“If I had more time, I would have written you a shorter letter,” goes the saying used commonly enough to be attributed to many people throughout the ages.
Condensing a carefully crafted job description into a snappy 125 characters can help you get your open positions in front of a much wider audience, but it can also be a deceptively tricky task.
Luckily, you’ve already done the hard work of understanding the needs of the candidate and the company. With this step-by-step guide, you can turn that knowledge into an attention-grabbing post in just 15 minutes.
Start with the Specs (30 Seconds)
Know the specifications of the building blocks you’re working with.
Facebook job ad specs
- Text: 125 characters
- Headline: 25 characters
- Link Description: 30 characters
- Image: 1200 x 627 pixels
Instagram job ad specs
- Text: 125 characters shown (max 2200 characters)
- Hashtags: 30 tags max
- Image: 1080 x 1080 pixels
Linkedin job ad specs
- Text: 150 characters shown (600 characters max)
- Headline: 70 characters shown (200 characters max)
- Link Description: 100 characters shown (300 characters max)
- Image: 1200 x 627 pixels
List the 5 Most Intriguing Aspects for a Candidate (30 Seconds)
The main goal of the ad is to make a person curious enough to click, so pick the highlights that grab attention. A LinkedIn heatmap study of 450 job seekers showed that the information people are most interested in is compensation (61%) followed by job de tails (49%).
Pull out key aspects that answer:
- What work they’ll do: industry, department, core responsibilities, number of direct reports, success metrics they’ll focus on, etc.
- How they’ll be rewarded: salary, flexible work setup, retirement plans, healthcare, parental leave, interesting perks, etc.
List the Top 5 Qualifying Factors (30 Seconds)
Also at the top of the list in the LinkedIn study was qualifications, which was said by 49% of people to be a factor that mattered most. Candidates want to know if they can realistically get the position before they invest more time in learning about it.
Make sure to highlight criteria that show they would be a good fit such as location, level of experience, key skills, certification requirements, language proficiency, willingness to travel, etc.
Create a Headline & Description (30 Seconds)
Make this one quick and easy by using the job title as the headline and making the description one of these:
- At [Company] in [Location]
- Now hiring at [Company]
- Now hiring in [Location]
Write the Ad Copy (8 Minutes)
Get your copywriting gears going by letting yourself make a whole load of variations without critique. Most will be terrible, which is absolutely OK because you only need one good one.
For each of the 4 steps listed below, set a timer for 2 minutes and write as many variations as possible until it goes off. Don’t worry about spelling, grammar, or exact character limits and if you get stuck on one variation just hit enter and start the next.
Best practices are to keep text short enough so it’s not cut off by a “see more” link (125 for Facebook and Instagram, 150 for LinkedIn). This ensures the key information is visible within seconds, and one study found that shorter job posts (1-300 words) get nearly 12% more applications than medium length posts (300-600 words).
[This sentence is 125 characters long, so you can copy it to your document to use as a quick visual reference while you write. This sentence makes 150.]
At first you might only end up with a few variations, but with practice you can aim for 6-8 per each 2 minute step:
- Write variations that start with an intriguing aspect for the candidate.
- Write variations that start with a qualifying factor.
- Write variations that start with a question the candidate would say yes to (i.e. “Ready to take your next step in product development?”).
- Pick your 2 favorites from the variants you’ve made so far. Write them again in a more formal tone, a more casual tone, try and combine them.
Perfect Your Favorite (2 Minutes)
Take the best variant you created and polish it up. Check the grammar with a tool like Grammarly, make sure it’s under the character limit, and even run it through a tool like this one from Kat Matfield that can check if the words used appeal to one gender more than another.
Pick an Image (1 Minute)
But be careful of boring and cheesy stock photos. Many tests have shown us that self-made, realistic photos and videos often outperform materials from stock libraries. So try just snapping a selfie, too!
Add Graphics (2 Minutes)
A completely optional step that can make your ads pop. Text and logos can be added to call out a key benefit, point to a great Glassdoor score, show a relevant quote from an employee or customer, or simply call out “now hiring”.
Adobe Spark and Canva are browser-based apps that can be used to make great graphics without design experience. Both have free and business versions (heads up that the free version of Adobe Spark does add a watermark).
And with that, you’ve got all the pieces you need for a social ad that gets new candidates in the pipeline.
Repeat for A/B testing
By testing variations of copy, images, or graphics head-to-head, you can increase the performance of your ads and learn what makes your audience click.
Creating multiple variants might put you over the 15 minute mark at first, but A/B testing leads to insights that can make you increasingly efficient at crafting the perfect ad.
Often, the ads that you think will work really well won’t. And some less good ones will. There’s really no telling until you’ve tested different versions.
Need To Do This at Scale?
Following the steps above can cut social ad creation time down to 15 minutes, which is great for the occasional job post. However, if recruiting candidates is a large part of your job, those 15 minutes can still add up and bringing automation into the picture can help you quickly scale up your recruitment marketing.
Wonderkind offers tools and templates to manage all your social recruitment with ease. Letting you spin up ads for multiple channels with a few clicks, run head-to-head tests to find what works best for your target candidates, and track the performance of all your campaigns in one central dashboard. Wonderkind greatly reduces the time it takes to master recruitment marketing, with easy-to-use features and actionable insights that help you find 5x more candidates in 5x less time.
If you’d like to learn more about how you can get 5x more candidates in 5x less time, we’d be happy to take you on a tour of Wonderkind.