The magic of words in Job Ads (PART 4)

“The words you use become you — and you become the words you use.” Frank Luntz

If you haven’t managed to check out the previous articles in this blog series, you can take a look on my Linkedin profile page or on my medium profile here.

As I promised in my Part 3, in this part I will talk about how we can access the emotional and logical level to persuade candidate with our job ad.

Your job description should meet your target audience’s emotional needs. Not everybody has to like it. But you want to be sure that the right ones do.

“…Just imagine a workplace: the warm sun on your face, the smell of the warm sea breeze, the sound of the crashing waves and the soft sand, squishing it between your toes. You’ve just imagined it all and now you’re asking yourself: where is it, where do I sign the contract?… At our company we believe “work from where you want; the sunny beach, in hidden evergreen forest or your comfy sofa.…

Now let me ask you one question: did this description make you feel anything in your heart, belly or head? Could you feel the sun, sea breeze, soft sand as it’s happening? Well…I felt that way! I get the impression that this company’s workplace is great!

Let me explain what happened: Emotional fulfilment increased production of serotonin, oxytocin, cortisol and dopamine. So I felt:

  • Confident
  • Understood
  • Connected

I want to apply! Sadly I can’t because I created that paragraph as a slice of fiction for this blog. :-(

I, we, human beings are simply emotional creatures. Understanding the power of emotion will give you an enormous advantage. To activate a human’s emotional level start with a story:

  • promote your enthusiasm
  • flatter candidates, make them feel worthy and competent
  • stir emotion, impact the candidate’s imagination as thought it could be reality with which they can identify, make it memorable

When people read or hear stories parts of their brain come to life: the auditory cortex (listening) and the Werner’s area (deciphering language).

My last advice would be: use “resonant” words not buzzwords such as “collaborative”, “innovation” or “work hard play hard”. Make your wording spicy with plenty of personal pronouns — we, you and I. Use emotional, vivid words. Each word is surrounded by its own connotations, memories and associations. Use words with positive associations so they can boost the candidate.

So how can we find these emotional words? You can check out software like textio.com, readable.io, or www.liwc.net.

Or you can check out whole lists of these words online. Believe me there are plenty!

For example here are some links to some of them: ‘feeling words list’, ‘list of feeling words’, lastly ‘emotions list’.

The good news is that if you have read this far then you are definitely curious about how to conquer the logical mind and persuade your candidates.

Something important to mention is: Emotion over reason! When you create strong emotional connection, the logical part of a candidate’s brain is not that important anymore. And yes! It’s hard to believe that we are not logical beings. The truth is, it doesn’t work like that. We are too busy be logical! Neuroscience is proving again that our brains are mostly running on auto-pilot. Humans tend to look for reasons to believe that what we do is logical, and we look for patterns that are telling us that the situation is right. (S. Lancaster)

So to get to the point: to get through to a candidate’s logical level, use relevant facts and statistics. Use wording that implies comprehensiveness, confidence and faith. Alliteration may help, it’s a Language of Leadership. Use rhymes to make them remember your slogans, headlines, tagline or your arguments. Don’t be afraid to be authentic. You can always shift their perspective to change their minds, make them agree with you at the first place. (S. Lancaster, 2015)

Final Thought: Once you get going, writing a job advertisement can be a ton of fun! As a recruiter, copywriter or marketer, you know how fantastic it feels to get passionate about a subject — and feeling the same level of emotion as your candidate is feeling. And you know how amazing it feels when you can come to the point where you’re able to put that feeling into words for them, so that they can instantly identify with the message you’re articulating in your job advertisement. Of course, that’s not always so easy. You’ve got to actually know what the candidate’s feeling — first!

So that’s it, my research, analysis and insights on the topic of importance of words in job ads. (part 1, part 2, part 3).

But I’m not stopping there with my research and with my expansion of professional knowledge. Stay tuned if you feel like seeing what I else I write about ;-) and of course, please let me know your feedback.