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Eight Hints on Writing Effective Internet Postings
- Use your Employee Value Proposition
Before you delve into the position that is being advertised, you must first
determine the Employee Value Proposition (EVP). A well-written EVP offers a
compelling answer to the question, "Why would good talent want to work for our
company rather than for the competition?" This must be created and constantly
refined within your organization, because this is the information that typically
brings the reader from the level of "awareness" to "interest" or even "action."
- Keep it organized
This is the MTV age. People scan rather than read. Add to that the fact that
computer screens are read 25% slower than printed materials. It's a challenge to
get your point across in a posting. So you have to organize people's thoughts through carefully arranging your copy. Don't mix requirements when describing the
job itself. Most of all, don't make the copy look overwhelming. Use bullets,
subheads and different type (like bold and italic type where permissible) for
clarity. Start off with something compelling...like your Employee Value
Proposition. That's the hook to get them to read more. Then, talk about the
position. Finally, you can mention requirements followed by response information.
- Give useful information
People are on the Internet to get information. They're not interested in fluff.
So be descriptive and informative. For example, many postings start off with
something like this: "We're a high-growth leader, looking for an ambitious,
goal-oriented professional with the drive to make a difference." A lot of time
was spent filling the sentence with meaningless adjectives rather than
information that is meaningful to the candidate's decision making.
- Be benefits-oriented
Speaking of useful information (see #3), to attract the highest number of
potential candidates you need to write benefits-oriented copy. This is not
necessarily the benefits package, although you could include some of the more
persuasive benefits. But you need to pique the reader's interest with "what's in
it for them." If you've already formally or informally written your Employee
Value Proposition, you've got something to sell to candidates. But, since the
advantages of joining your company may be different from one job discipline to
another, you should think beyond the EVP and include those benefits that directly
target your audience.
- Make it personal
Here's another tip that will result in enhancing your posting's readership. Make
the tone of your copy conversational. So many postings read like job
descriptions...because they are! The magic of technology saves time, but it
doesn't give you a results-oriented posting. Cut out the stiff language like "the
candidate will" and other non-attractive phrases. Make it seem like you're
talking directly to the reader by using pronouns like "you." That not only sounds
like you're talking to the reader, but it is also easier to read and lets the
candidate mentally put themselves into the position.
- Be action-oriented
Accelerate. Accomplish. Achieve. These are action verbs and help to drive people
from "interest" to "action" as they read your posting. How many times do you see
postings with flat verbs like "this is a great opportunity" when they could be
creating action with a phrase such as "seize this opportunity."
- Be concise
A few years ago, conventional wisdom taught us that copy on a Web posting can be
infinite. Companies went wild with the copy space that the Internet offers over
print, forgetting that people just don't read. Now we feel that although
additional copy may not cost any more on the Internet, the real cost of excessive
copy is driving away readers. So edit. Freely. But avoid abbreviations. There's
no sense in using them on the Web. Abbreviations just make your posting more
difficult to read.
- Use descriptive titles
We find companies get hung up on using their internal job titles for postings.
Problem is, there are some job titles that just do not resonate with readers. For
example, don't use "Account Coordinator" when what you're really looking for is a
"Customer Service Representative." Using a title that is less generally accepted
can limit your readership. For those sites with a search results page it's a
great idea to put additional pertinent information in the title - things that
will give you an edge over the competition. Include information about the
position (like a shift or required skill) or about the company's advantages as an
employer (like a commission or bonus). Finally, don't use company jargon in the
title. That includes insider language only known to your current employees or
position levels. Administrative Assistant II means nothing to the reader.
Administrative Assistant is sufficient.
This article from HR QuickTips provided by Davis Advertising Inc.
For more HR QuickTips visit www.davisadv.com