Attracting top talent in today's competitive job market is not an easy task. Writing a compelling job description is a good first step, but how do you make sure jobseekers can find it? With so many opportunities available to jobseekers, you need to optimise your job postings to rank highly in job search engines.
To get the most out of your job postings placed on job boards follow best practices for search engine optimisation (SEO):
Figure out your keywords
Align the words in your job description with the keywords (search terms) candidates commonly use to find that type of position.
To do this think like a jobseeker - if you were to search for this position, what words would you use? Check your keyword ideas and with Google Keyword Planner and Google Trends. These free tools will give you search volumes of your keywords and will suggest other terms people use.
Make your job title easily searchable
Most jobseekers search by job title, so optimising your title is the first step to perform well in searches. Keep your job title straightforward using common keywords for that are typically used in your industry. Instead of calling your web developer a 'Web Wizard' use a frequently searched term such as 'Web Developer'.
According to Glassdoor's job search engineer, Bhawa Singh, Glassdoor's algorithm ranks jobs higher if the job title closely matches what the user typed in the search box.
Don't use abbreviations
While some abbreviations will be recognised correctly by most of search engines, like 'Sr.' for 'senior'; some might cause confusion, especially when the same term can be used among different positions in different industries. For example, to prevent your job description from being wrongly placed, specify whether 'PA' stands for 'Personal Assistant', 'Physician's Assistant' or 'Personal Accountant'.
Front-load your title
Jobseekers are scanning through hundreds of job results vertically, scanning from top to bottom through the beginning portion of results. That's why it's important to use the most relevant terms in the first 1-2 words of a job title.
Keep an eye on character count
Glassdoor's job search engineering team discovered that the most typical length of a job title is between 12-20 characters, for example: Business Analyst (16 characters), Sales Manager (13 characters) or Sales Representative (20 characters). They also found that titles within this range have the highest click-through rate.
Job titles over 60 characters get clicked on about half as often as titles in the 10-20 character range.
Formatting matters'� a lot
Job seekers tend to skim job descriptions, so it's crucial that yours is easy to digest. However, beyond making your description easy on the eyes, there is an SEO incentive around formatting as well. Poor formatting and typos will negatively impact your job rankings too.
It's important to give your job description a well-defined structure. To do that use paragraphs, section headings and bullet points where appropriate.
Paying close attention to formatting is particularly critical when advertising the same job on multiple sites. Be cautious when copying and pasting descriptions, as some job boards don't preserve your original formatting, reflecting poorly on you as the employer.
When developing your job posting, remember that the goal is to write job titles and job descriptions that will mirror a job seeker's search query. Think how you would conduct a job search for your particular position. The more you can imitate the way job seekers interact with search engines, the better your job posting will perform.