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Job Ads That Work

Tips to live by when posting that "we need you" sign

Smart recruiters know that posting an effective online job ad isn't just about making one that gets all the attention. Sure, you've probably posted one that gets clicked and applied to approximately every 22 minutes or so, but all that leaves you is an ocean of resumes you probably won't have enough time to even scan quickly before your hiring deadline.

Job ads that work are like good employees; not only do they inform candidates of openings in your company (not to mention look attractive) - they also do more than what they are expected to do.

They don't just get you your candidates. They get you the right ones.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when making a job ad:

Use the site as a candidate would.

Before writing that job ad, take a short tour of the jobsite you'd want to use. Whenever candidates log in and browse for jobs, what's the first bunch of info they see about each ad? What do the other job ads look like, particularly in the same section yours should be? What do they write? How do candidates get to apply in each company? Doing this lends insight into how candidates are able to access your job ad, which in turn could give you more tips on how to be easily searched by qualified pros. Plus, you get to scope out the ad competition.

Fill in as much info about your company as possible.

Good, qualified candidates aren't just looking for a good job, they're looking for a good company to work for. So when filling in information fields, be sure to present your company well. Basic rule: You can't impress a good jobhunter with empty fields in your jobsite Company Profile. Don't just rely on the link to your company website; most candidates will NOT bother to click it if you don't initially impress them.

Fill in as much info about the job.

If you've got a ready budget, type in the salary range to be negotiated for. As is with the company profile, do the same for the job ad. When writing the job duties, be specific - especially if you're looking for IT people. Add on some value-adds like "preferably with experience in Mainframe programming," as well as a short overview of what they could expect, like "prepared to multi-task" whenever applicable. Give readers a clear picture of what they could expect in working for you. Don't be vague.

Let your job ad do some screening for you.

Make sure your job ad doesn't attract just ANYBODY to apply. When you put in info about the job ad, make sure to indicate the different skills and requirements that are ACCEPTABLE. If job requires details that would put off some applicants - like travel, late hours etc.- point them out so you can weed out those you KNOW are not going through once they find out. But whenever you do this, be sure to add in as much info about compensation as you can - that way, candidates are presented not just with a job "and then some," but a compensation to match what is needed. This is key in getting those people to work the way you want them to. Lastly, add an "applicants who are / have (fill in the blanks) need not apply" whenever important. It's a bit blunt, but it gets the message to those unqualified in the first place.

Be careful with the job titles.

Some jobs have different titles, whereas some job titles can entail more than one job. For instance, the title "Account Manager" can mean either a Sales position or a client representative stint; whenever this happens, try to be more specific. This helps the weeding process by starting out at the job list page. This is especially helpful in the IT field, where the terms "programmer", "analyst" and the like can mean over a hundred different types of people.

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