I am hearing more discussions about incredibly large responses to sales job postings in this present economy.  Some of the companies I talk to are overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of resumes they receive.  I went back to look at an old article we wrote back in 2005 when the economy was in a much stronger position.  In today’s economy, the points are even more applicable:

If your ideal sale starts at the VP level, state in your ad that a needed skill is the ability to communicate at the VP level.  If your sale involves many competitors, state in your ad that the successful candidate is able to close deals in a competitively crowded market.  You get the idea – stay focused on the successes you desire from the salesperson in this role.  The primary goal of the ad should be to move the sales superstar to respond.  They should see themselves, or better yet their abilities, in the ad – the skills they possess today, their motivations to succeed and the parameters for success in the position.

The key is always to write the ad with the ideal salesperson in mind.  Often I read ads that are clearly just job descriptions posted my HR on a job board.  Some are amazingly bad – listing amount of weight one has to lift, detailed dental insurance plans, obtuse software references.  There is a time an a place for these things, but not in the approach ad.

I always tell our clients to view the hiring process as a sales call.  Imagine a salesperson cold calls you and starts doing a detailed data dump about a product or service.  The salesperson doesn’t even qualify you for need, they just start rolling.  I find overwritten sales employment ads elicit the same response from me.

The better approach is to think of your ideal salesperson when constructing the ad and write the ad using the most salient points to illustrate the position.  This will keep your writing to a minimum while staying on topic.

And the reason why this is important is defined in this Businessweek.com article:

Such employees are taking a “scattershot” approach to job hunting, sending resumes for openings whether they are qualified or not. That can create headaches for an HR organization. One executive I met with recently told me he had received 200 resumes for a top managerial position. Twenty of them were excellent, but the rest were well-crafted resumes of people who were in no way qualified for the job. Better filtering systems are going to be essential to streamline the hiring process and keep time and costs in check.

Write a better ad.

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