How to Write a Want Ad That Rocks


Interactive firms are finding their incoming orders increasing and are revving up their hiring engines to take advantage of the overwhelming demand for Human Capital (talent) that have come with the Internet advertising boom.

The search for qualified talent in digital media jobs is quickly going white-hot. After a lengthy drought in opportunity, interactive talents are finding themselves in a world demanding their special skills: DHTML, PhotoShop, Flash, HTML, Java, and search engine algorithms, to name a few highly desirable guru level experiences that are highly desirable today. Media buyers and every digital skill set under the sun are in an ever increasing spiral of demand. Your problem is exacerbated by the demographics. Fact: the talent pool is getting smaller and will continue to shrink. So, what do you do?

Realize first that you have less than 2 seconds to capture the mind’s eye of your ad reader. The first quarter- to-half-second, the human eye scans colors and shapes and in the next 1.5 seconds drinks the bold type and entire first line. A headline with five words or less is where the viewer decides whether to continue or move on. If your job headline does not lead to a benefit or take longer than 3 seconds to “show the money” in your digital ad; guess what? You lose. The vast majority scan a job posts headline and pick up only the bold or italicized copy and dollar signs. Less than 17% of online job seekers read word-by-word. Your ad does not mention specific money or benefits? You lose a great number of your qualified readers in the blink of an eye.

The brick-and-mortar world is being crushed by higher costs. Simple truth: Everything you can see or touch, and everything you possess was delivered by truck. All trucks use fossil fuel; therefore all costs go up except for the digital space where the energy question is mute. So demand for your services will continue to grow for the rest of the decade, at the very least by virtue of the ever increasing utilization of the Internet.

More often than not the very talent that is in demand is fully employed and firms are now poaching from other media companies – in earnest.

When you deliver a message and that is what you are doing with a job post aimed at employed readers, what matters is what is acted on, never what was intended. The best way to evaluate your ad effectiveness is by the number of resumes received.

Surprisingly, HR people go to work each day and function adequately without understanding this basic principle of Internet job postings. The old-school approach does not work and adoption to the present environment is mission critical. All this will change this year. HR and others who write ads for mission critical positions that do not adapt to our new world will be replaced.

There is no abracadabra required. Pay attention to your copy in your job postings. You will hit the mark when your job mentions specific amounts of money and ends with a mention of your bonus and benefits before your call-to-action. Personalize your invite to achieve maximum response.



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