How to Make a Job Advertisement
Because of the number of candidates applying for jobs daily, hiring a quality employee for a position can be a difficult task. While many people choose to simply post a quickly written advertisement on a local job board, there are more effective ways to reach quality candidates. By focusing on the content and design of the ad, you can produce a relevant and effective job advertisement.
Compiling Information for the Ad
Pick a job title.The job title in the ad doesn’t have to be the exact same as the job title that candidate will actually possess. Choose a title that includes key terms that qualified candidates may include in their job search.Additionally, make sure the job title describes the job being performed as well as the level of work.
- For example, instead of labeling the job “Sales Position,” try “Entry-level Pharmaceutical Sales Representative.”
- Avoid acronyms or abbreviations with which all candidates may not be familiar.
Introduce your company.This should include key words and phrases that clearly summarize your company and explain your business’ industry, your company’s culture, your company’s mission and why this is a great place to work.
- For example, “The mission of Company XYZ is to offer customers high quality technical engineering services at an affordable price. Founded in 1970, the company is headed by John Smith and located in Sacramento, California. Our goal is to target small companies and government organizations , to seek major contracts and strategic alliances.”
Write a general position summary.This is used to clearly explain the obligations of the position so that the candidates have a clear picture of performance expectations. The functions should include level of importance, level of complexity, and all essential tasks should be listed.List about eight to ten key responsibilities of the position.
- For instance, you could write, “The essential duties of the catering manager include many responsibilities such as securing a venue; interviewing merchants and executing contracts; overseeing food delivery and preparation; and managing all event staff.
Include “hard” candidate requirements.These should be basic qualifications that candidates must possess in order to be considered for the position. They must be closely related to the duties of the position, and must be necessary to successfully fulfill the essential functions of the position.
- Requirements must be objective. For instance, instead of saying, “Seeking a candidate that went to a ‘good’ school,” try saying, “Seeking a candidate with a Bachelor’s degree.”
- Prerequisites must also be non-comparative. For example, instead of asking for a candidate who “is within the top five candidates in years of experience,” seek instead a candidate with simply, “five years of experience.”
- Requirements listed must be business related. For instance you cannot ask for a candidate to have volunteer experience unless it is relevant to the position.
- Avoid discrimination by selecting words and phrases that do not adversely limit a protected class or group of people.
- Avoid listing too many skills as it can greatly limit your potential candidates. List no more than 5 “hard” qualifications (degree, years of experience, etc.).
Determine preferred candidate qualifications.Preferred qualifications are traits that are desired, but not necessarily a prerequisite for employment. These are often identified as “soft skills.” These skills and abilities are used to determine whether a candidate possesses a higher aptitude level with which to complete the duties listed in the job description.
- For example, you can request prior experience with Oracle, but it may not be a requirement for all candidates.
- Preferred qualifications are listed with the hopes that someone who has greater skills will be more adept at reaching the full potential of their position.
Provide application procedures.Tell candidates how they should go about applying for the position. Will the application be on-line? Should they email a resume or cover letter? Provide all instructions and also provide contact information such as email, phone number, and company website.
- For example, you may say, “All interested candidates who meet the necessary qualifications should email their resume and cover letter to .”
Decide what additional information you’d like to include.Some employers choose to include base salary information (per hour/per annum), commission, bonus opportunities, benefits, etc.You can also choose to designate the employment type and length such as permanent employee, a temporary hire, a contractor, or whether employees will be full-time, or part-time.You can also include the location of the position and whether travel is involved.
- Attract the best candidates by highlighting the benefits that help your company stand apart from competitors, such as a high pay scale, bonus programs, flexible working hours, career development opportunities, or any other “perks” that may appeal to potential candidates.
- Templates and checklists can be used to determine what information to include, and in what order.
- A large number of example job posting can be found at .
Choosing Your Advertising Channel
Select a market appropriate to your field.It’s important to do a few searches in order to determine the best market for your ad. These searches can be performed online, in the local paper, in the classifieds, or in any other markets in which you are considering advertising. By acting as a job-hunter, you’ll be able to determine the most popular markets for your advertisement, whether it be an online job board, a newspaper ad, or a job fair.
- For example, if you search for open teaching positions online, you will see advertisements on popular employment sites, newspaper sites, and sites dedicated specifically to teachers.
Keep your ad design simple.Whether posting an ad online or in print, you are often given design options such as background color, font, font size, etc. Keep the design of your ad clean and simple so the most important information can be conveyed quickly.
- Make sure your ad is easily readable by ensuring the print isn’t too large or too small, and that the words are in an easily visible color such as black or dark blue.
- Avoid fancy or scripted fonts that are often difficult to read, and avoid capitalizing all letters.
- Don’t use over-designed graphics, lots of italics, or patterned/pictured backgrounds. While this is often used to grab the reader’s attention, it typically just distracts the reader and slows them down.
- Different designs with the same content on different media can be effective.
Advertise within the company.Try posting your job advertisement on intra-company bulletin boards. This will allows employees to recruit friends and acquaintances who might be interested. This advertising channel is free and can provide high-quality applicants, as each one is already referred by an employee.
Post your ad online.Online postings have grown in popularity because they offer employers many ways to advertise to a large group of candidates, as well as faster response and hiring times. Online postings include job boards such as Indeed or Monster.com, classified sites like Craigslist, your business’s website, or any online site your candidate is likely to visit.
- For instance, if you’re searching for an intern for a position, a college’s job board would be a great place to find an ideal candidate.
- Most online job postings run for 30 days at a time and cost anywhere from to 0, depending on the site.Visit the company’s website for more information on costs and postings.
- Beware of the drawbacks of sites like Craigslist, where you are likely to receive a lot of applications from unqualified candidates, and your ad may get buried among other ads over time.
Take out a classified ad in a newspaper.Classified ads in newspapers and circulars are still very popular because they are both a low-cost and traditional method to find suitable candidates. You can choose a block of space that allows you to write a clear and specific ad which will discourage unqualified candidates, or you can choose a smaller block of space and post a “blind ad” which doesn’t include business information.
- Instead of including business contact information, a blind ad will set up a P.O. Box where candidates can send resumes. Blind ads typically save money and time because employers no longer have to reply to all candidates.
- Because blind ads don’t contain a lot of company information, candidates may be reluctant to apply.
- A full page ad typically ranges from to 0. Contact your local paper for more information on costs and other pertinent information.
Publish in a trade journal.Trade journals are a great place to advertise when you are looking for a professional or technical employee with a specific set of skills or training. This is a great way to reach a very specific, and therefore more qualified audience. Search for the most popular trade or professional journals within your field and contact them for advertising information.
- One of the major drawbacks is that these advertisements tend to have a slow turnaround time as these journals are often only published monthly or quarterly. However, many journals can also be found online which can quicken the process.
Analyze your results.Save your applicant data from different channels to assess which one is the most effective. Record the number of applicants and the quality of those applicants. For example, you can ask in the interview or during the application process which channel the applicant heard about the position through. Analyze this data and refine your advertising channel choices for your next job advertisement based on those that were most successful.
- After compiling information for the ad, you can always leave out information if your ad begins to feel crowded.
- Remember, a job ad and a job description are not the same. The job ad should contain much less information than the job description.
- Always use spell check and have someone proofread your ad. In order to attract the best candidates, you have to have a great ad.
Video: 7 Steps for Writing Effective Job Ad
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