Job advert design in 3 steps

12 Nov 2019

Engaging job ad design can help you stand out from the crowd

Your job ad design can directly influence the number of applications you get for a role and the quality of those applications, which in turn impacts the overall success of your recruitment campaign. But designing an engaging job ad is a tricky mix of art and science, so how can you make sure your advert stands out from the competition and attracts the candidates that fit?

Your job advert’s design is part of your employer brand story. Telling your story in a consistent, clear and compelling way across all of your digital channels, including your job ads, will help potential jobseekers engage with your company and make positive, informed decisions. It will help them to visualise how their future could look at your organisation, giving you candidates that are the right fit: better prepared and highly engaged.

In today’s digital jobseeker journey, candidates expect to be able to find useful, relevant and accurate information about what it’s like to work for your company. But despite this, according to a recent LinkedIn survey, the number one obstacle candidates experience when searching for a job is not knowing what it’s like to work at an organisation.

By following our four simple steps for inspiring job advert design, you can showcase your company’s culture, values and employer brand right where jobseekers are looking: on job boards, across social media and on your own careers page.

Step One: Establish a hierarchy of information

Good job advert designs starts with a clear hierarchy of information. Once you understand what your key message is, you can start to build a job advert that emphasises this message in style, content and structure.

But how do you work out what your key message should be? The key here is to find a message that will resonate with your ideal candidate. What’s important to them in their next role? You can use your jobseeker personas to help you identify that key message, as well as speaking to people already in the role – particularly people that have started in the role recently. What attracted them to the job? What do they love about it now they’re settled into the role?

Take all of these differentiating factors and prioritise them according to how important they are to your ideal jobseeker. Now, you have a structure and focus for your job ad design.

Step Two: Brush up on your design basics

With systems like nthuse, you don’t have to be a designer to create engaging job ad designs. You just need a good understanding of your brand guidelines and a few job advert design tips up your sleeve. We're going to look at four of the most important in more detail: type, colour, imagery and space.

Type

Type, or font, obviously plays a key role in any job ad design. How your text is displayed will make it easier or harder for jobseekers to read and understand – remember that jobseekers will be skim reading your job advert, so you want to make it as easy as possible to do this.

First, dust off those brand guidelines and make sure you have the correct fonts for your brand. Brand consistency is extremely important. Your poor marketing team will have sweated over every detail in your guidelines, and it’s for good reason. Your typography is part of how you communicate, and your fonts will have been chosen for clarity as well as style – different fonts have different connotations.

Type should usually be left aligned as this makes it easier to read and for the eye to follow, although there will be times when centred text would work better: a large heading or a logo, for example. Avoid centred text for paragraphs – this makes the starting point of each line change, making it more difficult for the eye to read and more challenging for the jobseeker. Similarly, justified text changes the size of the space between words in a paragraph, making your text harder to read.

Avoid using caps lock to give emphasis. It just feels like you’re shouting. Instead, use different font weights to create impact. Use a thicker, bolder weight for your headings and combine this with a larger font size to show the hierarchy of your messaging.

Keep your font size and weights consistent throughout your job advert, with a set format for headings, sub headings and body copy. This will make your job ad design look considered and professional.

Colour

Back to those brand guidelines! Your brand colours have been chosen because they communicate your brand’s personality and values, so make sure you use them as intended. For example, blocks of colour tend to work well for call-to-actions or buttons, but not so well for paragraphs of text. Make sure you use the correct colours for the right sections.

If you are using text over a coloured background, then you need to consider the level of contrast between your text colour and the background colour.

Imagery

Imagery is key to engaging job ad design. Your images should be:

  • High quality - this means not pixelated, blurry or stretched, and a decent size for the space its occupying.
  • Authentic - be true to your brand and your company.
  • Relevant - show the jobseeker what they can expect from the role and environment.

The relationship between your text and image is also very important. If you’re planning to use text over an image, you’ll need to ensure that:

  • You’re not obscuring or blocking the focal point of the image by slapping text over it
  • The text is easily legible and not placed on a busy background

There are two easy ways to ensure that your text is easily legible over an image:

  1. Place your text in a coloured box, bearing in mind the position of this box over the image
  2. Apply a semi-transparent overlay to the image, usually in a dark colour like black or grey

Space

Space is something that is so often overlooked in design but you should really be trying to see it as an element in itself. Space in your design will guide the eye to the key messaging and help create a fluid design by surrounding words with white space to let elements breathe.

The application of space around text boxes, images and other graphic elements makes a job advert design easier to read. It’s also more likely to attract attention than a cluttered composition. All of this helps to draw the jobseeker’s eye to the relevant information and ensure the reader isn’t overwhelmed by information.

Step Three: Make the most of new technology

Job searching is changing. People don’t just visit one place, find a job and apply any more: they research roles, companies and online reviews just like any other consumer. This means that, in order to attract high-quality candidates, your job advert needs to reach further and use more digital channels than ever before.

This also means that your options for designing your job advert are increasing. New software like nthuse lets you build enhanced, employer branded job ads without the need of a designer or developer, so you can create engaging job ad designs quickly and easily.

It also lets you publish your advert straight to the UK’s top job boards and aggregators. Recent research from LinkedIn shows that the top two channels people use to look for new jobs are job boards (60%) and social professional networks (56%), so your job advert needs to be accessible across these channels in order to get the best results.

Mobile use is also increasing significantly: 45% of job seekers search for jobs daily on their mobile device and 89% think mobile devices play a critical role in the job hunting process. If your job ad doesn’t work perfectly on mobile, then you’re missing a trick. Job advert design tools, like nthuse, should let you optimise the jobseeker’s experience to guarantee an engaging job ad design on any device.

So there you have it: four simple steps to engaging job advert design. Follow these steps and you’ll be creating inspiring, compelling job ads that attract the right candidates for your role. In testing, content-rich, enhanced job advert designs generated a 50% higher conversion rate or APV than a standard job advert, showing just how impactful a great design can be.