Potential Reasons Your Ad is Not Working
Tips for Writing an Effective Job Ad

Katherine Pearce | FVMA Senior Creative Lead | Published: 2024

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In today’s world, finding the right person for a job is more important than ever. But a few short sentences stating what you’re looking for, the primary job duties, and a few benefits is NOT enough. You need to make your job ad stand out and speak directly to the people you want to hire.

The employee shortage following the COVID-19 pandemic means prospective hires have more options. They are focused on making the best choice when looking for a new employer. With the job market shift, job ads need to center on what YOU can offer a prospective employee.

Whether you’re looking for a technician, a veterinarian, or any other role, the right approach can make all the difference. Let’s dive into what works, what doesn’t, and how to make your job ad the one that everyone wants to apply to.

WHAT NOT TO DO:

  • Focusing on the practice’s needs and not on why someone would choose to work there.
  • Placing a minimum expectation of experience:
    • Ex. ‘This role requires a minimum 5 years of experience.’
    • This discourages people with even slightly less experience from applying.
  • Not reflecting work culture in any way. Work culture is essential to younger workers — think about what makes your place great to work at.
  • Listing very basic benefits that are not enticing enough to lure applicants.
  • Using basic and unfriendly language, which can discourage women and minority candidates from applying.


WHAT TO DO:

  • A great tagline/title will pique emotion and interest, making your ad stand out and increasing the likelihood an applicant will click on your listing. Be sure to include the job title in this still. For example: “Veterinary Assistant Wanted: Generous Benefits, Great Work/Life Balance, One Mile From the Beach!”
  • Length: Shorter is no longer better. Applicants will skip over ads that don’t explain what they can expect when working at the practice. A longer ad should still be fast and easy to scan, so opt for bullet points instead of long paragraphs of text when possible — especially when listing benefits or job requirements.
  • Language: Ad language reflects culture. Are you a fun group that works hard? Add some fun – or puns! Are you highly focused on a particular aspect of service? Discuss why your team has committed to this and why your clients love it.
  • Gender focus: Words used in an ad should be as gender-neutral as possible. Instead of ‘he’ or ‘she,’ use ‘you’ or ‘they.’ Consider your descriptors as masculine-coded language can discourage women and minorities from applying.
    • What sorts of words are considered masculine-coded? Often stemming from stereotypes, these include words like ambitious, aggressive, challenge, champion, competent, competitive, courage/courageous, decisive, dominate, driven, and fearless.
    • Wonder what examples of feminine-coded words are? Agreeable, collaborative, compassionate, empathetic, interpersonal, responsive, supportive.
  • Practice focus: Candidates know what is generally required to be a veterinary technician or receptionist, etc. What is more critical is showing why you’re a desirable place to work, which means putting a spotlight on why your practice offers a better employment experience than your competition. Consider highlighting:
    • What your team loves about working there.Any special certifications or accreditations your practice has.Fun activities in the area.What makes your hospital special (A new building? A cool specialty? Fun team events?)
    • What’s special about your clients?
      • Really compliant? A large variety in cases? A unique learning experience in medicine?
  • List your benefits: Benefits are often key to why people choose to work for one company over another. Bullet point the benefits you offer and make the list as long as possible.
    • Don’t offer many benefits? This is the perfect time to reconsider the benefits and perks you offer!
  • Salary: Yes, this is acceptable. If you have a defined range for salary for the position, list it.
    • There is one caveat though. If you are paying less than competing businesses, it will not benefit you to list the salary in the job ad before you have a chance to sell the hospital to candidates.
  • Invitation to apply: Applying for a job is purely emotional. Potential candidates need to feel good about clicking that “Apply” button. Create a friendly invitation to apply, rather than “email us your resume and cover letter.” It also helps to mention when they can expect an acknowledgment or reply to their application.
  • Equal Opportunity Statement (EEO): A well-worded EEO statement can help encourage people from all backgrounds, races and socioeconomic circumstances to apply for the position. Don’t just say, “We are EEO compliant,” but rather why you want a wide variety of candidates and employees.

More than just an advertisement to get job applications, job ads offer a way to solidify your practice brand and reputation as an employer in your community! Putting in time and energy to create an inviting ad that reflects your culture will help increase the candidates for each position you post. 



WHERE CAN (AND SHOULD) YOU POST YOUR JOB AD?

In addition to the Veterinary Career Center, you should try to post to as many online job sites as you can. 

When job hunting, many people don’t search on a single website but rather Google jobs near them. This brings them to Google Jobs, showing listings from across the internet. So how can you get your ad to appear on Google Jobs? Google Jobs pulls from a variety of job sites, including those listed below. It does NOT pull from Indeed or Craigslist. 

Google sources their listings from many job sites where you can (and should) post your ad. Here’s a short list of some sites:   

  • Veterinary Career Center (https://careers.fvma.com/)
  • LinkedIn
  • Glassdoor
  • ZipRecruiter
  • Snagajob
  • Monster
  • Jibe
  • DirectEmployers
  • America’s Job Exchange
  • Higher Education Recruitment Consortium
  • Jora
  • Jobing.com
  • Local Job Network
  • Care.com
  • Jobs.net
  • Recruiting.com

We hope this helps and good luck!

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