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3 Key Elements of a Help Wanted Ad That Attracts Top Applicants

3 Key Elements of a Help Wanted Ad That Attracts Top Applicants

As of June 30th, 2015, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there are 5.2 million jobs open in the United States. Therefore, if you’re trying to fill even one of them, you’re competing against a large number of other employers who also want the best new staff member they can get. That’s why you want an effective help wanted ad; so you can edge out your competitors and gain the attention and the interest of the cream of the employee crop.

To do this requires that your job posting contain three specific elements, thereby giving you the advantage when it comes to the hiring process. They are:

Element #1: The Right Job Title

While using the right job title may seem like a given, TheLadders (a career resource site aimed at connecting employers with top future employees) advises that many businesses try to overcomplicate this initial part of the ad. To explain, they indicate that creating “over the top titles to make [your] posts stand out” may seem logical, but instead, what you’re actually doing is making yourself hard to find and increasing the likelihood that the job searcher will view you as unprofessional.

When choosing the job title for your help wanted ad then, they recommend that you choose words that the applicant will likely use to search for it. For example, if you are hiring a human resources manager, you will want those three words in the title for SEO (search engine optimization) purposes. After all, the right applicant can’t submit their interest if he or she never finds your ad to begin with.

Element #2: An Imagination-Boosting Job Description

Have you ever read a job description in a help wanted ad and found yourself kind of zoning out because it was just same old, same old? Well, this is the last thing you want high quality applicants to do to yours. Therefore, you’ll do a better job of getting the right person’s attention if you use wording that gets him or her to imagine themselves already in the position and enjoying it tremendously.

For instance, instead of writing “responsible for taking telephone calls from consumer,” you might want to write “responsible for creating positive customer interactions over the phone.” The first option makes the person envision themselves just sitting there answering the phones, whereas the second is more visual and self-empowering. Plus, use of the word positive inspires an image of themselves sitting there smiling and being happy while on the job, which is a great feeling to provide if you want them to apply.

Additionally, you want your job description long enough to convey some of the most important duties without overwhelming the applicant with everything he or she would be responsible for. Leave all of the minor details for discussion during the interview process.

Element #3: A Personality-Filled Company Description

Although your main goal in writing a help wanted ad is to find someone qualified for and interested in your open position, it is important to remember that if you can’t effectively sell your company, you’re probably not going to get top talent to apply. Instead, you may find yourself receiving applications from people who are tendering their resume simply because they meet your minimum specifications or because they “can do the job.”

One way to combat this and catch the eye of top talent within your field is write an ad that makes your company sound like a great place to work (which it is, of course). Do this by injecting some of your personality and highlighting some of your strong points—like your fun working environment, your awesome benefit package, or your desire to help your employees move up—and you will have a better chance at selling the potential applicant on wanting to work for you.

If your job posting has these three elements, then you will likely find it easier to connect with the perfect person for the job. Anything you put in your help wanted advertisements that have helped you hire the right people? Feel free to share them below!

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by Christina DeBusk // Freelance writer, author, and small business consultant committed to helping entrepreneurs achieve higher levels of success.

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.