Your business depends on talented employees who are well-suited for their roles. When a vacancy opens up, quickly filling it can help to keep your business productive. Creating a job ad is a standard part of running a business, but it can be challenging.
This article will guide you through the process of creating a job ad step-by-step. It will also highlight some common challenges you might face and how you can overcome them. We’ll focus on posting a job on LinkedIn and highlight some alternative platforms that might be a better fit for different scenarios.
Step-By-Step Guide to Create a Job Ad
Step 1: Draft Your Job Ad Text
The first and often most time-consuming part of creating a job ad is writing the job description. The text doesn’t have to be long, but you’ll need to put plenty of thought into it.
If you’re filling a vacant position, you’ll want to start with a job description, which should have detailed information about the job roles and be the basis for your job ad.
If you’re posting a position that’s brand-new to your business, be prepared to invest more time into creating your job ad. You’ll need to develop a job description first.
When creating a job description, be sure to include important details like:
- Job roles and specific responsibilities
- Who will supervise the employee and if the role supervises other employees
- What other team members the employee will work with
- The expected schedule/hours
- Education and experience levels
- Other important details like travel requirements, work location requirements, and other expectations
Once you’ve identified the job roles and responsibilities, you’ll need to identify the types of skills and experience that a top candidate would have. Identifying these elements early on can help potential candidates to determine if they might be suitable for the position. You can also use these skills and experiences to narrow down the applications that you receive.
As you draft a job ad, you’ll need to include more than just the job description. Consider developing sections that highlight:
- Information about your business
- Your description of an ideal candidate’s skills and experience
- Any requirements you have for applicants, such as licenses and certifications
- A description of the benefits that come with the position, including financial benefits, insurance, and growth opportunities
Like the information about your business, some sections will stay consistent across all of the job ads that you post. Consider keeping this information as a template to streamline the process of creating future job ads.
Step 2: Upload Your Job Ad Text
To start creating your job ad on LinkedIn, navigate to the “Jobs” tab in the top navigation bar.
Next, click on Post a free job in the upper right corner.
This will bring you to a screen to enter the basics about your job, like the title, company name, location, and job type. Then click Get started for free.
Next, you’ll see a screen where you can start entering your job details. This is where you’ll enter the job text you drafted in step one.
You can copy and paste your job description, but be sure to spend some time on formatting. Breaking up long blocks of text using bullets and bolded text can make the description easier to read. This strategic formatting also reduces the chance of applicants overlooking important information.
Step 3: Add Your Job Skills
LinkedIn automatically generates a few suggested skill keywords based on the type of job you’re posting. You can add and edit those skills to best describe the kind of candidate you’re seeking.
You can add up to 10 skills, so focus on those most essential to the job.
When you’re done, you can preview the description or continue to the next screen.
Step 4: Choose How You’ll Receive Your Applicants
LinkedIn offers comprehensive applicant screening options that save you time and make your employee search easier. These screening options include adding screening questions and automatically rejecting candidates if they lack specific requirements.
To take advantage of this screening feature, you’ll need to choose to receive applications by email. You can opt to receive the applicants through your business site, but the screening questions aren’t implemented.
Step 5: Choose Your Screening Questions
If you decide to receive applicants by email, you’ll need to choose your applicant screening questions. LinkedIn automatically generates some questions based on your job description. You can delete or edit them as needed.
You can also add your own questions. LinkedIn includes many suggested screening questions on topics like education and work experience. The custom question option lets you tailor this feature to be precisely what your unique business and job position requires.
As you add questions, you’ll specify what an applicant’s ideal answer would be. You can set minimum years of experience for certain skills and require that applicants be willing to allow a background check and drug test.
Lastly, you’ll select if you want to use those questions to eliminate applicants. LinkedIn can automatically send a rejection email to applicants who don’t have the qualifications that you specify as must-have qualifications.
Automatically eliminating unqualified applicants saves you time when dealing with large volumes of applicants. However, it’s also possible for you to miss out on a great applicant who happens not to have a specific qualification. You’ll need to weigh the pros and cons of using this option based on your situation.
Once done, you can preview the job or go ahead and post the job for free.
3 Top Benefits of Creating a Job Ad
Creating a quality job ad can pay off in many ways. From helping you reach new candidates and quickly hiring, it’s well worth spending the time creating a detailed job ad.
Reach Ideal Job Candidates
A well-thought-out job ad helps you reach the ideal candidates for your job. When you spend extra time describing the job and its responsibilities in detail, candidates will have a better sense of whether they’re right for the position. You want to reach the type of candidate who is the right fit for your business, leading to increased productivity and profits.
Speed Up Your Hiring Process
Sometimes vacancies occur with little notice, and you may find yourself under pressure to fill that spot quickly. Creating a quality job ad helps speed up the process.
When you post an ad on a site with significant reach, like LinkedIn, you’ll start seeing applications come in almost immediately. Move forward quickly with your interview process, and you can promptly fill vacant positions.
