Many things are taught in college business schools and some of them are actually useful in the real world. Writing skills are usually not part of the curriculum and no communication courses include instruction on how to write a help wanted ad that gets you what you want.
I just finished reading Bait and Switch, a book about a job hunt experienced by the writer, Barbara Ehrenreich. Out of curiosity, I looked at some of the jobs currently posted on job boards and found them to be as dreadful as I remember. It’s no wonder hiring managers are inundated by resumes that are not suitable. My post today is not about Ehrenreich’s book or about job searches. It is about communication.
What follows are just four tips for writing ads that may help you find the perfect team player and keep a few hundred irrelevant resumes from hitting your desk.
First, keeping your company’s identity a secret is understandable but you should name your industry. This will weed out those who cannot or refuse to be associated with it, whatever it may be. Specific industries can also be attractive. To get a team player, advertise for someone who wants to be part of your particular league.
Second, give a general geographic area, particularly in large metropolitan areas. Also state if the location is accessible by public transportation. Public transportation is a two-way benefit.Your employees arrive without the frustration caused by an hour drive on a busy roadway and you get them focused and ready to work.
Third, indicate if background checks and drug testing are required. This will discourage from applying those who cannot pass these tests. It may also mean that the resumes you receive are based in truth.
Finally, why include words like energetic, dynamic, or friendly? Isn’t that assumed? How many employers are seeking applicants who are lethargic, non-reactive, or grumpy?
Employers expect applicants to communicate well in cover letters and resumes. It is only right that companies reciprocate. Tell applicants what you expect and what you really want. Maybe, through clear and concise communication, you’ll get it.