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Help Your Help Wanted Ads
Need help finding help?
During these difficult financial times, many people are searching through help wanted ads. Not everyone is even willing to jump ship at their current employer, but it never hurts to shop around. Everybody is out to make more money and most of us welcome a new opportunity. I do realize there are many people out of work, but that is not the case for everyone.
What companies need to know about their help wanted ads is that not everyone is desperate. Not everyone is willing to apply to every single job listed in the help wanted section. Even though these are difficult times, there is still competition. Companies need to make sure they are posting the best ads to get the best applicants.
As someone that is always glancing over help wanted ads looking for new opportunities, I can honestly say I am seeing some poorly worded ads. To be blunt, some ads are just awful. Some companies just need a little advice and some minor changes can go a long way.
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If I am looking for employment opportunities, I want to know exactly what the position is all about. Vague descriptions are not going to appeal to me. Chances are, I will not even bother applying. I will assume you are hiding information for a reason. I simply do not have to time to write a cover letter, email or fax a resume, and then possibly find the time for an interview for a job without enough information listed in the ad.
If the job is unpleasant, at least mention something like: "Works well under pressure" or "Long hours sometimes expected." Maybe I do work well in a challenging work environment or I even want long hours. If you are not writing that in the ad, I assume you hiding something worse like: "Must fetch coffee for boss every hour" or "Must clean office toilet every other day." Don't let me guess what you are hiding. You should be up front about it and it saves everyone time.
Let me also add, there is a lot of spam and scams on Craigslist. If you post an extremely vague ad, I am going to assume your company is not legit. Also, if you include a link to another page for me to review, I might not even click on it. How do I know it isn't a virus? If you at least fully describe the job and your company sounds reputable, maybe I will click on the link.
Yes, spelling counts.
If you are placing an ad on Craigslist, please keep in mind no one is going to proofread your ad. You know who is going to proofread it? Me. If I see an ad with a lot of typos, I assume you are not that professional. I also assume you will be making a lot of mistakes, and I will have to go behind you and fix them. That assumption could be wrong, but guess what? I will never know about it. I will not apply to an ad that looks unprofessional.
The only people that do apply for jobs from ads with lots of typos are people that also can't spell or understand grammar, or people that are completely desperate. In either situation, I don't think you are pulling in the best possible candidates. Take some time to proofread your ad, or at least have an assistant or friend do it.
So what's good about this job?
I am all about companies posting honest ads, but if you want someone to apply for the job you need to also list some of the benefits. Every job has to have at least one positive aspect to it. If not, you are never going to keep anyone at that position. If the pay is awful, but you allow a flexible work schedule, mention that. If the job is extremely demanding, yet you give huge bonuses on a regular basis, you need to put that in the ad. Remember, you are trying to sell that job to the best applicants.
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A side note about salary.
If you would like to include the salary in the ad, by all means, do so. This will immediately tell me if the job is worth my time. Sometimes I can read the salary and automatically know I can't pay my bills working at that position. If the salary is pretty decent, you should include it. If you want talented people to apply for a position, they are more likely to do so if they know the salary and it meets their requirements.
Plus, and this is my biggest pet peeve about businesses today, if a college degree is required for a position, expect to pay for the college degree. Personally, I am up to my eyeballs in student loans. I have to be able to pay those back. Therefore, I need enough money from my job to pay the loans back. This sounds like a simple concept, but apparently companies do not get it. I've interviewed for jobs that required a bachelor's degree and experience, and the salary was $22,500 a year. Are you kidding me? That won't even pay for rent in this area. Don't insult me or my fellow college graduates. If you expect applicants with college degrees, you need to pay for it.
Go out there and get some workers!
I hope this has been helpful to anyone about to place an ad in a newspaper or online. Just imagine what you would want as an applicant and what you would like to read in an ad. That is what you need to include in the ad you create. It is important to be honest, but it is also important to make a great first impression. The first impression does not start with the interview; it begins with the help wanted ad. Even in a bad economy, the best workers can still be a little picky when applying for jobs.
Copyright ©2011 (additional information added 2012) Jeannieinabottle
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