the job title is usually best, but in cases where you’re looking to expand your candidate pool, a broader description can work (i.e., ‘marketing professional’ versus ‘account manager’).
Conveys the required experience
Weed out unqualified candidates by defining how much experience is required. You can state a specific number of years or give an idea of the seniority level with words like ‘entry-level,’ ‘junior,’ ‘experienced,’ ‘seasoned,’ ‘mid-level,’ ‘senior,’ and ‘executive.’
Promotes your selling points
Why would a candidate want to work for your company? Just as any good marketing language tells the customer what’s in it for them if they buy, your job headline should communicate the benefits of becoming an employee to prospective applicants.
Here’s an example of a headline that incorporates all of the above elements:
Entry-Level Executive Assistant – High Growth Potential
It names the job, conveys that it’s a junior-level position, and alludes to the idea that there’s an opportunity for the right candidate to grow with the company.
The above formula is a great starting point for creating basic headlines that get the job done, but ideally, you want to go a little further to stand out. Next, we’ll share tips for spicing up your job headline while still zeroing in on the right candidates.
Related: How to Write a Job Description to Attract Top Candidates
How to Write Catchy Headlines for Job Ads
Say what you want
What exactly are you looking for? What are the must-haves? Outline three to five of the most important qualifications for the job to help candidates rule themselves in or out of the running, then create headline variations that incorporate them. You can also do this by summing up what the day-to-day work entails.
Social Media Manager With B2B Expertise
Social Media Manager With 3 Years of Experience
Manage Facebook Presence For SaaS Firm
Define your value proposition
Catch the eye of discerning job seekers by showcasing what makes your company a great place to work. Your existing employees can be a valuable source of insight for this and can even provide direct quotes that can be used as a testimonial-style headline.
Expand Your Skills And Make Lasting Connections
Work For An Employer That Prioritizes Your Growth
“The most supportive team I’ve ever worked on.”
Speak to your target candidate
Sometimes, it’s actually beneficial to go narrower with your job ads with language that makes the perfect candidate immediately stop and say, “that’s me!” It’s only possible if you get uber-specific with wording that speaks directly to their situation.
Easily Commute From Midtown
Stay-At-Home Mom? Earn Part-Time Income
Jump-Start Your Career In Finance
Incorporate your mission
The best candidates are those who are in it for more than just a paycheck. Give your work meaning by sharing a little context on your core values or the mission candidates would be contributing to as part of your team.
Help Revitalize Downtown Detroit
Our Hospice Nurses Change Lives
Bring The Arts To Underserved Communities
Showcase your perks
Keeping an eye on your competition should be an ongoing part of your recruiting strategy. As such, you should have a pretty good idea of what you offer that others in your field don’t.
For example, maybe you know your top competitor pays a bit more, but you offer unlimited time off. This is a great perk to showcase in your job ads.
$10K Sign-On Bonus!
Set Your Own Hours
Work-Life Balance? Find It Here
Related: In-Demand Perks and Benefits
Include key details
There’s nothing worse than finding a great candidate only to learn that some defining part of the job makes it a deal-breaker. To avoid this, call out important information that could make or break the position for certain applicants, like if it’s part-time, remote, or requires nonstandard hours.
Seasoned Warehouse Manager – Overnight Shift
Part-Time Retail Associate With Holiday Availability
Regional Sales Manager – 50% Travel
As with any recruiting strategy, A/B testing your job headlines is necessary. We suggest creating one or more headlines for each of the tips above, then tracking their performance against one another. With ongoing testing, you’ll learn what type of headlines work best to attract your ideal candidate, leading to less work, more accurate hiring and greater ROI from your job ads.