Increase Your Talent Pool
Talent drives your business’ success, and finding uniquely talented candidates strengthens your business. Posting a job ad can help you reach outside your existing talent pool, especially when filling a brand-new position for your business.
By bringing in staff with additional, specific skills, you’ll expand your business’s versatility and enhance your existing staff’s talents.
3 Biggest Challenges With Creating a Job Ad & How To Troubleshoot Them
While creating a job ad is a standard part of running a business, it still has its challenges. The following challenges are common when posting a job ad, but they’re also easy to overcome.
You’re Getting Too Many Applications
Sometimes you’ll post a job and quickly be overwhelmed with applications. It’s not unheard of for single job posts to bring in hundreds or even thousands of applications, and wading through all of them is impossible when you’re the only person handling the hiring process.
Preventing this problem starts with writing a detailed and highly specific job ad. While it’s important to outline requirements and designated skill sets, you still might see too many applications.
That’s where LinkedIn’s screening questions can be helpful. These questions may make candidates think twice about applying. If candidates see that they can’t respond positively to most of the questions, they may realize that they’re not the right fit for the position.
While LinkedIn will generate some screening questions based on your job description, you should still create your own questions. Get specific about the requirements you have for candidates. If you anticipate receiving too many applications, you can add many questions to help narrow down applications. Think about soft skills, too, such as communication and leadership abilities, and how you can work those into questions.
You might also consider setting some or all of these skills questions to being must-have qualifications. LinkedIn can filter out applications that don’t meet those requirements, so they never get to your inbox, and it’s one less resume to screen.
With these detailed skills questions and requirements, you’ll thin out the applications so that you’re only seeing qualified applicants. You’ll save time and be better able to focus on the best candidates.
You Receive Few Applications
If you post a job ad and receive only a few applications, it’s probably time to revisit your ad text. If you posted a vague ad without enough details or not showing the value your company provides employees, you may not generate much interest.
In contrast, posting an ad with too many requirements and tiny details might leave job searchers feeling underqualified. Some might not apply as a result.
Finding the right balance of enough information without being overwhelming can take some trial and error. In addition to revising these elements of your job ad, it’s also important to consider how you’re portraying your business and the benefits of the job.
Take the example below. The job lists multiple responsibilities, meaning the applicant needs to be talented and experienced. But simply listing the position at $20 per hour could cause those talented applicants you’re interested in to avoid applying. The rate is somewhat low, and with no other benefits identified, candidates might have no reason to apply.
One way to revise your description may be to look at other similar positions posted by your competitors. How are they describing similar jobs? What compensation are they posting? Is your job competitive, or is it missing something important?
When you revise the benefits section, as reflected below, the position becomes much more appealing. Adding details gives applicants insight into the company, your business goals, and how the position might grow in six months. With the potential of additional perks on the horizon, you’ll be more likely to draw in quality candidates.
You Receive Unqualified Applicants
It’s also possible that you receive many applications, but those applicants are largely unqualified for the position. Sometimes, this is just a case of applicants deciding to apply even though they’re not a good fit. But other times, your job ad could be part of the problem.
If you’re not spelling out the skills and experience a position requires, then you’re leaving applicants to guess—and they might guess incorrectly. Instead, revise your description to be clear and specific.
For example, the description below is vague. The skills listed are basic and general, and this job could be looking for an entry-level or mid-career candidate—applicants have no way of knowing.
This revised description is much more specific and creates a detailed picture of the ideal candidate. It identifies specific skills, as well as the exact type of experience a candidate should have.
You can also add specific skills in LinkedIn. This increases the chance of your job showing up to qualified candidates with those skills.
When adding skills, try to get as detailed as possible. Instead of “Writing,” specify “digital copywriting” or “social media writing.” With more details on what you’re looking for, job applicants can better determine if they should apply. You’ll spend more time reviewing qualified applicants instead of sifting through applications that aren’t suitable for the job.
Other Options For Creating a Job Ad
This post showed you how to create a job ad using LinkedIn. With LinkedIn, you can quickly and easily gather information about applicants and even engage with them right on the platform.
But other job posting sites may be a better fit for certain situations.
If you are looking to maximize your talent pool and reach many candidates at once, it’s hard to beat Indeed. Indeed has 250 million monthly users, meaning you’ll quickly get your job post in front of countless applicants. You can also send messages, view resumes, and schedule interviews through the platform for a streamlined, time-saving approach.
If your startup is looking for specialized talent, like developers and designers, AngelList may be a good choice. AngelList is a highly popular platform well-populated with candidates startups need to grow and thrive. With a powerful candidate search tool, you can find potential candidates or post a job ad and let them come to you.
As you prepare to create a job ad, be sure to visit our review of the best job posting sites for employers.
- Indeed – Best for Candidate Reach
- FlexJobs – Best for Remote Job Posting
- Glassdoor – Best for Building Brand Awareness
- AngelList – Best for Startup Job Posting
- LinkedIn – Best for Connecting Directly With Candidates