An Insider’s Guide To Writing Great Job Postings

Hiring people is hard.

As an Account Manager here at ZipRecruiter, I’m constantly hearing the same questions asked by most of my clients: “Why aren’t more people looking at my jobs?” or “How do job seekers select which jobs to apply to?” or “Why can’t I refresh my job post every day?”

After many, many long conversations, I came to the conclusion that modern day recruiters and employers simply may not know how to make their job ads stand out, and I needed to do something about it. With the rising power of the internet, the art of recruitment has become a game of skill and strategy. Much like in a game of chess, as recruiters, you need to understand your competitor’s strategy, and play the right pieces at the right times. In this case, your chief competition is The Internet herself, and her sheer vastness can be overwhelming!

With unbridled potential reach, your ads can either sink to the bottom, or ride the waves of success, and the difference lies in your content. Gone are the days of print job ads and job fairs! Nowadays, if I can’t find your job on my iPhone, it simply doesn’t exist. With this knowledge, I felt that it was about time to blend the worlds of digital content strategy, SEO, and recruitment to help combat the lack of mutual understanding. Below, you’ll find my short list of easy content tricks and trends to help your ad maximize its potential.

Your Ten Commandments of Job Ad Content

1. Use Keywords and Key Phrases Judiciously: Keywords, though powerful, must be applied carefully and conscientiously in order to be effective. If you need help finding keywords, you can use keyword search tools on Google AdWords (after creating an account), or use a keyword generator online. Do not copy/paste 100 keywords in bulk form into any ad because search engines have filters that can detect these subversive tactics and penalize the poster.

2. Keyword Placement in Title Tags (Job Titles): Search engines pay more attention to the first word in any title tag, so be sure to use that knowledge when writing the title of any job ad. Instead of “ Immediate Hire – Account Executive,” write “Account Executive – Immediate Hire.” Always stay conscious of what your ideal candidate would type into a search engine to find your job. What would YOU type in to find this job? Use those words first!

3. Experiment Using Modifiers in Titles: There is no magic formula that can apply to all jobs posted, but testing modifiers (words like Best, Great, the location of the job, etc.) can potentially be an effective way to walk to the beat of your target demographic’s drum.

4. Avoid Special Characters!: Trying to add a flourish to job titles or job descriptions with any non-letter characters is not an effective way to market your job placement. Avoid all asterisks, commas, @ symbols, $ symbols, etc. This won’t make your ad more attractive to potential candidates, and can have an adverse effect on search rankings. Don’t do this: !!$@%^$@#NOT-GOOD@&$^(@!!!!

5. Use Spaces Between All Words and Any Separators: Make sure to use spaces between words, hyphens, and forward slashes. Don’t use commas. Search engines don’t really like commas because they think commas are used to pack keywords into pages.

6. Be Conscious of Your Ad’s Aesthetic: While this isn’t as significantly customizable, make sure to make the absolute most of what you’ve got. Spaces between paragraphs, no awkward indentations, and again, few non alphanumeric characters. Make your banner color stand out, add your company logo. Simple, effective ways to attract the human eye to your job.

7. Use Clear Language: Highly qualified job seekers are careful to apply for positions that present opportunity. Make sure to be very clear when discussing the company, the position, the requirements, and the salary/benefits. The quality of the candidate correlates to the quality of the ad.

8. Don’t Duplicate Active Jobs! This is arguably one of the most important rules of internet content management. Search engines, job boards, and various software are always primarily concerned with user experience. Users absolutely do not want to be flooded with the same content repeatedly, and become vocal against such practices. What does this mean for you? Simply, if you try to duplicate your jobs and flood job boards with redundant content, your posts will be penalized. Jobs may become deleted, flagged as “suspicious,” or “spam,” and you will notice sharp declines in both traffic and conversions.

9. Pick Your Location Wisely- Filling a position in Decatur, Illinois may be more challenging than filling a position in Seattle. In these instances, it is even more important to be strategic! If trying to fill a position in a remote area, post the ad to the largest city/town within a 25 mile radius. Sometimes, posting the job to the county of the location may provide more effective.

10. A/B Test!: If at first you don’t succeed, change, tweak, and try again!!!! Every business has a different recipe for success, so don’t get discouraged if one method doesn’t prove as effective. Keep altering and modifying until you find what works, and then use it!

Now, using ZipRecruiter to post your jobs to over 50 job boards is a fantastic way to save hours of individual posting time, but efficiency is only half the battle. We’ve mastered the art of efficiency, but there is still room to master the art of efficacy. And, of course, if you haven’t already done so, make sure to sign up for your very own ZipRecruiter account so we can show you why ZipRecruiter is the the best thing since sliced bread and Instagram.

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Marianna is an Account Manager at ZipRecruiter in Santa Monica, CA. She enjoys taking pictures of her weird cats and posting them to Reddit, researching digital content strategy and SEO, and helping kids get really good SAT scores.

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