Author Matt Smith, Nov 11, 2020 4:55:55 PM

There was a time, years ago, where a great place to look for a job was a newspaper. Thursday was "jobs day" in my hometown newspaper, in fact, it was how I got my first job. The newspaper has stopped "job's day" now.

More and more of our news is read online. The online habit is now ingrained within us, for all walks of life. How many people do you see glued to their phone during their commute to work?

Mobile first

In this era of smartphones, our digital lives are spent looking at a mobile phone screen. In fact, according to a study by independent web analytics firm, over 50% of the measurable internet traffic in the world is done over mobile.

We tend to scan through articles on our mobile in a less purposeful way than sat down at a desktop or reading a newspaper. This is due to the way that search engines work because search engines like google, work on relevance.

Make it relevant

If you want your job advert to be found then you will need to make it relevant enough for the search engine to rank it high, at the very least you will want it showing on the first page of results. And this is how you make sure it’s on the first page:

  • use clear and concise sentences
  • insert keywords relating to the job, sensibly but frequently in the advert
  • chose a title that candidates are searching for

How do you entice candidates to choose your jobs, and not your competitors? This was the simplest change. Job adverts used to be about providing you with information on a job opportunity, usually in black and white, usually not making the job sound very interesting at all.

Cultural fit is key

With unemployment in Switzerland currently at 3.2%, and most potential candidates not being active job seekers, a cultural fit is a key need. Candidates have no problem turning down a big salary offer if they feel uneasy with company culture. Therefore if you write a job advert in a way that attracts the "right" characters from the job description alone, then you will get a lower rejection rate of job offers, and many more "passive" candidates applying, which saves you a lot of time.

To give you an example, I work mostly with User Experience Designers. So most of my ads are informal and casual, partly because these are most often the sort of characters my clients look for. Therefore I will write the job description in a casual way. Using an informal instead of formal language. Clearly this means that you will want to write a more “professional” description if you are advertising for a role at a more traditional or conservative firm, to attract more traditional or conservative characters which will likely better fit in your organisation.

So there are a number of factors that have changed the way we should be writing job adverts, and ways to write them better, to recap:

  • Use short, clear, and catchy language
  • Describe the company environment in what, and how, you write
  • Use keywords frequently in a job ad
  • Always have in type of mind the sort of character you have in mind when you write the ad


Let me know in the comment section if these tips have helped you.

Where do candidates look for jobs? Download our Employer Brand study now.