Mastering the art of writing job ads

Take a professional writer’s approach and HR could access a far better caliber of candidate, says one expert

Mastering the art of writing job ads
a Human Resources professional, writing job ads is just part of a day's work. Right?
But … are you doing it as effectively as you could be?
Maybe some of the following sounds familiar:
You spend a ton of time and energy writing and re-writing, editing and adjusting a job post, before you send it out into the world. The majority of applicants who respond to the ad don't have the qualities you're looking for. Out of the handful who are qualified, you choose one to hire. You have high hopes, but when she shows up for the job, it turns out she isn’t a match at all. 
So you start over.
In so many cases, job ads seem pretty cut-and-dry, don't they? They list the job description, qualifications, experience required, and possibly pay or benefits.
So why don't the right candidates apply?
What if I told you that you could harness the power of direct response copywriting—promotional writing designed to inspire people to take action (not the same as owning the copyright on creative material)—to write job ads that attract, inspire and invite the right candidates to apply to your open positions?
You can!
Introducing Love-Based Copywriting, a type of direct response copywriting based in love.
I know, you may be struggling right now to see the connection between writing promotional copy and attracting the right candidates … so hang with me for a minute.
I'm going to share three tips inspired by my second Love-based copy book - The Love-Based Copywriting System - for writing a job ad that attracts, inspires and invites your ideal job applicants to apply for your open positions.
Tip 1. Get to know yourself.
Yes, we're beginning at an unconventional starting point: YOU. Ah, introspection! Self-examination is key.
Consider your own mental and emotional processes. As an employer, where do your strengths and weaknesses lie? In which areas can you use the most help? For example, if you're an idea person, but need help following through and taking action to bring a vision to reality, you need an employee who can complement your strengths, who is adept at coming up with ideas to bring your creation to life – and then taking the steps to make it happen. If you're forgetful, you need someone who has a steel-trap memory. Take some time before writing your job ad to really think about what you really need in an employee.
You see, if you get clear on—and communicate in your job ad—your own personality traits and needs, you're far more likely to attract an ideal candidate for your open positions. You may even consider opening up to applicants about what you need to work on so your potential employees feel like part of the solution.  Go ahead, list your quirks and "needs-improvement-areas" right on the job ad. The right applicant will know if her own quirks are complementary to yours.
Tip 2. Identify your ideal candidate.
It sounds simple, but I'm talking about getting to know the person behind the experience, qualifications and education listed on the paper. What values are you looking for in a person? Are you looking for someone who regards customer service above all else? Or are you looking for someone who is passionate about the bottom line? Do you want an employee who works well on a team, or who can take a project and run with it on his own?
It's critical to know who you're looking for in an employee, so that your values AND personalities mesh. Two different people can have virtually the same experience and qualifications, but have completely different personalities and values, right? So your job ad should reflect the type of person you're looking for in addition to those experiences and qualifications. You might even consider adding a separate section into your job ad for "Characteristics and Traits Desired," and list items like "Ability to lead a team on complicated projects," or "Must be comfortable working alone for extended periods of time," or "Must be comfortable making decisions when supervisor isn't available."
Tip 3. Be sure to include what's in it for her.
What will your applicant get out of taking the position you're advertising? Thinking back to the values you listed when you were identifying your ideal client, use some of the space in your job ad to describe how your employee's life or career will transform once she's worked in this new position. For example, if your ideal candidate is passionate about creating a positive office culture, be clear about how this position will help her do so. If she is money-driven, include information about her earning potential.  If she thrives on responsibility, include a description of the types of responsibilities she'll have, and how important these are to you.
When you're writing love-based copy—even in a job ad—it's important to convey the transformation your ideal candidate has the potential to experience as an employee. If a candidate reads the ad and it doesn't resonate with her, she won't apply. 
In conclusion, I'm confident that you'll experience the ways in which adding a little love to your job descriptions will help you find candidates that not only meet your requirements, but also complement you, your existing staff, and your company. As a result, everyone will feel the love!
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