How to Write a Job Ad That Candidates (And Google) Love

Anyone who’s worked in a charity will tell you it’s a one-of-a-kind experience, an industry driven by passion and creative thinking. From the budding organisations operating out of home offices to the large multinational brands, what drives the sector is the remarkable and talented people working tirelessly to make a difference in the world.

But if you’re a charity looking to recruit, how do you go about finding those people—the sort of can’t-live-without employees that push your organisation in the right direction. Sure, you can attract candidates with the experience you’re after, but how do you target the right people that also fit with your culture and your ethos?

company ethos - captivating job ad for google for jobs

Understanding modern jobseeker behaviour

These days, writing a job ad that appeals to a search engine is just as important as one that appeals to a person. Let’s face it, people are searching for everything on Google, and with the addition of Google for Jobs launching last year, it’s become even easier for candidates to find a job without clicking through to a website. The trick is figuring out how to find that perfect balance of brand personality and job-specific keywords that pushes you up to the top of the search engine results.

In other words, you need to optimise your job postings.

The good news is that if you’re posting on a job board like CharityJob, most of that optimisation is done for you. We take care of the technical stuff like schema markups that give Google all the info it needs to match candidates to job ads. But when it comes to the user-facing side of things, it’s up to you to not only sell the benefits of the job to the candidate but to highlight why they want to work for your organisation.

Not sure where to begin? Let’s take a closer look at what you can be doing more to optimise your job ad for the modern job seeker.

write a captivating job ad for google for jobs

First, what exactly is Google for Jobs?

We’re all familiar with the little shortcuts Google’s been building over the years to make searching for the things we want easier. Think about the last time you googled flight prices to get a comparison—did you end up on Google Flights? Or maybe you were looking to buy some new shoes, and you clicked through to Google Shopping to compare what was on offer at the different high street retailers.

Much like that, Google for Jobs scrapes all the job boards and careers pages on the internet and pulls through relevant listings that match the types of jobs its users are searching for. And they don’t even have to leave the Google search page to see the jobs that they’re after. So, if someone types in ‘fundraising jobs near me’, Google pulls through all the relevant fundraising roles within an easy commute for the user.

google for jobs screen - job ad

What does this mean for job boards like CharityJob?

When it was first announced that Google for Jobs would be launching in the UK back in July 2018, there was an impending sense of panic. No one knew what that would mean for their postings—would they be losing to traffic to Google? Would people stop going to job boards because it was just too many clicks to get what they were after?

But what actually happened was that Google for Jobs made it easier for users to find sites like CharityJob because it was all based on keywords. People who want to work in the charity sector were able to find the jobs that matched the preferences they were putting into the search box.

In other words, it’s given jobs in the charity sector more visibility. Since its launch in 2018 job views from Google for Jobs have increased by 560%. That means more people are finding the jobs that matter most to them. And in return, charities are reaching a wider audience of people than ever before.

google for jobs - captivating job ad

How can you create a job ad that Google loves?

Optimising your job ad for Google and tailoring it to your candidates are essentially the same thing. Ultimately, all Google cares about is matching the right content to the queries its users are searching. So, if you put in all the information you think a candidate would want to know about your job, then you’re already making it Google-friendly.

Put yourself in the candidate’s shoes. What would you want to know about a job you’re thinking about applying for? And what might intrigue you to learn more about the organisation and click ‘apply’?

Here are a few things you should always include in your job ads:

  • Location – Candidates like to calculate things like commute times and costs, and this helps Google answer ‘jobs near me’ queries.
  • Base salary – We know sometimes this can be a tricky one, especially for charities. But salary is important to candidates, especially if they’re looking to advance in their career or want to know how much they could make shifting into the sector. You don’t always have to make it visible on the front end, but a salary range needs to be included when you post the job (or else Google won’t show it).
  • Job title ­– If you have a unique job title (which many charities often do), our system will match it to a standardised job title which we share with Google. That means users will still find your role, even if they aren’t searching for those exact terms.

Other things that candidates want to know about:

  • Employment type – Full time? Part time? Contract? Make it clear right away.
  • Required skills – The more skills you include, the faster a candidate will know if they’re the right match for you.
  • Job benefits –What do you offer that other charities might not?
  • Core values and company ethos – This gives candidates a better idea of what your charity cares about and what sort of working environment to expect.
  • Equal opportunity statement – Show that you’re open to hiring every type of person.

Need a bit of extra guidance?

Download our Google for Jobs guide and find out exactly what you need to include in your next job ad.

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Our advice? Always think about it from the candidate’s perspective. If you were looking for a job, what would you want to know about the organisation? And what sort of qualities would you like to be apparent right from the get-go?

The more you tailor your job ad to the type of person you want, the more likely you are to find them.

And for more expert advice on tailoring your job ad, get in touch with your Account Manager today.

Tags: Google for jobs, HR practices, job ads, recruitment process

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About the author

Stephanie Dotto

Content & SEO Lead at CharityJob. Lover of fiction, films and food. In a previous life, she was a music and tourism journalist. When she’s not writing and editing blog content, she is working on her novel.