A lot of job searches (like most searches) start on a general web search engine like Google. People go to Google (or maybe Bing), and search for whatever job they’re interested in, often specifying a city or location as well. The question is, how do you get your jobs to show up when people search for the kind of positions you’re offering?
As you may be aware, search engines primarily use the words on a page, along with other factors, to determine the topic(s) of that page. So, if you want qualified job seekers to find your job, you need to align the words in your job content with the keywords (search terms) they commonly use to find that type of position.
Your first task is to figure out what those keywords are. To do that, we have three suggestions:
First, think like a job seeker- someone who is completely unfamiliar with your company and the way that you might refer to your positions internally. If you were going to search for this job, what would you search for?
Second, check your keyword ideas with a keyword research tool (search Google for ‘Google Keyword Tool’ or ‘Google Trends’ to find a couple free options). These tools can give you an approximation of how many people actually search for your keywords, as well as show you related keyword suggestions.
Third, once you’ve found some viable keywords, brainstorm some variations. Some people search for ‘registered nurse jobs’, some use ‘rn jobs’. Some people use ‘customer service jobs’, others might use ‘csr jobs’, or ‘customer service rep job’. It makes sense to include a couple common keyword variations in your copy.
Now that you have a better idea of the words people use to search for your jobs, your next task is to add those words into your job posting copy in a natural way. There are two main places to do that:
The posting title is going to give a clear indication, to both search engines and job seekers, of what this job is all about. Clear, straightforward titles that use the most common keywords for that job tend to be best.
For example: “Auto Sales Job” or “Car Sales Jobs” is better than “Vehicle Buyer Consultant Job”.
Another thing to keep in mind is that your job post title is not just a title, it’s a marketing headline. When a job seeker scans a list of job titles (on Google or a job site), they are looking for two primary things: Jobs that seem to match their search criteria (that’s what the keywords are for), and jobs that stand out from the pack. Adding some kind of benefit or unusual perk to your title can help your job stand out from the set of jobs that merely match up with the search.
For example: “Car Sales Phoenix - Full Health Coverage” would stand out compared with simply “Car Sales Phoenix”.
The job description gives you the most flexibility when it comes to keywords. While post titles need to be kept short, and quickly start to look weird if you fill them full of keyword variations, job descriptions give you plenty of room to include relevant descriptors. The main points to remember about keywords in job descriptions are:
Don’t over do it. Repeating your keywords over and over will get you in trouble. Once or twice is sufficient.
Try to include the keyword you used your post title as well as a few of the variations you didn’t use in the title. Shoot for 3-4 variations (again, don’t overdo it.)
Call it like it is. Job descriptions often contain a lot of internal company names and other jargon. Your description will be much more accessible (to search engines and job seekers) if you use clear, plain language.
Sometimes, for whatever reason (usually applicant tracking system limitations or internal policies), you won’t be able to include some or all of your most promising keywords in the job title or description. However, depending on where your job is posted, you may have some other options that can help you out.
For example, on Jobing.com, jobs can include tags. So, let’s imagine that you have a B2B sales job, but for some strange corporate branding purpose, you are not allowed to say ‘B2B Sales’ in the title or description (maybe you have to call it ‘Business Development’, which is fine, but isn’t going to pull in as many searches as ‘sales’ would). What can you do?
Add the relevant keywords to the job in the tags field: ‘Business development’, ‘sales’, ‘b2b sales’, ‘enterprise sales’. There you go. It’s not ideal, and it won’t carry quite the same weight as the job title would, but at least you have the right keywords on the page.
If you take anything away from this article, let it be this: If you want to be found, use the words job seekers are using. It isn’t a ‘Patient Care Position’, or a ‘Solutions Consultant Opportunity’. In the eyes of your job seekers, it’s a ‘Nursing Job with Flexible Schedule’, and a ‘Salaried Inside Sales Job’. Keep your language natural, and job seekers will naturally find you.