Finding VAs online is the Wild West.
When you’re looking for a long-term Assistant, you may be tempted to post a basic job description to an online job board.
I’m warning you – don’t do it.
Basic job descriptions are the kiss of death; you’ll get CRUSHED with applications.
I’ve literally sat and hit “refresh” on my email inbox and had new applicants every 5 minutes.
It became another part-time job.
I felt like I needed a VA just to sort through the VA applications!
Somehow you need to find the top applicants, the needles in the haystack, in a matter of minutes, not hours or days.
The Perfect Job Posting
Let’s be clear: typically we don’t need a rocket-scientist as our VA (we aren’t even rocket scientists ourselves!).
Just someone who works and thinks the right way, irrespective of academic or work accomplishments.
We want someone who has these qualities (most important first):
- Love checklists and working in a structured environment
- Excellent attention to detail
- Tech-comfortable (would be able to navigate Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, MS Word, WordPress fairly easily, even if they haven’t used those tools before)
- First language is English*
- Based in U.S. or Canada*
*Obviously you can change #4 & #5 if they don’t apply to your situation and needs, those were simply my needs.
As you can see, nowhere on this list is “valedictorian,” “Rhodes scholar,” or even “college graduate.”
You Don’t Need It!
Instead, use my “Perfect Job Posting” and instantly find highly-qualified candidates.
My “Perfect Job Posting” includes the following sections:
There’s a LOT of trash online, lots of Kool-Aid drinking, Biz-op type amateurs who burn-out VAs and online job boards, so proving you’re legit inspires confidence.
I include a few points about me (name of my business, what we do, how long in business).
Then I add a link to my website, then a second link to my “about me” page so they can see a headshot of me and see I’m real.
All of this proves I’m a real, legitimate business owner.
2) Who I’m Looking For / Job Description
I tell them I want someone with the qualities listed above. (Love checklists, attention to detail, etc.)
I also outline what their duties will look like. Do you want an admin support? A project manager? Give them a taste of sample tasks. E.g) I’d like you to handle my email inbox and arrange appointments in my calendar.
I emphasize how important checklists, organization, attention to detail are to me.
Lastly – and please remember this – let them know how much training will be provided. Sometimes online tasks (e.g. update our website) sound really techy and daunting, when – in fact – they’re super simple with a few WordPress tutorial vids. Let them know if you’ll help them get started.
3) Sell them on the job
I highlight how this position is flexible so they can generally work virtually from anywhere they want to go (with a good internet connection). VAs LOVE this!
In fact, flexibility is the main reason VAs are seeking virtual work in the first place.
I also highlight how my goal is to build an organized, systemized business, and one of the big advantages of that is my business is fairly predictable, thus LOW-STRESS for the assistant I’m hiring.
Obviously, if your position is high-stress, and/or you’re really disorganized, then be honest in your job posting.
In that case, tell them you’re disorganized but looking for someone to help you get straightened out. Lots of assistants (esp the kind I’m helping you find) are excited by the idea of organizing things.
4) Outline Job Details
Tell them how soon I’d like to find someone, how I’d like to start with a 30-day trial, and that we’ll start with 5-10 hours per week (with possibility of going up).
I let them know exactly what the hourly pay is.
5) Explain How to Apply (magic!)
This is where the magic really kicks in!
I tell them exactly this (copy and paste if you like):
If you’re interested… Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the subject line please write “Detail Oriented Pro from (insert your city/ town) interested in Marketing Job”
In the body, please write me a 14-sentence email including:
Three sentence opening salutation that says: “Hey there TF, what’s happening up in Canada? My name is _____, I’m a detail oriented pro, am comfortable with technology, and love checklists. I’d like to apply for the job you posted on XYZ Job Board.”
Reason #1 why you think this job is a fit for you. (black font, Courier, 3 sentences)
Reason #2 why you think this job is a fit for you (blue font, Verdana, 3 sentences)
Reason #3 why you think this job is a fit for you (red font, Courier, 3 sentences)
Two sentence closing including: the name of three blog posts you saw on my website, and a closing salutation including your name, email address, and phone number.
Note: Please do NOT attach a resume; if you are shortlisted I may ask for one later.
Thanks. I know the *right* applicant will really like this job. Maybe it’s you?
Want to See my “Perfect Job Posting”…?
Enter your name and email here and I’ll immediately send you a PDF with the Perfect Job Posting I use myself and we use in our Great Assistant Program too.
Hope that helps!