Make your SEEK job ad work harder

We take a closer look at job advertising principles and how to maximise all components to make it work harder for you.

Resignation, brief taken, ad up; simple, right? Not so fast! Have you thought about how that ad is working for you? This is not just a portal of key details, application information and a link to a job description, it’s a hard working sourcing tool that attracts talent and provides the first interaction with an employer.

When your ad is posted on SEEK it's automatically disseminated out across all mobile devices and candidates are notified. Within seven seconds, data is then extracted from your ad and washed through the over 4 million SEEK candidate profiles, which generates a refined list that sits in the SEEK Talent Search platform waiting for you to activate your search. Then on day two, candidates who have created a JobMail alert will receive a list of jobs that match their predetermined criteria and on a weekly basis the Weekly Roundup will remarket your job ad to relevant active and passive candidates.

All that exposure, all of those people pointing to your job ad in just one week! This is why the content of your job ad is so important. The words you use, the way you structure your sentences, the specific value you offer candidates will all determine if a candidate reads your content or not. There are four key concepts that need to be considered to ensure cut through: content, layout, visual impact with video and platform optimisation.


Make sure that every word in your job ad is important. Strip out the blah – the filler words or words with no function, generic information and feel-good material. A good rule of thumb is to cut the text in half for online readers – long and dense job ads are intimidating. Invest in the intro as this sets the context for the content, but then launch straight into the facts as this is what the candidate is after, specifically:

  • Job title.

  • Salary package.

  • Specific location details.

Then candidates want deeper, richer facts about the company, responsibilities and skills required.

Lastly, they want to connect with the role and understand how it will impact them. This is where meaningful content sits. Think about the following from a candidate's point of view:

  • What does this opportunity mean to me?

  • What do you want me to take ownership of?

  • Why do other people (like me) choose to align their career with you?


The first 10 seconds of viewing your ad are critical for users' decision to stay or leave. The probability of leaving is very high as users are extremely skeptical, and if you pass this first test they're still highly likely to leave during the subsequent 20 seconds of their visit. Instead of carefully reading information, users typically scan it and absorb roughly 28% of content on the average web page. But, when your content helps candidates to focus on sections of interest, they can switch from scanning to actually reading your ad. Good structure increases scanability, so use headings, bullet points and aim for white space.

Visual impact with video

The easiest way to create visual impact is through video and the most successful are informational. To effectively grab attention and to bring your organisation’s story to life you need to consider:

  • That video should compliment your job ad content. It must contain all the major messages of your job ad but bring them to life visually.

  • Make every second count, especially the beginning. Users need to be able to quickly understand what they are watching and see its value or they will navigate elsewhere. Videos not only need to be as short as possible but also effectively concise.

  • How you can weave structure into your video as they force the user to access the content sequentially. Use captions and bubbles of text to call out major messages.

  • The use of captions and a full transcript of the video for accessibility.

  • The look and feel, tone and language, and how to keep candidates interested throughout.

Platform optimisation

You only get to write one job ad and it needs to work across any device – desktop, tablet and smartphone. With 59% of all SEEK visits and 30% of applications now via a mobile device, platform optimisation cannot be ignored. Due to screen size mobile content is twice as difficult for candidates to digest, so you need to consider the following:

  • Avoid long dense paragraphs – no more than 600 characters.

  • Create structure – use headings and keep paragraphs short.

  • Include video and position at the top of your job ad – it will grab attention.

Not all ads are created equal and by focussing on the user experience and how to maximise your exposure and cut through you can ensure yours hits a high note and nabs the best candidate.

For a quick check list on how to get the most out of your job ad, check out this instructional video.

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SEEK Insights & Resources

SEEK is the destination of choice for job-seekers and hirers in Australia, acting as the conduit between hirers looking to fill vacant roles and candidates looking for work across many and varied industries. SEEK's mission is to help people...

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