Advertising for open positions in your company can be a tricky endeavor. They need to include keywords… but how many is too many? A job ad can’t be too reliant on the job description, but it still has to clearly convey the position’s responsibilities. It’s easy to fall prey to these recruiting hazards in an effort to be at the forefront of a job seeker’s mind. Here are some common job posting mistakes and how to avoid them

1. It’s flooded with keywords

There’s loads of information on why recruiters need to put keywords in their job postings. SEO is important to optimize the job posting so candidates can easily find them when searching. However, they don’t need to look like they came out of an SEO mill either. Note that companies that have a stellar employer brand or who are well-known need not use them as much. 

Recruitment marketing thrives on how up-to-date the job postings are with relevant SEO strategy. In a recent post, we annotated the importance of continual education about the most current and the best SEO practices. Because of the ever-changing search engine algorithms, recruiters have to consider a multitude of outlets when creating job postings.

“As information consumption fragments across platforms, channels, devices, and applications, search engine optimization will likely lose even more of its touch with keywords and rankings. CMOs can prepare by starting to think of search optimization as increasing brand visibility across a multitude of properties, expanding presence to each and every corner of the digital space where prospects and customers can be found.” - Aaron Aders (@DRelevance), Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Digital Relevance

 2. It’s too reliant on the job description

The job description does not double as a job posting. The two documents are intertwined, but they are not the same. As a recruiter, you have to remember your job postings take information about responsibilities and requirements from company job descriptions. Job descriptions are internal documents and won’t attract candidates with the technical and industry-specific language. 

CareerBuilder for employers recommends these 4 elements when you post to a job board:

  • A description of the position and requirements
  • An explanation of the duties involved
  • A brief description of the company and the opportunity presented
  • A description of the benefits and intangibles

3. It’s not scannable

Job seekers go to job boards and niche boards to find that perfect jobThe average job posting gets about 164 views every minute. This indicates that job seekers, in fact, scan job postings to find that perfect position at the ideal organization. Steve Dempsey, Vice President of Recruiting at Aquent, said: 

“Most job seekers are scanning. They are on the hunt for the right job and will look at a job post and scan the details before deciding to apply, or to ignore it.” 

There are over 2,000 new job postings every day. Job seekers don’t have the time, the energy, nor the attention span to read a job posting that is wordy and detail heavy. Use the most important position responsibilities and requirements in bulleted form so applicants can easily read and dissect the necessary information. 

4. It’s too vague

Job seekers will have difficulties in determining whether or not an organization is the right fit for them if the job posting is vague. Many candidates already have issues ascertaining the position’s necessary qualifications; 77.3% of candidates agree that details in a job posting would be more successful if there was more information about the actual position. Use distinct, non-industry terms so candidates clearly understand what the job entails before they apply. 

5It doesn’t include a Call to Action

The goal of a job posting is to politely push job seekers to apply in hopes of finding that one ideal candidate. Job postings on a job board that don’t have a Call to Action fail significantly in comparison to those that ask candidates to apply.

Choose the language carefully. Call to Actions could make or break the beginning of the candidate experience for the job seeker and determine whether or not they continue with the application process. Jeremy Smith (@jeremysaid), Conversion Consultant and Online Consumer Behavior Researcher, said: 

“Far and away, the most important aspect of a [Call to Action] button is not its color, not its size, and not its placement, but its verbiage. The words on a CTA button are its most important feature.” 

Inundating job postings with keywords to be on the first page of Google, while currently logical, doesn’t make sense in the (not so) long term. Regularly changing algorithms can negate original SEO strategy. The recruitment program relies on these job postings to source some of their candidates. If the job ad isn’t scannable, they will skim over it and move on to the next job opening. So, to stay competitive with your talent rival, recruiters have to create scannable, clear postings that don’t rely too heavily on the job description that include a CTA. After all, if you don’t urge the candidate to apply, what pushes them to send their resume to you versus your competitor?

Bio: Kelly Robinson

Kelly Robinson is the founder and CEO of Broadbean Technology, a sourcing and recruiting technology company. Broadbean Technology has created a strong global presence with offices in the US, Europe and Australia The company remains true to the core fundamentals of its inception: “Keep it light and fun while getting the job done!” Kelly writes about leadership and culture, as well as reducing friction in the candidate experience.

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