How to Write a Help Wanted Ad (in Any Location)

Help wanted ads come in many forms including in a window, a local newspaper or on a nearby college campus.

 

In this guide, you’ll learn how to create and post a help wanted ad that attracts the right candidates for your open roles (with templates and examples):

Looking for help writing an effective help wanted ad online? Learn how to write a job description (with guides for over 500 job titles).

 

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Understanding your market (with insights for your city)

Taking the time to understand the market and local competition for your city will 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, like local chambers of commerce.

 

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

Why post a help wanted ad locally vs posting online

While more people might see your online job posting (4.83 billion people are actively using the internet as of June 2020), print job ads can still be highly effective. Here are some of the benefits of posting a help wanted ad in your city:

 

  • Target a more specific location and audience. For example, if you want to find someone with good knowledge of your local area, posting a help wanted ad in a local newspaper, in your window or on a nearby college campus can help you find the right candidate.
  • Enable a more diverse set of candidates to apply. Not everyone has easy access to the internet. When you post a help wanted ad in your local community, you can reach people who may not have the ability to search for jobs online.

What to include in your help wanted ad

Help wanted ads are typically short and simple — no matter if it’s in a newspaper, business window or on a college campus bulletin board. 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).

 

Here’s what to include in your help wanted ad:

 

Attention-grabbing headline. A few ideas include: Help Wanted, Now Hiring, Join Our Team, We’re Hiring or Seeking [job title]. If you offer a hiring or sign-on bonus, the headline is also a great place to mention this — e.g., “Help Wanted ($250 sign-on bonus!).”

 

Basic job details. Include key information, such as company name, location, job title, position type (e.g., part-time, contract), expected hours of work, pay range, application due date and your desired start date. If you have enough space, you can also include a few of the duties and responsibilities of the position.

 

What you’re looking for in an ideal candidate. List out the core skills, education and experience someone needs to get the job done.

 

Benefits and perks you offer. Why should the candidate apply? Identify elements of the job that will attract qualified candidates.

 

Application process. Whether you’d like them to call, email, apply online or inquire within, make sure candidates know how to apply if they’re interested in your job.

 

Writing a help wanted ad for a newspaper

Posting your help wanted ad in a printed newspaper can create interest for your role(s), attract local talent and help build brand awareness. You may want to purchase an ad in a local daily newspaper, small weekly newspaper or national newspaper, depending on your budget, location and the specific role you’re hiring for.

 

How much does it cost?

Newspapers often charge by “column inch” (i.e., one column wide by one inch high) or number of lines. Pricing will vary from newspaper to newspaper, but generally the larger the ad, the more expensive it will be. Other costs depend on circulation, readership rates, day of the week, frequency, color and placement.

 

Where to place your newspaper ad

While many newspapers have classifieds or employment sections, you may be able to strategically place your help wanted ad in other sections to reach the right candidates. For example, placing a help wanted ad in the finance section could help you attract accountants, while a help wanted ad in the health section could help you hire personal trainers.

 

How to write a help wanted ad for a newspaper

One column inch in a newspaper is about 25-30 words with around 3-5 words per line — which means you’ll have to do some adjusting, line breaking and abbreviating to fit your ad within the space you’re purchasing. It’s possible to buy half-page or full-page help wanted ads, but you’ll probably want to start off with a small 25-30 word ad in the classifieds section, especially if you’re running on a tight budget.

 

Writing a help wanted ad to put in your window

The great thing about posting a job ad in your window or storefront is that the people viewing your sign are often direct customers, which means applicants will already be familiar with your business and its products or services.

 

How much does it cost?

If you design it yourself, a window sign is often a very low-cost option. Instead of paying for advertising expenses, you just have to pay for the cost to design the ad, the price of materials (e.g., paper, vinyl, plastic) and any associated printing costs. Designing a simple window sign using a word processor and printing it on standard printer paper is the cheapest option. However, if you want your help wanted ad to really stand out, consider hiring someone to design it for you or purchasing a customizable sign online.

 

Where to post your help wanted window sign

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.

 

How to write a help wanted window ad

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. It’s also a good idea to include the phrase “Inquire within” or “Apply in person” to encourage candidates to apply as soon as they see the ad.

 

Posting your help wanted ad on a college campus

Another great option is to post your help wanted ad on a college campus bulletin board, especially if you’re hiring for part-time or temporary work that might appeal to this audience.

 

How much does it cost?

Similar to a window sign, posting a help wanted ad on a college campus is often a low-cost option. However, beyond the cost to design and print your flyers, some colleges may charge you to post on their campus. They may also have specific rules about the size of your ad and how long it can stay up.

 

Where to post your college help wanted flyer

There are typically several places where you can post help wanted ads or flyers on a college campus, including bulletin boards in student centers, career services centers, dorm buildings and dining halls. Get in contact with the college for instructions on how and where to post your help wanted ads.

 

How to write a college help wanted flyer

Include details that are important to college students, such as the hours required for the job and the pay range. Emphasize that you offer flexible schedules so students reading your flyer know that they can balance both work and school.

 

Help wanted ad templates and examples

 

Newspaper help wanted ad template

Help wanted
Seeking [role] for [business type and/or company name] in [location]
[Availability required — e.g., nights, weekends, day shift]
Candidates should have [skills, education and qualifications]
[# of years] years of exp. required
[Short list of duties/responsibilities]
[Call to action — e.g., send a recent resume, call, apply online]

 

Newspaper help wanted ad examples

Help wanted ($100 hire bonus!)
Seeking garbage truck driver
in Fort Wayne, IN Class A or
B CDL. Clean driving record.
$15/hr PT. Nights 8-11 PM
Mon-Fri, no weekends.
Outdoor trash collection
@ apartments. Call Rosie at 555-
587-6896

 

Window help wanted ad template

HELP WANTED or NOW HIRING
Join the [Company name] team!
[Position]
[Pay per hour]
[Part-time or full-time]
[How and where they can apply (e.g., apply online, call, email, scan QR code)]
[Benefits in bullet point format]

 

Window help wanted ad example

HELP WANTED
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
Benefits:

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

 

College flyer help wanted ad template

PART-TIME STUDENT JOBS
Join the [Company name] team!
[Position]
[Pay per hour]
[Location]
[Hours required for the job]
[Optional sentence on flexibility: e.g., flexible with school schedules, can work around most class schedules]
[How and where they can apply (e.g., apply online, call, email, scan QR code)]

 

College flyer help wanted ad example

PART-TIME STUDENT JOBS
Join the Golden Goods team!
Retail Sales Associate
$13/hr
Located at Infinity Square Mall in Atlanta, GA
20 hours/week
Flexible with school schedules!
Apply online at goldengoods.com/apply

 

Consider cross-posting your job digitally

According to a recent survey, the majority of people (60%) found their most recent job online (online job board, email newsletter or social media). It may be easier to find candidates by posting your job online instead of having to field multiple calls or emails to your personal email. Post a job on Indeed for free.

 

You can also try cross-posting your job in multiple places online and in print. Most newspapers offer digital options for job posts that are free and will have more visibility.

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