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Eureka: Tips for job advertisements
by Jay Gutman
2017-12-30 13:30:40
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I've seen job advertisements that are one liners. I've seen job advertisments that were like 10 pages long. I've seen job advertisements use copy and paste, and people advertise a two hour a week part-time job and want a resume and a cover letter for that.

adve001_400First I'll give general tips before I move to the specifics, before I tell you more or less what I think the ideal job advertisement should look like.

-Your job advertisment should never be over a page long regardless of what the nature of the job is. Save the details for the job interview.

-If you're looking for part-timers, you don't need to ask for a resume or a cover letter. A phone call should suffice. The reason you're hiring part-timers is probably because you expect them to have no experience or no relevant experience. Otherwise it should be a full-time job. Imagine a guy with a degree and experience sending a resume to work 20, 10 or 5 hours a week, with degrees and/or experience. When you have that kind of experience you tend to want to work 40 hours a week.

-If you're looking for volunteers, don't ask for a resume or a cover letter. You want slaves, but also want them to have degrees, skills and experience. You're not going to get the best elements by being that dishonest.

-If you're looking for interns, volunteers or part-timers, you may have applicants fill out a form, that may include general degrees, experience or skills, plus the relevant information you need. But don't ask full-time job documents for part-time jobs.

-Your ad should not be too short or too long. If you advertise using one-liners, say, “we're looking for an English teacher” without specifying what kind of skills you need or environment you're in, you're going to get backpackers. That is people show up for the interview in shorts and flip flops, because that's the kind of respect from candidates your job advertisement asks for. If your advertisement is too long, pages long, smart people are not going to apply to jobs with job descriptions spanning three pages.

So what elements should a job advertisment have? Here's a format I recommend.

-Start with general information about your company. Include your company's name, how long your company has been around, more or less how much staff you have and what your company does in general. This kind of information is only to be avoided if you live in a state with no police protection and highly operative organized criminal organizations.

-Second element should be the general emotional atmosphere at your company and the kind of emotional profile you are looking for. Are you looking for relaxed candidates, or candidates who work in high pressure environments? Busy workloads, or average workloads? High pressure environment, or environment where relaxation and respect are the norm? High pressure emotional job, factual job, or job with constant oral and written communication. Mentioning this will weed out a lot of applicants and will prevent your mailbox from congestions. Not sure what profile you're look for? Observe and determine the profile, don't copy and paste. And don't lie. Because if you lie you won't be able to keep them.

-Third element is what I call the organizational elements. Pay? Pension? Mutual Fund? Insurance? Severance pay? Retirement fund? Unemployment insurance? Food and transportation? Housing? Paid vacation? Supervisors? How many? Equal or hierarchical? Team? How many people? Equal or hierarchical. Being honest about this will lead to even better applicants and an even less congested mail box.

-Fourth element will be the day to day tasks successful applicants will have to perform. How many hours per week? What's the calendar? What months are the busy months? What tasks need to be delivered every day? A few times a week? A few times a month? A few times a year. The more honesty, the better the applicants.

Fifth element and final element will be a list of documents the applicant will have to send. If you ask for too many documents, that probably means you have a monopoly of some kind and that no one else is competing with you for the job. If you ask too few documents, you won't get a feel for the candidate. Ask for a resume and a cover letter, you can either provide the format for download or ask for a free format, but you want to come up with your own format.

Fictitious sample of job advertisement

Green Mug corporation is in the green coffee mugs business and has been in business since 1991 in the South exclusively in the Denver, Colorado area. We have 50 in-office employees and a team of distributors.

We work in a fast-paced, high pressure environment, with tight deadlines and constant deliveries. We produce and deliver all year round and our clients are very demanding. We are looking for a general accountant. Accountant must be punctual, be able to work in a high pressure environment with frequent overtime and tight deadlines. Must be meticulous and have a sense of detail. Must be emotionally stable and be able to endure long working hours.

Net pay is $50,000 a year includes state pension fund, private health insurance, unemployment insurance, severance pay and bonuses. State and federal taxes are not included. Food, transportation and housing not provided. We provide 21 days paid annual leave and 10 days annual sick leave. Must live in Denver or be willing to relocate to Denver. Working hours are 9 AM to 5 PM with a lunch break between 12 PM and 1 PM from Monday to Friday. Working outside those hours is considered overtime, which is paid at a $44,55 an hour and is calculated by the hour.

The General accountant will work with the supervising accountant and two other general accountants. We are looking for someone with a sense of initiative and who works well with teams.

General tasks include sales audits, payroll audits, expense audits, tax audits, monthly balance sheets, yearly balance sheets, monthly inventory, yearly inventory and daily cashier reports. The yearly inventory is held in May and is the busiest month of the year when most overtime hours will be performed. Annual leave is usually encouraged in July or August.

To apply: download the resume form by clicking on the link below, along with the cover letter form and the question and answer form by clicking on the link below. Apply by December 30th. If you haven't heard from us 2 weeks after the due date, please consider that your application was unfortunately not retained (note: using expressions like “was not deemed competitive” is a bit condescending in my opinion)

Conclusion: when the advertisment is too short I get the impression the company has organization issues, is overly secretive or not trustworthy. If the advertisment is too long it tends to give me the impression the company or organization has an oversized ego and usually expects way too much from applicants.

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