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How to Write a Winning Job Advert

I often read adverts offering fantastic sales jobs with great careers and superb incomes, and then I read the bit about who should or should not apply for the job.

Obviously the advertiser wants someone living in the UK with a valid work permit to do so; equally the advertiser would like the candidate to have written a personal note as to why they think they should be considered for the role and a CV that closely matches the role.

If only!

Candidates on the whole like to forward their CV but they like a chance to phone first, just to make sure the role is still available and get a quick overview from the employer that they are in with a chance. Not all job applications are in the BBC Apprentice style with a none too clear job role and a boss who thinks it’s best to set challenges for the applicants to fulfil and fire the weakest link. Nice but who has the time?

So back to the advert!

A good advert will be: to the point, inspirational and easily understood. Comments like “Badly written, non relative and unnecessarily verbose standard letters will likely result in your application being rejected” will not encourage any applications at all (unless the applicant doesn’t speak or understand English in which case you’re back to square one).

It is well recognised that the Internet is probably the fastest and most accurate way of delivering interest in a vacancy. A website specialising in a particular industry or skill is even more accurate again. But who is the real beneficiary of this medium, the advertiser or the applicant? The answer is no-one if it isn’t used properly.

The reason no-one is benefiting is down to two very important factors, is the job enticing interest or trying to avoid generating the wrong type of applicants? Is the applicant enticed to approach the advertiser or warned off as the employer isn’t interested in dealing with lots of potential interest from probably unsuitable candidates.

One entices the other doesn’t. By using negative advertising it sends out a warning signal as to the sort of employer you are – negative, short of time to take any real interest and probably a bit of a bully. Is that you?

No, of course not!

If you were this kind of employer people wouldn’t work for you, your business wouldn’t go very far and you’ll end up looking for a job yourself and only apply for jobs that sound nice, sincere and genuine.

Those are the key words you need to apply to your own adverts: Nice, Sincere and Genuine.

To explain:

Nice: My company is nice to work for because we all go out on a Friday night for a couple of glasses of beer and the boss often joins us to buy the first round (sound nice to you?).

Sincere: My company has established itself in our niche market and believe people work with people, your interpersonal skills are paramount to the success of this department (sounds true enough?).

Genuine: My company has found through experience that the best person for this role will already be working with widgets, probably in a customer facing role, often negotiating with senior managers and well respected by the team, if you have all or part of these experiences with widgets we would be very interested in confidential meeting to discuss the role further. (No you’re not desperate but you are genuinely looking for the right person).

Trying to exclude unsuitable candidates keeps genuine applicants away. Why? Because if you can’t take the time to talk to any of them they won’t take the time to talk to you.