Writing a project advert to get the right results

When advertising any project it’s important to give people a clear idea of what you’re looking for. That way only those who are really suited to the project will apply and you’ll spend less time dealing with responses.

Make the title count

The first step to attracting quality responses is to make the most of your project’s exposure in the title and summary The email alerts that Skillfair sends display the first 50 characters of the project title, so it’s wise to keep your title below this mark and get straight to the point. For example, rather than writing ‘Help needed with publicity and sales of a new product for retail outlet’, you could write ‘marketing for new product’.

Be specific

When it comes to the project description, consultants will find it much easier to respond to a project if you are explicit about what’s involved. So, for a web design project, for example, aim to explain how many pages are needed, what functionality the site must have, whether you will need a logo and so on.

Outline required skills

If you have any specific skills requirements, such as being able to work with a particular piece of software, you should list them and state whether they are essential or preferred. It is also worth mentioning what industry your company operates in, as this can attract replies with useful experience. If you need people to have a specific qualification then make sure you incldue this.

Does location matter?

If you need the consultant to visit your offices regularly or you just prefer someone who’s based locally then make this clear in the advert as it will save both you and the consultants time and effort.

Sell yourself

To attract the right level of responses, you should also consider giving some details about your company’s achievements and reputation. Just as with any job, people may be more inclined to apply if the company has an appealing profile.

Set a realistic budget

It is also important to be as realistic as possible about your project’s budget. If your budget range is very low, you may not attract the standard of provider you are looking for, and if it is unnecessarily high, you might find people put in a higher daily rate than they otherwise would. If you have time, research what constitutes a realistic budget before submitting your project. Alternatively, advise that you are looking for help realising the budget and see what constitutes a reasonable price based on the replies you receive.

Clarify with consultants

Finally, remember that all replies come with a private message that allows you to follow up and ask for more information, so if a consultant looks great, but doesn’t answer those last minute questions that have arisen since you posted the project, ask them! Also don’t forget to use the Skillfair contact management system to reply rather than clicking on return – it’s particularly useful if you have a lot of replies and want to send a holding message to all of them.

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