How To Write A Job Ad

For every position, there is a perfect applicant. The process of combining the two depends on effective communication. Too often employers assume that the best person for the job will simply emerge from interviews, without realising the importance of the step that comes before that.

So, how do you write the job advertisement to get the employee you want? This simple acronym might be useful: A.I.D.A. - Attention, Interest, Desire, Action

This has become a bit of a cliché among the employment industry, but it still holds true. If you wish to attract the right kind of employee, you have to advertise in a way that demands their specific skills and availability. Remember, quality is more important than quantity.

Your guiding principle should be to write an advertisement with your ideal applicant in mind. That might sound obvious, but think about the kinds of generic phrasing which could attract anybody, and is more suited to a resume than a position statement.

For example, is there any point in asking for applicants who 'work well with others'? Or, indeed, have 'leadership skills'? The answer is no – unless you specify what kind of work and what kind of leadership.

1. Attention

In the current market, a potential employee is a bit like a shopper looking through a catalogue. They will consider many options, and look for early clues as to what is right for them. An effective heading is important. State the position and the organisation quickly and clearly. If you find yourself unable to express this in a small number of words, consider whether the job title is really appropriate in the first place.

If a role carries with it a sense of a 'free hand', it is worthwhile to have a sub-title outlining the goals and required outcomes of the position.

2. Interest

Having laid out your advertisement in an easy-to-understand-way, it is important to attract the interest of specific potential employees. Be concise, but clear as to the kind of person who would be motivated to fulfill this particular position.

Either way, go into some small detail about the requirements of the position - these could be dot- pointed to emphasise their key nature.

If working through a recruitment agency, it is still very important to make these objectives and requirements clear.

3. Desire

Some industries and institutions are highly competitive. This is where your position should make some reference to why yours is the preferable employer. What makes your workplace the one that should be selected by an excellent candidate, as opposed to your competitors?

4. Action

In an era of multiple forums for communication, this is important. Specify the date and manner in which you wish to be contacted. Tedious as it may be, outline in as much detail as possible the requirements you have your potential employee. The more questions which can be answered prior to an interview, the better.

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