If your most recent job listing was a door-to-door salesman, would it arrive smiling, sweet talk its way through the front door, and shake hands on the customer’s living room couch? Or would it stand woodenly on the porch, stuttering over a colorless script while tugging on its too-tight necktie? Would it be invited in or asked to leave?
Let’s face it, most job descriptions are the dull, choked sales person. They list the job requirements and company description with all the charisma of a board meeting. Formal and tight-lipped, they act as if people are so desperate, they’ll apply for a job without knowing what’s in it for them.
But a job listing is an advertisement, not a technical document. It’s meant to incite interest in the role and convince candidates to apply.
Storytelling is a powerful way to jazz up your sales pitch and stand out amongst the competition. To breathe life into your job listings. To write something that resonates with the people you want to hire. To get invited in.
Stories and marketing go hand-in-hand
But isn’t storytelling too mushy and emotional for a job listing?
Storytelling has a profound impact on readers, and it has been used in marketing for decades to better communicate with and persuade customers.
Weaving a story into your job listing (or any advertisement) can boost trust, make your listing more memorable, and increase conversions by up to 30%. It empowers you to better engage top talent, more effectively explain your job opening and organization, and drive a more successful hire.
Engage candidates better
The right people will never apply to your job listings if they don’t read your job listings in the first place.
Searching for a job can be overwhelming. Candidates have a lot of listings to scroll through, and applying thoughtfully to each one takes time. If your job listing doesn’t stand out and catch their attention right away, they’ll scroll on to more tempting offers.
By telling a story with your job listing, you can stop the scroll and get candidates to lean in. Once you have their attention, your story will guide them from one part of the job description to the next, until they’ve read the whole thing.
From here, you can state your offer and make a case why they should work for you.
Introduce yourself more effectively
This type of job listing conveys a deeper understanding of your role and organization in two ways. One, your more interesting listing entices candidates to read until the end. And two, when you talk to candidates and not at them, you can better explain the perks of working for you and better convince them to apply.
You can also attract more qualified applicants.
When you’re forthcoming about your organization’s attitude, values, and culture, you give candidates a more realistic view of the opportunity. This allows them to pre-qualify themselves as a fit and apply when they’re truly passionate about your organization.
Set yourself apart
If people meet the stuttering sales person every time they read a job posting, they come to expect him. Which means your engaging, story-driven listing has the potential to make a huge impact. Not only will this capture their attention, but it will set your company apart from others.
They’ll associate your company with innovation and individualism, instead of formality and wooden professionalism. And who wouldn’t want to work for a company that has a little fun?
Storytelling is also an important part of your employer branding, which is basically your personality as an employer. By maintaining a similar tone across your website, social media, and, of course, job listings, you can create a strong employer brand and better show potential candidates what you’re all about, which can have a positive impact on their decision to work with you.
How to get started
Next time you sit down to write a job listing, put your corporate-speak dictionary away alongside your wants and expectations.
An effective job listing is candidate-driven, focused on giving candidates the information they need to evaluate their fit for your role and imagine working for you.
Write in a conversational tone to make your company seem relaxed and unique. Tell the story of your organization and the role. Infuse your listing with personality. Be a little daring. Have fun. And present yourself as a workplace people would love to work for.
Nexxt is a recruitment media company that uses today’s most effective marketing tactics to reach the full spectrum of talent – from active to passive, and everything in between. Learn more about hiring with Nexxt.
This article was written by Danielle Murphy.
Danielle Murphy is a content writer and copywriter with a passion for helping businesses meet their marketing goals with writing. When she’s not working (or writing for fun), she’s hiking or hobby farming around her home in New Hampshire.