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How to write a job advertisement – for Google?

Since the Irish recruiters have finally understood that the search engine optimization strategy is the key to the success of their business I get asked a same question more and more, and more often:

How do I write a job advertisement so that it attracts more and better quality candidates?

While the page you are publishing a job advertisement has the critical determining factor when it comes to search engine rankings, the targeted keyword phrase should still appear in the add itself. Also having your keyword combinations appear throughout the job specification generally helps search engines further identify the relevancy of the page for your search keywords.

Here are a few general tips for keyword integration in your jobs advertisements:
1. Job Titles
The most important place your keywords should appear is in the title tag of the page. The nice thing about job boards is that your job post or page title will be automatically transformed into both title tags and either an H1 or H2 heading tag as well. Remember, your headline should wrap your keywords in a pithy promise that perfectly communicates what the job is about.

2. Short Job Description
I’ve always found it useful to repeat the targeted keywords in the short job description, as long as it can be done in a way that is appealing to the candidate and reinforces relevancy. Since many job boards use this initial copy as the displayed description of the job, you want to make sure you are accurately inviting the candidate to click through as well.

3. Subheadings in Job Description
Another important place that keywords can appear is in subheads that aid the reader in navigating down the page. A resource that matches up well with the targeted keyword phrase will find natural opportunities to restate keywords in subheads, as an introduction to the next topical section of the page. Subheads are on jobs sites typically created using the H3 tag.

4. Related Words and Synonyms
Good job description copy should naturally result in words that are related to, as well as synonyms for, the keyword phrases you are after. Rather than mindlessly repeating the same words ad nauseam, assume that search algorithms are advanced enough to look for proper contextually-related words that support your targeted keywords. Think skills!

5. Specificity
One of the hallmarks of great job description is specific, descriptive words in lieu of bland general terminology. Specificity aids the reader by clearly demonstrating relevancy, allows for more dynamic copy, and provides opportunities to increase the general on-page keyword frequency. Make sure to employ your specific keywords when feasible within the context of the job description, rather than rely on generic wording.

6. How to Apply?
Let us not forget that we want the Candidate to apply for the job. Otherwise, what’s the point of advertising? Once again, your job advertisement should conclude with a call to action that prompts the reader to travel down the path you desire. It might be to use a facility to apply for a job on a jobs site, or to contact you directly. Your primary keywords should naturally fit in with the next step you want the reader to take.

The key to good job advertisement is crafting the content that seamlessly integrates keywords in a way that doesn’t offend the reader. In fact, good keyword-rich job advertisement should never even consciously alert the reader that keyword repetition is being employed for any reason other than his or her own benefit.

The other factors that determine whether your job advertisement will appear in the search results in the search engines, or your competitors is the number and relevancy of the links to the page where the job is advertised. You should certainly submit your jobs to the social media sites, especially if advertising jobs on your own web site as opposed to a jobs board shared with your competition.

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How to post a job online Part 1: Job Title

The following article is the first part of three articles on – How to Post a Job Online. This first article concentrates solely on the Job Title.

Job Title

Job Title is the most important part of your job description. Why? Job title is the first part that the job seeker will see of your job advertisement. In half of the different displays that is also the only part of the job description a job seeker will see. If your Job Title is not catchy, you will lose the attention of a job seeker and he will go to apply for a job better presented by its title.

Besides the visual presentation, the Job Title has the extreme importance in driving the traffic to the web site where the job is advertised. Why? Best job sites are designed so that the Job Title from your job advertisement actually generates dynamically the most important web page elements on the page the job is displayed. Your job title will also become a web page title, a link title, and will display itself on huge number of the places on the web site where the job is published. The result is that the search engine will drive traffic to the page where you have advertised your job – and the traffic will be related to the job title you have chosen for your job.

Choose a wrong job title, and you have missed the opportunity to drive interested job seekers to your job.

So what should a Job Title be on a job site?

In most cases you have some predefined title already. It is usually a name of the role the position will be working on in the company. It is something like Welder, Project Manager, Quality Assurance Specialist, etc.

Now let’s think like a job seeker for a second, and try to imagine what will a job seeker be searching for in the search engines? He might logically start looking for the role name (like Project Manager). If the results are not close enough, the job seeker will include the location. The search phrase will look like Project Manager Dublin. If that does not return what he is looking for, he will filter further with a skill he possesses. So the search phrase comes to Program Manager Dublin Six Sigma.

Now let’s go back to your job advertisement, and look at the ways to attract that candidate. Why him? Well he knows exactly what role, where and with what skills applied is his desired role. People who do not look for a job in Dublin are not potting the word Dublin in the search phrase. It’s a natural filtering process, and the perfect candidate is the one who comes to your job advertised with a search phrase that is a good representation (or the exact match?!) of your job and therefore your job title.

The average quality of the job applications for the position advertised as just a role (Program Manager) is really low compared to the job advertised with a Job Title constructed as a role + location + skill.

Furthermore your jobs page with your job advertised as a simple job role name most likely has a greater competition, meaning many other sites have a page like this, and it will be extremely hard to get the job hunter to your page from the search engine. The more complex your job title is – the less competition for that phrase exists in the search engines, Jour job is more likely to get there on top of the search result and drive the traffic to your job page the page your job is advertised.

Next: Job Tags & Keywords

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Recruitment Roadshow 2008: What is The Best Job Title?

Recruitment Roadshow 2008 took me to Swords and Tallaght today visiting the two La Creme & Premier offices. It was really interesting how the same presentation I am giving every day evolves from the contribution from the recruiters I meet every day. The most interesting topic we spoke about today was the Job Titles. Basically the question was:

What is The Best Job Title?

Since the Job Title appears in the Job Search Results on the job boards, and it also appears on the Search results of the search engines, it is very important to write the job title in a such way that it invites the web site visitor to click on it. If the job title does not make a job hunter click on it to see more of the job, the application process gets ‘broken’ and a visitor/CV is lost.

The conclusion is that a job title has to be:

    Attractive – it needs to sell the job

By looking at the Google Analytics data of a recruitment agency web sites or a job sites, and comparing the number of views of the same job with a different job titles gives a definitive answer, and that is that:

The job tile on a recruitment agency web site and a job boards shouldn’t be the same!

Why? Simply because you are trying to attract the job hunter in the different environment.

Job Titles for the Job Boards

Job boards contain thousands of jobs. Most likely there will be numerous jobs with the job tile that is exactly as yours. Standing out is a good thing. Sometimes you need to ‘Go Crazy’ as well (for certain type of jobs). I have heard how the tiles like: ‘Can you sell ice to the Eskimos’ work well, simply since they stand out.

Recruitment Agency and Corporate Site Job Titles

Job tiles on your own web site need to be far more formal. There are two reasons for it. Here you do not compete with the rest of the recruiters in the country. Here it is all about you and your brand. Informative, descriptive, short, attractive…

Another point is that your web site content is the main driving force to the web traffic to your recruitment web site. The majority of the content of the recruitment sites are the job descriptions. Google just loves your jobs online since they get updated regularly, and Google ‘loves’ the live content. Your job titles will most likely (should really!) contain the most used search phrases to drive the traffic from Google. If you want relevant traffic you need the job titles that are 100% relevant to your jobs.

This simply points to the obvious:

Job titles for the job boards and job titles for your company web site shouldn’t really be the same.