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How To Write a Help Wanted Ad

Writing a catchy help wanted ad that draws in your target audience can be challenging. Help wanted ad examples come in many forms, including in a window, a local newspaper, on a nearby college campus or online. No matter where you post it, your ad is competing with various others both online and offline. Learn more about how to write a help wanted ad that piques the interest of your ideal candidate and encourages them to apply, and read on to find an example of a help wanted ad. 

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Determine your target audience

When a vacancy opens up at your company, the first step is to imagine the ideal candidate who’ll fill that role. That ideal candidate is your target audience and the person you should visualize writing the job ad for. Consider the responsibilities of the job. Is the position full-time or part-time? Will you need someone with experience to successfully fulfill the role, or is the job ideal for an intern looking to gain experience? What pay do you anticipate offering? All this information can help you craft a compelling job description for the ad.

Researching the local competition and job market for your city will also help you reach and attract a qualified talent pool. Maximize the impact of your help wanted ads by knowing what roles are in demand, where to post jobs in your area, the average salaries in your market and where to find support for your hiring needs, such as local chambers of commerce.

 Need help creating a help wanted ad in your city? Check out these market insights below:

Next, you can determine what kind of job ad will attract prospective candidates. For example, if you’re looking for someone with minimal to no experience for a part-time job, a high school or college student could be your target audience. That being said, be mindful of the language you use in your ad. Excluding protected classes of individuals could raise legal issues.

How to write a help wanted ad

Help wanted ads should be short and simple, whether they’re in a business window, on a college campus bulletin board or in a newspaper. Include the most important, relevant information to make the most of your limited space and catch the eye of someone who could be perfect for your role.

Take a look at the five steps on how to write help wanted ads. 

1. Create an attention-grabbing headline

Since your ad will be surrounded by other competing ads, a catchy headline is a key component of reeling applicants in with your ad. Examples of headlines include:

  • Join our team
  • Now hiring
  • Help wanted
  • We’re seeking or hiring (insert job title)

You can even include a fun perk your company offers, such as a sign-on bonus, to convince people that the position is worth applying for. 

2. Provide basic job details

Interested readers will want to know what the job entails to see if it’s a match before spending time on an application. Include information such as:

  • Your company’s name
  • Location
  • Job title
  • Position type (part-time, contract)
  • Expected hours of work
  • Pay range
  • Application due date
  • Desired start date for the position

3. Outline job requirements for an ideal candidate

List out core skills, experience and education you believe are helpful for an individual to be successful at the job. Make this list specific enough that it appeals to the ideal candidate but not too detailed that it deters candidates from applying if they’re not an exact match. Examples of skills or experience you can include are:

  • High school diploma
  • Excellent customer service skills
  • Strong problem-solving skills

4. List benefits or perks you’re offering

In addition to expected pay, candidates will want to know what unique offerings your company has that make your organization worth working for over competitors. It’s recommended to include benefits, such as a compensation package, paid time off or holidays you offer, if your ad has the space. 

5. Include a call to action

A call to action includes instructions on how candidates can submit an application for the job. Whether you’d like them to call, email, apply online or pick up a physical application, make it clear what the next step is so they can apply if interested. 

Cost-effective help wanted advertisements

Major online job boards are the most popular places to post help wanted ads. However, not everyone has easy access to the internet. If you’re looking to go a more traditional route and post a printed version of your ad, cost-effective examples include:

  • Signage in your business’s window
  • Local newspapers or magazine classifieds
  • Flyers with tear sheets
  • Community bulletin boards found at grocery stores or local schools

These ads are visible to many people who live in a town or specific geographic region. The drawback of using printed ads is that your target audience is limited to only people in that location. You can still benefit through word-of-mouth marketing, however. For example, someone could take a tear sheet or newspaper flyer and pass it on to a potential candidate outside the area.

If you’re looking to expand your reach, there are cost-effective and free ways to advertise online. You can post on Indeed as well as personal and company social media pages. Online job postings help you expand your search and reach your target audience. 

Help wanted ads examples

If you’re looking for an example of a help wanted ad, there are a few options available, depending on your hiring needs.

Help wanted ad to put in your window

Posting a job ad in your window or storefront can attract applicants who are customers, which means they’ll already be familiar with your business, products and services. If you design the ad yourself, the cost will be low and only include the price of materials, the software you use to design it and associated printing costs. 

When placing a help wanted sign in your window, make sure it can be seen and read by people walking or driving by your place of business. A good rule of thumb is to place the ad at eye level in a prominent place near the entrance to your business. Make sure your window ad is concise, efficient and visually appealing to catch a potential applicant’s attention.

Use bright colors that stand out and a large, easy-to-read font that can be seen from a distance. Consider including a QR code so potential candidates can scan the ad with their phone and read more about the position or apply immediately. 

Window ad template

NOW HIRING at (company name)

[Job title + requirements]

[Full-time or part-time + expected pay]

[Benefits or perks being offered]

[How and where they can apply]

Window ad example

Join the Easy Eats Grill team!
Line cook
$12-$15 per hour
Part-time (20-25 hours per week)
Monday to Friday, 1st shift
Apply in person or online at EasyEatsGrill.com/apply

  • Daily meal benefits
  • Flexible schedule
  • On the job training

Posting your ad on a college campus

Another great low-cost option is to post your help wanted ad on a college campus bulletin board. However, some colleges may charge you to post on their campus or have rules on how long the ad is allowed to stay up and what size it can be. 

Some of the most popular places to post your ad on a college campus include:

  • Bulletin boards in student centers
  • Career services centers
  • Dorms
  • Dining halls

Contact the college to see what their process is and where it’s acceptable for you to post your ad. 

College flyer template


Join the [company name] team as a [job title]

[Requirements for the job]

[Expected pay]

[Hours required and details on flexibility for class schedules]

[Perks offered to part-time employees]

[How and where they can apply]

College flyer example

Join the Golden Goods team!
Retail Sales Associate
Located at Infinity Square Mall in Atlanta, GA
20 hours/week
Flexible with school schedules
Apply online at goldengoods.com/apply

Frequently asked questions about how to write a help wanted ad

How do you write a good job description?

Provide more than one example of responsibilities and skills. Give examples of past job experience that would be useful to the role or qualifications that can help an applicant thrive. This gives the sense that the position provides growth, which can make working for your company more appealing to applicants. 

How do you write a hiring social media post?

Use both the caption and a visual to convey your hiring information to applicants. It’s recommended to put the most important details in the visual, and you can easily upload a digital copy of your ad. Use the caption to communicate additional details and a call to action to convince people to apply. 

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