Small Business Tips: How To Write An Effective Help Wanted Ad

To attract the right job applicants, you need a dynamic help wanted advertisement.

In today's economy, there is no question that it is an employers' market. There are a lot of people out there looking for work, and many employers report that they are getting huge responses when advertising for new employees. The positive side of this situation is that employers have an excellent selection from which to choose. However, because so many people are looking either to change jobs or to find one after having been laid off, many people respond to job advertisements for position for which they are not qualified. Part of the reason for this is that employers are not specific enough when writing the copy for the advertisement. If the ad is not detailed enough, people who are not qualified for the position will apply. Sorting through these applications is time-consuming enough without having to separate those highly qualified individuals from those who are not even close. One way to avoid an overabundance of applicants is to write an effective help wanted ad that will address all the salient points and attract the kind of employee that will be an asset to your company.

Obviously, your goal in writing an effective help wanted ad is to attract the right person for the job that you have available. In order to do this, it is important not only to detail the job itself, but also to sell your company to perspective applicants. An advertisement is just that - a sales tool. This is especially important if you are looking for people who have very specific job skills and are in high demand. You want your ad to draw attention to your company and, once the applicant starts reading, give him or her reason to send a resume.

Any help wanted ad should start out first by listing the job title and a complete job description. If you are unclear as to how to write up the duties of the job, do an Internet search for "job descriptions," and look for a position similar to that which you have available. Use that description as a foundation, and add in any pertinent details that are unique to your company. Make the description as clear as possible. If you are replacing someone who is leaving voluntarily, ask that person to read over your job description and add in anything that he or she feels is pertinent.

Next, outline the qualifications that you require. This should also be very specific and detail minimum educational level, years of experience in the field, any certifications or licenses that are required, necessary computer skills, and any other qualification that you have determined to be necessary for the person who will ultimately do this job. Indicate special requirements such as the need to travel. This is all critical information and, although some people do ignore stated qualifications and apply for jobs in the hopes that an employer will waive these requirements, normally, only people who fit the description will apply.

List all benefits including number of vacation days, insurances, flex hours, dress code, cafeteria plans, retirement plans, educational reimbursement, etc. Try to be as complete in this area as possible since this is the section in which you are really selling your company to potential employees.

Describe your company history - length of time in business, number of employees, branch locations, nature of the business, etc. This is very helpful to job seekers who may have preferences as to sizes of companies, and opportunity for advancement. Again, you are selling yourself here, so write this in an inviting fashion! You might also consider listing nearby attractions of interest such as universities, shopping facilities, etc, especially if you are trying to attract out of town applicants who may not be familiar with your city or town. There are situations where you may wish to place a "blind" ad - that is, advertise without indicating your company name or even your location. This is important if you are replacing someone who does not yet know that his or her job is in jeopardy. In this case, you should still describe your company as completely as possible while at the same time veiling location and other information that might alert the person that you are trying to replace.



Finally, make it easy for people to apply for your position. It's the 21st century, after all, and most people are looking for jobs online. People want to be able to apply online as well. Therefore, your advertisement should list an email address for resume submissions as well as a standard post office address. If you haven't done so already, set up a separate email address to use solely for job applicants. The traditional "cover letter" has been replaced by a "cover email," but you should still require this accompanying information be sent along with a resume. Request that people send their resumes as an email attachment. This makes it easy for them to send and convenient for you to access and print.

Following this plan will ensure you of effective advertising and draw in the right candidates for your open position. Applicants will know what is expected of them and, in turn, you will not be forced to sift through a pile of resumes from people who are completely unqualified for the job opening. In today's economy, there is no question that it is an employers' market. There are a lot of people out there looking for work, and many employers report that they are getting huge responses when advertising for new employees. The positive side of this situation is that employers have an excellent selection from which to choose. However, because so many people are looking either to change jobs or to find one after having been laid off, many people respond to job advertisements for position for which they are not qualified. Part of the reason for this is that employers are not specific enough when writing the copy for the advertisement. If the ad is not detailed enough, people who are not qualified for the position will apply. Sorting through these applications is time-consuming enough without having to separate those highly qualified individuals from those who are not even close. One way to avoid an overabundance of applicants is to write an effective help wanted ad that will address all the salient points and attract the kind of employee that will be an asset to your company.

Obviously, your goal in writing an effective help wanted ad is to attract the right person for the job that you have available. In order to do this, it is important not only to detail the job itself, but also to sell your company to perspective applicants. An advertisement is just that - a sales tool. This is especially important if you are looking for people who have very specific job skills and are in high demand. You want your ad to draw attention to your company and, once the applicant starts reading, give him or her reason to send a resume.

Any help wanted ad should start out first by listing the job title and a complete job description. If you are unclear as to how to write up the duties of the job, do an Internet search for "job descriptions," and look for a position similar to that which you have available. Use that description as a foundation, and add in any pertinent details that are unique to your company. Make the description as clear as possible. If you are replacing someone who is leaving voluntarily, ask that person to read over your job description and add in anything that he or she feels is pertinent.

Next, outline the qualifications that you require. This should also be very specific and detail minimum educational level, years of experience in the field, any certifications or licenses that are required, necessary computer skills, and any other qualification that you have determined to be necessary for the person who will ultimately do this job. Indicate special requirements such as the need to travel. This is all critical information and, although some people do ignore stated qualifications and apply for jobs in the hopes that an employer will waive these requirements, normally, only people who fit the description will apply.

List all benefits including number of vacation days, insurances, flex hours, dress code, cafeteria plans, retirement plans, educational reimbursement, etc. Try to be as complete in this area as possible since this is the section in which you are really selling your company to potential employees.

Describe your company history - length of time in business, number of employees, branch locations, nature of the business, etc. This is very helpful to job seekers who may have preferences as to sizes of companies, and opportunity for advancement. Again, you are selling yourself here, so write this in an inviting fashion! You might also consider listing nearby attractions of interest such as universities, shopping facilities, etc, especially if you are trying to attract out of town applicants who may not be familiar with your city or town. There are situations where you may wish to place a "blind" ad - that is, advertise without indicating your company name or even your location. This is important if you are replacing someone who does not yet know that his or her job is in jeopardy. In this case, you should still describe your company as completely as possible while at the same time veiling location and other information that might alert the person that you are trying to replace.

Finally, make it easy for people to apply for your position. It's the 21st century, after all, and most people are looking for jobs online. People want to be able to apply online as well. Therefore, your advertisement should list an email address for resume submissions as well as a standard post office address. If you haven't done so already, set up a separate email address to use solely for job applicants. The traditional "cover letter" has been replaced by a "cover email," but you should still require this accompanying information be sent along with a resume. Request that people send their resumes as an email attachment. This makes it easy for them to send and convenient for you to access and print.

Following this plan will ensure you of effective advertising and draw in the right candidates for your open position. Applicants will know what is expected of them and, in turn, you will not be forced to sift through a pile of resumes from people who are completely unqualified for the job opening.

© High Speed Ventures 2011