Write Your Ads To One Person
Write To Only One Person–The Right Person
When you write to only one person, you make him or her feel special. We all want to feel special, especially when we’re buying something. And, make no mistake, applying to your job ad is buying something. The job seeker is transacting with you and the currency is his or her contact information. That’s why you need to write to only one person–the right person.
In this era of social media and decreasing formality, buyers expect sellers to be personable and all about them. They want familiarity. They want relationship. They want to be liked and appreciated. And you just can do that with some stiff old-school want-ad from 30 years ago.
That’s what this article is all about. I’m going to share some of my best tips to help you write warmer, more effective job ads.
Here we go.
Think of your job ad as a conversation. I wouldn’t speak to my wife like this: “Husband seeks dinner companion for weeknight meal. Companion should wear nice clothes and be available at 5pm for transport.” Well, not if I actually wanted a dinner date anyway.
I would say, “I would like to take you to dinner. We’ll dress up and leave around 5pm.” See that? Much more personable – not to mention more likely to improve my social life. The key is that I wasn’t shouting an invitation to the world in hopes of picking someone acceptable from those to reply. I spoke directly to the one person I wanted to spend time with. When you write effective job ads, you should write to only one person, not anyone who will listen.
Write Like The Reader Already Has The Job
You want the job seeker to visualize what it will like to work in the position. This is why you should describe things in those terms. Instead of saying, “Responsibilities Include…” say, “You’ll Be Responsible For…” Rather than say, “Requirements…” say, “You’ll Need To Have…” In place of “Benefits…” say, “We’re Proud To Offer You…”
If a candidate can imagine being hired, she’s a lot more likely to read the whole ad and, more importantly, click the Apply button.
Don’t Be Lazy
Take the time to write thorough and complete job ads. Resist the temptation to cut corners and say cover-your-backside things like, “duties include, but are not limited to” or “other duties as assigned.”
This kind of stuff is an immediate red flag. It tells readers that they will likely be hired for one thing and used for everything else. At the very least it signals that you didn’t care enough to be specific and probably lack the ability to commit to a consistent work experience. Why should you expect a candidate to commit to your company without feeling like your company will commit in return?
Write How You Speak
Your English teacher, just like mine, probably taught you not to write using contractions or to say, “You,” when referring to your audience. She probably also told you never to begin a sentence with, “And,” or “Because.” And, if you’re writing to please the scholars at the MLA, you definitely shouldn’t.
However, we’re not in school anymore and people just don’t speak that way. That’s why it’s better to write your ads like you would speak to a friend. Don’t go crazy with the grammar rule-breaking, but an occasional contraction won’t hurt anything. When you write to only one person, you speak informally. Think of it this way. Write your ad in the same language you’ll use to speak to this person every day at work if you hire him or her.
Kill The Lingo
The last tip I have for you is to not use a lot of lingo or industry jargon in your ads. Everyone has it. Those acronyms that stand for stuff only insiders know about. You don’t have to be the Army for that. Teachers, Nurses, and Engineers are just as bad.
Even if the “right” applicant will know what you’re talking about, it’s aggravating to have to sort through a bunch of tech-speak to find out the details of an offer.
Just remember to be human and write to the person you want to hire. It will come through in the tone and content of your ad. And people will like it much better.
Never say things like, “This position reports directly to the facility manager.” Positions don’t do anything, people do. And using language like this sounds incredibly cold and detached. Say, “You”ll report directly to the facility manager.” There, isn’t that better? After all, you’re a hiring human, not a robot.