If you’re only using LinkedIn as a search tool, you’re missing out. Obviously, the platform works very well as a tool to find new candidates.

But utilising it as a social media tool is just as useful to you.

And today’s article is all about how you can use LinkedIn like a job board.

Only, a job board which actually brings in decent candidates and doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg.

You don’t know who you don’t know

Let me start this by saying there’s absolutely nothing wrong with targeting active candidates. But where you only advertise on job boards, that’s effectively what you’re doing.

And that might limit your capability to place with your clients.

Because, you never know who you don’t know.

Could you be unearthing absolute gems by being more vocal? You’ve got no idea. Not until you try anyway.

Now the advice hereafter will take a few assumptions into account. Firstly, that you don’t only post job ads.

Because in much the same way job boards can be limited, so too is your potential if you’re transactional in approach on social media.

I mean, look at it this way…if I only ever posted about fish on LinkedIn. You’d only connect if you too, shared an interest in fish.

Random example? Sure, but it’ll hopefully make you realise how daft it is to only post about jobs on LinkedIn.

You need to be more rounded in your approach. And doing so will mean you become a voice those in your industry listen to. Not just about jobs. About lots of things. The tech. The lifestyle. New developments. People to look out for. Businesses making waves. It’s endless.

And once that happens, you can hit ‘em with a killer job ad. And the construction of that, goes like this…

1. Grab ‘em by the jaffers

Your very first objective in a job ad on LinkedIn is to get their attention. Because without that, you might as well give up.

The first 3.5 lines are your hook. You absolutely have to get the interest of your target.

A very good way of getting their attention is to type out their job title. Sounds reductive. But it’s highly likely if you do this, everyone reading after those words will be in that job.

After that, you need something which will make them want to read more.

You could explain a common annoyance for them? Maybe talk about something in the industry? Tell them a joke? Make them laugh? Slag off a colleague they compete with? It doesn’t matter.

Just make sure you do everything you can to make them click ‘see more…’ .

If you don’t everything else you type is redundant.

2. The body: An answer to their problems

A job, for most people, is a means to an end.

The end? A livelihood. You could probably argue happiness, but that assumes most people are happy.

So let’s say, merely financial reward. Paying their bills. Having a house. Driving a car. Eating. Doing things.

Most people wouldn’t do the job they have now if they weren’t paid for it. But there’s far more to employment than turning up and getting paid.

There’s a rich tapestry of things which can go well, and obviously go wrong. What you have to do in this job ad is promise to fix all the things which are currently wrong.

But only if they apply.

And to be truthful, that’s really your only job

It’s not your responsibility to tell them about the job. Or give them parameters of success. Or detail the pension contributions.

All you need to do is get them interested enough to click. If you can do that, you’ll be better than the vast majority of your competitors.

3. Reverse engineering

“How do I know what’s going wrong for them?”

You don’t.

You can’t read minds and you’re not psychic. But you do know what your client does very well. And so, to find someone who’d be interested in this job, all you have to do is think about someone who doesn’t have what your client offers.

That might be flexibility. Or being well-paid. Or the ability to WFA. Or take their dog into the office.

It could be any number of a thousand different things. And here’s where the fun part comes in…

You could arguably write a different job ad for each of these different things.

And that’s a great way to keep your job ads fresh. Some people in the ad world have suggested you should only ever sell one thing at a time.

For the most part that’s good advice. And if you take it to the extreme, selling one benefit of this amazing job is a great way to connect with your dream candidate. But don’t worry if you want to go for broke.

The only issue you have is trying to fit in every benefit. And job ads on the internet which sound like they’re the manifestation of heaven on earth, often sound too good to be true, and therefore untrustworthy.

4. This isn’t a ransom note

“The successful hire will have…”

Do NOT use entitled language in your job ads. This isn’t a ransom note and the client aren’t your hostage.

Your primary job here is to attract people.

Think about every other ad you’ve ever seen. Do Nike say “the successful customer will have £80” when advertising sneakers? Nope. They just make you want them.

And so that’s your job with this ad.

5. Keep it snappy

Most writers will tell you space is your friend in writing. It helps the mind of the reader.

Just like writing a block of words will seem jumbled and like a long stream of consciousness. So writing one line with one space in between will look odd.

Use spaces for effect.

But don’t include any information you don’t think’s necessary. And delete any words which fall foul of the same critique.

6. UX

Research from the ad world tells us the more ways you give someone to get in touch, the better the ad performs.

But in this day and age, where communication with someone can be as simple as a click, you have to think of the UX (user experience) of the applicant.

The amount of ads on LinkedIn which implore readers to email their CV is madness. Think about the journey of that person. They may not even have an up to date CV.

But if they do, they have to copy your email address, close LinkedIn, open email, write an email, reference your update, add their CV, add their details, add a list of pleasantries they probably don’t mean and then hope it’s read.

That could take half an hour… presuming they’re not interrupted (and they will be).

Now compare that to “DM me”.

It’s instant. They can send you the update. You have a profile showing their experience a click away. It’s the easiest candidate journey you can give them. And by asking them to email, you’re sticking two fingers up to their experience.

Which in this day and age, simply won’t do.

7. Judging success

If you’ve done a good enough job of talking to your target candidate, you’ll put as many people off as you attract.

I know this is LinkedIn, but you’re not trying to go viral here. The correct way to assess the success of your job ad is suitable applications.

It’s not:

  • likes
  • comments
  • fawning adoration
  • the update being printed and pinned to the fridge
  • applications from the wrong type of person

8. Show personality

Like everything else on LinkedIn, your job ads should be obviously you.

But they should also mirror the company you’re hiring for. If they’re professional, then keep your words that way too.

If they’re playful, then have a little fun.

Share a meme. Post a GIF. An image. A story. It really doesn’t matter.

But if you fail to stand out, and fail to get any of the right applications. Your job ad’s failed and isn’t fit for purpose.

However here’s the best bit… every failed job ad is an opportunity. It’s a chance to tweak it. Edit it. Try again. The worst part about your ad not being seen is that it hasn’t been seen by many people.

Which gives you a ‘fantastic opportunity’ to try again and make this one even better.

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