How Clear Marketing Applies to Job Openings

A case study on how marketing principles apply to job ads.

Key Takeaway: Most job/career ads do a terrible job of attracting ideal candidates.

Why This Matters: Organizations can’t survive without good-fit employees. But brands struggle to attract ideal applicants because their messaging doesn’t attract ideal applicants or help potential applicants imagine what it’s like to work for the organization.

Go Deeper: Let’s review a job advertisement I recently saw outside a restaurant and talk about how it could be revised to attract more applicants

I love doing reviews of marketing fails "in the wild."

This sign was outside a famous restaurant here in Phoenix and is a great example of how confusing copy wastes valuable space and drives down engagement.

Take a look:

Employment messaging is just like traditional marketing. You've only got a few seconds to communicate what you're "selling" and how it will make life better.

"We're hiring" ✅

QR Code ✅

"Look Ma' No Hands!" ❌ is confusing, unnecessarily clever, and tells me nothing about how my life could be better by working at this restaurant. It also doesn't eliminate bad-fit applicants or attract right-fit applicants.

I would replace "Look Ma' No Hands" with something like...

- Weekend and Evening Shifts
- Leadership Opportunities
- Great Tips

These changes will attract people looking to provide great service and earn tips, desire future leadership roles, and are ready to work during weekends and evenings.

Need help with your brand message?

My favorite part of my job is getting in the room with organizations that are committed to being clear and compelling in their messaging. From umbrella brand messaging to communications for a specific initiative or job opening, companies that committed to clarity will win. I use the StoryBrand Framework to create a customer-centric message and remove any talking points that don't enhance clarity.

If you or your executive team could use a new perspective on your marketing and communications, you can schedule a call with me here or send me an email at