It’s official: job boards are still among the top resources for job seekers. According to the companies surveyed in the latest Career Xroads study, 20.1 percent of their external new hires credited the job boards with their finding the job posting.
While that’s good news for recruiters and hiring managers who are posting jobs on the more popular job boards, this isn’t necessarily an ‘if you build it, they will come’ situation. The truth is, some job postings just perform better than others, and it doesn’t always have to do with the job itself, but how you present it.
Job seekers spend an average of three seconds scanning a job posting, leaving you very little time to grab their attention. And that first impression counts: in a recent CareerBuilder survey, 75 percent of job seekers reported that the look and feel of a posting influences their decision to apply.
Keeping that in mind, here are a few things – must haves, if you will – to make your job postings stand out and bring in more applicants.
- Specific job titles. Unless you’re hiring someone for your Bon Jovi cover band, do not advertise that you’re looking for a “rock star” for your next hire. In fact, there’s nothing rock star about putting it in your job posting title. Not only is the term cliché, but I don’t know any job seeker who would search for a job using the term ‘rock star’ (unless maybe they were doing it ironically). The same applies for ‘rainmaker’ or ‘visionary’. In fact, if you want to be seen my more job seekers and come up in search results, the more you need to think like a job seeker and utilize terms they would be searching for.
- A ‘Must haves’ category. Often short on time (and attention), job seekers are likely skimming your job posting for relevant information and missing key essentials in the process. Create a short, three- to five-item list of essential qualifications (such as years of experience, educational degree, etc.) so job seekers can quickly and easily assess whether or not they’re truly qualified for the job.
- Bullets. Utilize bullets wherever possible to list things like required skills, the roles of the job, and company benefits. Don’t go overboard, however: a long list of bullets is just as ineffective and daze-inducing as a continuous block of text.
- Compensation. It may be a controversial subject, but including salary information in your job posting increases performance and ultimately saves time. If you don’t want to include a definite number or range, consider including a benefit statement such as: “Great pay—higher than industry average, commensurate upon experience, bonuses paid each quarter, opportunities for additional commissions.”
- Graphics. Wherever possible, include company logos or slogans in the job posting, which can increase applications by 13 to 21 percent, as well as icons linking to any recruitment videos you might have. According to CareerBuilder internal data, job postings with video icons are viewed 12 percent more than postings without video, and CareerBuilder clients receive a 34 percent greater application rate when they add video to their job postings.
- Keywords. The more keywords you include in your job posting contains that are relevant to the position, the higher it will appear in job seekers’ search results. Look at your job posting and consider where you can substitute key words that a job seeker might use to search for the position. (Instead of saying, “The person in this position will be required to…” for example, say, “The Marketing Manager will be required to…”) Again, think like a job seeker to include words they might use when searching for jobs.
- An answer to the question, “What’s in it for me?” Why would someone want to work for your company? Whether you choose to communicate that message through employee testimonials, a listing of the best places to work awards you’ve won, or as the opening statement to your job posting, a truly effective job posting tells job seekers why they should apply to work for your company.
Understandably, taking the time to create a job posting is a luxury many recruiters and hiring managers don’t have these days. If that’s the case, you might want to look into CareerBuilder’s Job Enhancement feature, which takes your existing Job Posting and gives it somewhat of a facelift to increase visibility, click through rates and job applications. Check out the video below.