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Creating a compelling call to action in EVERY job advertisement

You don’t have to look far online these days to find plenty of advice on how to write your company’s job advertisements.

“Don’t write ad copy that is too long”, “Avoid buzz words”, “Don’t just list job responsibilities”. You name it. One expert or another will give you their professional opinion on the exact content you should include.

And whilst writing exceptional job adverts is an extremely important skill to master, this article focuses instead on another specific component of any effective role advertisement. That is, making sure that every job advertisement you write, contains an appropriate call to action.

So read on to learn more about what a call to action is and take inspiration from some conservative and contemporary call to action examples you can use to improve your candidate job application rate.

End every job advertisement with a compelling call to action

Writing job advertisement copy that has a strong call to action at the end of it, is likely to improve your job application rate. You can create the most compelling advertisement content, but if you fail to tell candidates exactly what you would like them to do next, you are missing a valuable “closing” opportunity.

In addition, when you advertise jobs on digital platforms, you have the unique opportunity to add a responsive (clickable) button to your content, to encourage candidates to take immediate action, right there and then.

What’s a call to action anyway?

Oxford describes a “call to action” as a piece of content intended to induce a viewer, reader, or listener to perform a specific act, typically taking the form of an instruction or directive.

In the case of a job advertisement, an appropriate call to action is an instruction or directive to apply for the role.

Typically companies use the words “Apply now” in their job advertisement somewhere. And online job board advertisement templates have followed suit. Job ads on these job boards often include a large responsive (clickable) Apply Now button as part of the advertisement copy, to encourage candidates to make an immediate application.

Now whilst “Apply Now” is a very clear directive, it is used SO often, that some candidates are now de-sensitised to taking swift action when they review job advertisements that use this wording.

So, instead of following the crowd, consider some call to action innovation to improve candidate application rates. This can be as simple as using slightly different, more innovative or creative language to capture candidate attention.

Call to action inspiration

Here are some examples of conservative calls to action you could consider including in your role advertisements:

  • Contact me directly on [contact details] if you’d like to have an exploratory conversation about this role. I’d love to talk with you about how this role could put you on a faster career trajectory. 
  • Got some questions we can answer before you apply? Contact us now on [contact number]
  • Interested? We’ve love to hear from you today. Don’t put off your application – APPLY NOW
  • Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have some questions or just want to hear more. Contact me/us on [contact number]
  • We know that sometimes you need an extra conversation before you apply. So feel free to reach out on [contact number]
  • If you are as passionate about [specific sector/client type etc] as we are, get in touch/apply now/email us at [email address]/call us on [contact number]

Looking for some calls to action with a little more personality?

If you work in a more creative industry and you know candidates in the market would welcome a more informal tone in your job ads, consider these contemporary (and slightly quirky) call to action ideas:

  • Does this sound like you? Or nearly you? We want to hear from you. Contact us on [contact details]
  • Jumping off your seat to hear more? Contact us/Apply now
  • If the sound of this role floats your boat/gives you goose bumps/creates flutters in your tummy, we want to hear from you. Contact us on [contact details]
  • Come and share in our passion. Apply now.
  • If this sounds like you, what are you waiting for? Don’t answer that. Just Apply Now.
  • Take a leap and get in touch – nothing ventured, nothing gained. Contact us on [contact details]
  • Yes. You are right. This might be the one! Apply today.
  • Don’t doubt yourself – apply today.

Contemporary and quirky call to action buttons

If you are advertising your roles on digital job boards, you don’t always have control over the call to action responsive (clickable) buttons offered in the template provided.

But there may be some digital channels where you do have some control. This is particularly relevant if you are advertising directly on your website.

Rather than opting for an APPLY NOW responsive button, you could consider a range of other more creative button titles. Here are a few ideas:

  • I’m ready to take the leap
  • Yes. I’m applying!
  • Yes. I’m ready for a change!
  • Hmmm, not sure [have this button take the candidate to a contact page which shows them how they can make contact before applying]
  • Keep me in the loop
  • I need a chat
  • New career here I come!
  • This job has me written all over it!

Conservative call to action buttons

There are of course some more conservative call to action button options to consider too. Here are just a few ideas:

  • Call now  
  • Apply now
  • Learn more
  • Join us
  • Click here to apply
  • Time for a change
  • Apply now
  • Closing soon. Apply now
  • Hurry. Applications closing soon
  • Add me to your Talent Network [this should take candidates to an email sign up area – let them know you will keep them informed of other roles that arise with your company in the future]

So there you have it folks. Hopefully these lists have provided you with some inspiration for more compelling calls to action in your job advertisements.

With a few tweaks to your call to action content at the end of your advertisement and your call to action responsive button, (or both!), you should see your candidate application rates improve. Test it out and see for yourself.  

Further Reading and Resources

Looking for talent? Optimise your Careers Page

Top 10 best job ad examples

Call to action button tips

Make these 3 simple changes to your job posts to attract more women

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