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Advertising for Your Attendant

Things to include in your ad:

Now that you have considered what is needed for success, let’s consider who will help to accomplish this. How will you find the right person and how will you interest him or her in working with you? We have included some examples of ads to consider. Be creative and don’t forget a sense of humor goes a long way in attracting someone. If you are eligible for the programs offered by the Vermont Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living that pay for PA services, the wages paid may be less than ideal. So, the more attractive you can make the invitation for someone to work with you the more likely you are to find some good folks applying for the position.

  • Location: In a rural state like ours, sometimes it is very important to a job applicant that you live within a short distance of their home. It may be a deciding factor, especially in winter, so give your approximate location (never give your exact address).
  • Accommodations: Another thing to consider is whether you are offering a room as part of the compensation. Home sharing can be an excellent accommodation for PAs and works well for many folks.
  • Variety of tasks: For some, this is a major attraction. One of our peer’s PAs loved the fact that she got to do many different chores. She loved the gardening and care of the service dog and the delight of her employer smiling at the way she folded the laundry. You can consider variety as a plus. To most folks who choose this kind of work, money isn’t everything.
  • And of course don’t forget: Our sterling personalities: There will certainly be other things about your own situation and interests that the attendant-to-be would find appealing. Be sure to capitalize on those.

How the ad should look:

Keep it simple but say what you need to say. Sometimes a couple of well-chosen words can even do some screening for you.

  • Select phrases like “reliable and cheerful person wanted” or “must like pets” can frame a bit of what you are looking for with just a couple of words.
  • Format it with bold type in the title line and perhaps some other eye catching changes.
  • Use variety (CAPITAL LETTERS, italics, etc.). We have included some ad examples in this Toolkit.

If you use Flyers, they should be

  • colorful and
  • have some tabs with your name and phone number at the bottom that are easy to tear off to take with the interested person. Do include “PA Job” or “Attendant Care” on the tab. A potential PA might take one, get home, and forget why he or she took this name and number.

Where to advertise:

Included in this booklet is a list of Vermont Publications around the state. Colorful flyers on a General Store Bulletin Board might be just the ticket, too.

Don’t forget that word of mouth is sometimes the best advertising. Many times a friend of a friend is just waiting for this job. So pass the word at your church or temple. physical therapy facility, food co-op; you get the idea.

Another very effective method for advertising (and it’s free) is by e-mail. The author of one of the manuals in the Toolkit Library, Avoiding the Attendant from Hell, (yes, that’s really what she titled her great manual), says she used this type of advertising, was 100% successful and has used nothing else since. It does indeed save time and energy. No flyers to make up or ads to pay for. They do take time. The key is to e-mail your ad to those contacts in your address book that would be effective; for example, your friends, with a request for them to forward it, print it if they would be willing, and post it in their areas, or any physical therapy or health care agencies you might deal with regularly by e-mail. Some of our peers serve on various Advisory Boards or work with agencies around the state that have contact with folks who might be interested. For those of us who live in rural areas and would rely on very local advertising, this may not be as advantageous but it is certainly worth the time to develop an e-mail ad to send to at least a few additional possibilities. One of our training developers actually prefers the old way, even though it takes more effort. She says there is more of a feel of personality to the “by-hand” produced format and feels this conveys a lot.

There are lots of approaches to creating an ad, but these are some of the basics. Have fun and good luck!