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Good to see Craigslist finally emphasizing visual job descriptions.

Why should you care?

Don’t you think Rocket Lawyer below is crushing Switchfly and Intrax in terms of click-throughs on their Senior Web Developer ad on Craigslist below (location aside)?

Job ads with visuals better performance Craigslist | Ongig


“Contrast” = Good “CRAP”

I do. The reason is that it leverages “contrast”, one of 4 major design principles that some of you may recognize as the “C” in the “CRAP” acronym of design (C=Contrast, R=Repetition, A=Alignment and P=Proximity).

When something stands in contrast versus other things, it gets looked at.

The contrast is even more profound in Craigslist’s new “grid view” of job postings (below) — the jobs with the blank thumbnails pale in comparison to the weird spiderman finger!

Craigslist job ads images | Ongig

I’ve got nothing against Switchfly and Intrax but come on! Rocket Lawyer is eating these guys for lunch in terms of getting Craigslist users to check out their job ad.

I wouldn’t be surprised if more candidates clicked the RocketLawyer ad than then the next 2 or 3 job ads next to it combined.

Use Visuals & Watch the Applications Pour In

But it doesn’t end there with click-throughs. It’s also about applications!

When the candidate clicks through to the actual job ad for each company, which job ad do you think gets more clicks on apply (all other things equal)…this one from Next Issue Media:

Job ads with and without images Craigslist | Ongig

…or this one from Rocket Lawyer:

Visual Job Ads Craigslist |ONgig

“It’s Like Bringing a Machine Gun to a Knife Fight”

Rocket Lawyer is using four images in the ad itself — they are dominating Next Issue in this head-to-head.

For any of you who subscribe to treating candidates like customers (see In Recruiting, Your Candidates Are Your Customers — Sell Them!), all of this is common sense.

And if you understand advertising, it’s even more obvious — you can turn to ad guru David Oglivy who included visuals in almost ever ad he ever wrote because he measured their performance and they simply did better.

If you don’t know much about Oglivy, go read Oglivy on Advertising or check out this quick 5 Step Formula For Writing an Ad.

And remember Oglivy’s old adage: “The more you tell, the more you sell.” (the pictures in this case are an example of being able to tell more).

Or, for those of you who think that hiring is a bit like dating, maybe you remember how adding a picture on your Match.com profile increased single people’s inbound messages by something like 500% (hard to believe online dating profiles used to not have pictures, huh?).

For you recruiters out there, this is a golden opportunity because very few employers are using visuals in their job ads. And using the visuals doesn’t cost you a dime. In fact, Craigslist allows you to use TWELVE images in one job ad (for the same price as those using zero).

Note: I know what you’re thinking: this isn’t exactly new to Craigslist — they’ve allowed the manual insertion of images for awhile (see How to Insert an Image into a Craigslist Job Ad). You’re right, but now they make it easier by having a “Choose Files” button in the posting process. 

Using a visual in a job ad is like bringing a machine gun to a knife fight.

But this knife fight won’t last long and soon it will cost extra money.

We predict nearly all job ads will have visuals by the time current high-schoolers are looking for their first job…and most job ads will charge in part based on how much rich media you use.

Shameless plug: if you want to try a visual job ad without paying Craigslist (which charges for ads in most major cities), go try Ongig’s free platform where you can add pictures or videos to your job ad.




Rob Kelly

Co-Founder and CEO at Ongig
Ongig transforms your job descriptions to attract the best talent faster. Ongig is a content management system that supercharges your job descriptions through video, images, pictures, chat, social sharing, microsite creation and much more. Jobs can be more easily found through Artificial Intelligence-based job search and all pages are Mobile and SEO optimized. Ongig's professional copywriting team will even rewrite your job descriptions. Early clients of Ongig include Yelp, GoDaddy, Verizon, Intel andAutodesk.

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