The Gumtree Blog

Work wanted? How to write the perfect ad

Tuesday 11 August 2009, by

work_wantedWe recently cringed when we saw this post pointing out the poor grammar and spelling in a Work Wanted ad on Gumtree.  The harsh truth is that potential employers are looking at every detail from the first point of contact and even the smallest typo could prevent you from getting the first foot in the door – an interview.

We’ve seen quite a few ads in our time, so we think we know a thing or two about what makes a great ad. Here are some pointers:

Spell-check, spell-check and then check it again
Nothing turns a potential employer off more than spelling mistakes. Write your ad first in a document, such as MS Word, which has a spelling and grammar check. Don’t just rely on automated tools though; read the ad through from beginning to end to check those words which won’t get picked up by a spell-checker (right vs write, they’re vs their, to vs too, etc). Even better, ask a friend to look it over for you.

More is more
If you can’t make the effort to write more than one line, it doesn’t exactly present you as a hard worker. Try and give a potential employer a clear and concise summary of who you are and what sort of work you’re looking for (you can follow up with a more detailed CV later).

For example, consider including your age, education, previous work experience and exactly what sort of work you’re interested in doing and why you’re the best person for the job. If English isn’t your first language and you’re struggling, how about asking a friend to help you write the ad? If you’re new to the country, then you could also try looking in Skills and Language Swap to brush up on your English.

Follow through
Once you’ve posted your ad, be ready to respond. Check your email regularly (at least daily), respond promptly and politely to any requests and make sure you have a CV you can provide as additional information.

Stand out from the crowd

In today’s competitive job market, it’s more important than ever to stand out. There’s a fine line between creative and “quirky” though. Check out our Work Wanted section for inspiration.

Image credit: eddiedangerous

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