How to Write Effective Job Postings: Optimizing Your Job Ads

How to Write Effective Job Postings: Optimizing Your Job Ads

Several of today's job seekers are searching for jobs via Google, Bing or Yahoo. If you want your jobs to appear in their search results, you'll need to optimize your job postings.

SEO, or search engine optimization, is the process of managing the visibility of a website in a search engine's results listings. By learning and using SEO techniques, you can ensure that your job postings rank higher in search engines and get more views.

Incorporate Keywords

Here's the first and best SEO practice: Integrate words or phrases commonly used by job seekers in your industry into your job title and description. You can leverage tools like Google AdWords and Google Trends to determine which keywords job seekers in your industry are using. From there, strategically incorporate these words or phrases throughout the job posting's content to increase its search visibility. It’s important to note that “keyword stuffing” is not effective. Trying to incorporate as many keywords as possible may cause the actual message and content to become unreadable or inauthentic. Only use keywords where they are truly appropriate.

Location, Location, Location

When job seekers are using search engines, a common practice is to enter the location after job terms, e.g. “nursing jobs in Phoenix.” With that in mind, always include the city and state of your open position somewhere in the job posting.

Use Search Optimized URLs

Instead of relying on default URLs that contain an arbitrary combination of numbers and letters, customize your URLs so that they incorporate the actual job title. For example, if you’re looking for a Java developer in Phoenix, your job posting URL should look something like this:

Create a Career Site

Since job postings only exist temporarily, it can be challenging to build your SEO results. Incorporate landing pages on your career site to showcase certain positions, especially hard-to-fill or niche ones. By optimizing the landing page’s URL, titles and page tags to include keywords, you can constantly drive job seekers to your positions (even when you’re not hiring).

Leverage Video

Search engines love video! In addition to boosting your search engine rankings, videos will engage candidates and motivate them to stay on your organization’s page longer. Interesting videos also entice job seekers to learn more about your company and ultimately apply to your positions. If you want to create compelling videos that will encourage more job seekers to apply, check out 4 Tips for Planning an Effective Recruiting Video.

Catch Their Attention

A great way to make your job posting stand out and captivate job seekers is to avoid trite sayings and phrases in your posting. During a job search, job seekers are showered with postings that contain similar language. Therefore, it is imperative to set your job posting apart from the others. When you use a phrase that is extremely common (i.e. “We offer a competitive salary and benefits”), you may be sending the message of “I am not creative or original—please come work in my dull office environment.” Below, we've included some examples.

  • Instead of this: We offer a competitive salary and great benefits!
  • Try this: We offer a first-class salary and superior benefits!
  • Instead of this: Growth-potential
  • Try this: Career progression
  • Instead of this: Fast-paced environment
  • Try this: Progressive workplace
  • Instead of this: Multi-task
  • Try this: Perform a broad range of simultaneous duties

Post Away!

When you follow these simple strategies for optimizing your job postings, more job seekers will undoubtedly discover and consider your jobs. And when the right candidates come across your posting, they will likely apply. As a result, you will have a plethora of great candidates to choose from.

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