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Attracting Awesome Interns: Your Job Ad(s)

By Galena Ilg
June 16 2021

Posted in Employer Resources

Tips for employers: this post shares tips for writing a compelling job advertisement, designed to attract awesome potential interns. How to: describe your role, team, project, and the opportunity you’re offering potential interns or grads. If you missed the article about writing your organisation profile, check it out here.

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To attract awesome interns in New Zealand you need to give candidates the information they need. There’s a good chance they’ve never heard of your company OR never considered that they might be a potential employee.

If you’re hiring an intern or grad, you’re hiring on potential, not experience or expertise. That means you might have to re-think your job ad, and make sure you’re not scaring off people who don’t have all the skills yet. We see lots of students and graduates go into roles knowing <10% of what’s asked for and being 110% awesome during the internship. Don’t discount those less confident, less experienced candidates!

Describe the Job/Project/Role

Trent had some tips for writing job ads in general over here.

Talk about what’s required, and what you can help them learn

But remember… the more requirements you have, the smaller your candidate pool will be. You’ll have a much lower chance of connecting with less confident students. Candidates from under-represented demographics are likely to have additional barriers. By adding requirements, you will be excluding a bunch of people who have the potential, and just need a chance. Our advice is to avoid asking for specific experience. If you can teach it, they’ll pick it up fast (without bad habits that more experienced candidates might bring!)

Explain the application process for this role

Applying for jobs is stressful, especially if you’re new to it! Can you explain your selection process? Do you have any technical tests, site visits, follow-up interviews outside of the Summer of Tech recruitment events? Great if you can include tips for applicants here too.

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Extra Tips

Is your job ad intern-friendly? Ask your most recent employees what they think of the ad.  Maybe you’re missing some special benefits.

Are you keen to attract diverse applicants? We highly recommend you run your job ad text through a free tool like the Gender Decoder (this was built in 2011, but still feels relevant!)

Be clear about your organisation’s goals and the tangible actions you’re taking to be a more inclusive employer, and outline this in the job ad.

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