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Chapter
5

Write an effective job listing

The work you’ve done in the previous steps to identify your needs, determine the tasks you want to delegate, map those tasks to skill sets, and finalize your budget has all been leading up to this key step: writing an effective job listing. 

The importance of a quality job listing

To get quality candidates, you need a quality job listing. If your job listing isn’t precise, explicit, and thorough, you’ll end up sorting through piles of resumes from candidates that don’t meet your requirements. A few of those candidates may even make it to the interview process before either of you realizes that they’re not a good fit. 

An effective job listing tells candidates exactly what skills they need to have to succeed at the job, what you expect of them, the logistics of the job, an overview of the business relationship that you want to establish, and the benefits of working with you.

Exercise: Create your job listing

Now that you have a good idea of what goes into a good job listing, let’s create a job listing that will snag you your dream VA!

I’ve provided a copy that you can use, but make it your own by going through the sections below.

The sections of an effective job listing

An excellent job listing should include information about you and your business, a description of the role, the tasks you want your VA to handle, the qualifications you expect, information about compensation, hours, and how to apply. Let’s dig into how to break down all that into a compelling job listing. 

Description of you and your business 

Get your candidates excited with a short description of the role and your business. This section helps candidates quickly assess if they will be a good fit. Include:

  • A brief introduction to you

  • A summary of the work you do

  • An overview of what the position entails

  • The most important skills needed for the position

The role and responsibilities

Tell your candidates what they’ll be doing as your VA. Give them a good idea of what a typical day will involve so they can decide if this is the role for them. Include:

  • An overview of what the role entails

  • A brief list of some of the tasks they’ll be handling 

  • The hours you’d like them to be available

Qualifications

List the skills your VA will need to complete the tasks you expect them to handle and any competencies or attributes that will make them stand out as a candidate. Include: 

  • The skills you mapped from the tasks you want to hand off

  • Any special skills they need (i.e., accounting, graphic design, etc.)

  • Whether they need to have previous experience in your industry

  • Any particular certifications or membership in professional organizations you consider “nice to have” (i.e., bookkeeping certifications)

Compensation

Show them the money! Lay out the hourly rate you’re willing to pay, the number of hours per week, and the logistics. Include: 

  • The approximate number of hours they’ll work per week and if those hours need to be the same as your business hours

  • Whether they need to be at the same timezone as you

  • The hourly rate you’re willing to pay

How to apply 

Give them detailed instructions about how to apply for the job. 

  • What materials do they need to send you? Most jobs require a cover letter and resume, but would you also like to see a portfolio? 

  • Where do they need to send those materials like an email, form on your website, or something else? 

  • The date by which their application needs to be received. This saves you from getting applications after you’ve already moved on to the interview process. 

  • You may want to add a note like “include the phrase ‘VA Application + Today’s Date’ at the end of your email.” This will weed out applicants who haven’t carefully read your job listing.

Try to respond to all applicants as a courtesy. A form email acknowledging receipt of their application is sufficient and can be sent as an auto-response.

If you don’t want the emails coming to your direct email, you can create an alias email address that will still send to your inbox. The exact steps for setting up an alias will depend on your email client. 

Since many self-employed people use Gmail, here are instructions on how to set up an alias for a Gmail account.

What did you learn?

By this point, you should have an actionable, effective job listing. We reviewed:

  • The importance of a quality job listing

  • Everything it should include

  • What information should be in each section of your job listing

  • How to manage the application process

Up next, you’ll start searching for your VA. 

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