How to Create a Wanted Ad: 5 Steps
Help wanted advertising is used to solicit hired help, or new employees. This type of advertising typically runs in the classifieds section of newspapers and publications, as well as on Internet classifieds sites. Because help wanted ads are often surrounded by other, competing ads, it is important to draft ads in a way that will attract readers and incite those who are qualified to inquire further into the position being advertised. Therefore, a help wanted advertisement should embody certain characteristics. Follow these guidelines to create a help wanted ad.
- Begin with an attention-grabbing headline. Use positive language and action-oriented verbs, and include specific details about the position and employer. For example, a help wanted ad headline reading, “Secretary needed for realty office,” could be more effectively reworded in this way: “Dynamic Executive Assistant needed to organize, manage and oversee office procedures for busy, uptown real estate firm.”
2 Provide the basics. Before you get into the more creative aspects of writing help wanted ads, it is important that you provide readers with some basic information that will give them a preliminary idea of what your ad is all about:
Give your company name and location.
List the job title, along with specifics like job level, full/part time, temporary/permanent, night/day shift, salary range, application due date and date needed to start.
An example of a suitable help wanted advertising opener would be, “ABC Corporation, located in Capital City, is currently seeking a full-time, entry-level Specialist to assume the night shift on a temporary contract basis. Salary is market-competitive and commensurate with experience. Applications must be submitted by March 1, as this position is expected to start on April 1 and run for a total of 6 months.”
- Summarize what you are looking for in an employee.
Qualifications include any expertise that may be required for the job, such as knowledge of computer programming, familiarity with specialized equipment, proficiency within a certain skill-set and or an understanding of job-related terminology. For example, your help wanted ad qualifications list may read like, “must know how to use basic accounting software, able to use a 10-key with 100 percent accuracy and familiar with billing/coding terms.”
List any formal training requirements. Help wanted ads should include details about college education and/or special certification courses that apply to the position.
Be specific about the type of experience you are seeking in prospective employees. In addition to employment-length guidelines, also include generalized experience requirements. For example, you may say, “Candidates should have at least 2 years of hands-on experience working in the industry, and should be able to prove focused experience in the areas of customer service, recruiting and training.”
4 Describe what you offer employees. This is a chance to sell yourself, and should include a number of components:
Say something about your company’s history and/or reputation. For example, you may include something like, “We are the industry-recognized leader in providing customized, effective marketing solutions, in business since 1977.”
Expound on the company culture. For example, you may choose to point out the open-door policy of management, the casual office atmosphere or the importance you place on team building.
Offer details about the benefits of working for you, such as advancement opportunities, insurance, 401K matching, bonuses and incentives plans.
Include a standard equal-opportunity employer disclaimer.
5 Close your wanted ad with a call to action.
Instruct interested prospects on how, exactly, to move forward with the application process. You may want them to fax a resume, email a letter of interest or complete an online application.
Provide readers with a contact name, phone number and email address.
Personalize your ad by referring to readers as “you,” to give the effect of your help wanted ad speaking to them personally.
If you feel you need help writing your help wanted ad for printed classifieds, ask the publication staff for assistance, as they are familiar with standard advertisement write-ups and often give advice to customers.
When creating help wanted ads, it is a good idea to provide readers with resources through which they may pursue more information about your company. This allows potential candidates to more accurately gauge their interest in and suitability for the position before applying, and can save you from wasting time evaluating and interviewing applicants who are not a good fit. Providing your company website, as well as links to industry-related articles, is a good way to prompt readers into further investigation.
Avoid using too formal a tone in your help wanted advertising. You want to attract readers, and a great way to do that is to use a tone that is unique and reflective of your company’s personality, atmosphere and culture.