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Job Ad Architecture III
(April 24, 2001) The components of a job ad's content are:
  • The Job Title
  • The Opening Line (Hook)
  • The Opportunity Description
  • The Opportunity Requirements
  • The Company Description
  • The Closing Sell
  • The Contact Info
The objective of a job ad is to make the right prospective employee want to submit a resume for consideration. It is, above all else, a sales document designed to elicit very specific behavior from very specific individuals.

The first step in developing a job ad is to gather all of the inputs from hiring managers and HR functionaries. In a reasonably large firm, there will be a standard job description. This is a particularly useful piece of paper. A close and careful reading of the company job description is the best example of what your final output should not look like.

After all of the source data and materials have been collected, the very best thing to do next is write a description of the kind of person who would fill the job well. This "audience description" should describe the ideal candidate demographically, in terms of a range of interests (from reading materials, television programs and musical tastes to hobbies and recreational interests). After all, if you don't know who your intended audience is, how can you write a message to them.

The underlying message of any job ad is "this opportunity will feel good to you in the way that you like to feel good. From the audience description you've just prepared, extract the key points on which you want to connect. Is it the company culture? The challenge in the department? The stability of employment? The autonomy offered the employee? Whatever the key items are, pull them out, express them in three or four word phrases and prioritize them.

A good ad is relatively short and compelling. More than five key messages will cause confusion in the ad itself.

- John Sumser © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.


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