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Job Ad Architecture IV
(April 26, 2001) Again, 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 Information
Writing the ad takes time and attention. People who are great at writing three or four paragraphs of compelling sales material take three days at $7,500 a day. People who are good enough can do it in a day or two for $3,000 a day.

People who are not very good at writing often get jobs as Recruiters.

If you can't write well enough to be a Recruiter, you probably are qualified to write internal job descriptions.

The Job Title
It All Starts With The Job Title. This is the place where data and content meet. The title of the Job has to simultaneously meet the needs of the database (no one will ever search for "Director of Fun") and start the process of selling the job. It's an intellectual puzzle that would stump the most creative advertising copywriters in the business. The trick is getting a couple of Key Words right and then adding sizzle to the phrase.

If you want to find a "Director of Fun", you might try a Job Title like: Human Resources Director: Benefits and Perks (Director of Fun) or Organizational Development, Team Building (Director of Fun). The crush of competing job openings is amazing. With 400, 000 offerings in the largest database, you can imagine that the eyes of a job hunter glaze over fairly quickly.

In short, the title of the job has to simultaneously grab attention and hits in the database.

The Opening Line (The Hook)
Once you have them looking at your ad (ie, you have gotten the data and the Job Title right), you have a window of about three seconds (no more than 10 words) in which to grab their attention and start to get them excited. Getting the hook right takes more thinking than writing. It requires a firm grasp of a picture of the ideal candidate, her likes and dislikes. It captures a moment and propels the candidate into the rest of the material.

Unfortunately, the task is harder for smaller companies. For some job hunters, the allure and security of working for a large, well known operation is the competition for attention. As a job ad writer for a small company, the message in the first line has to be doubly attractive. It has to make up for the fact that the larger concerns have implicit employment branding.

- John Sumser © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.


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