Search Engine Optimize your Job Postings & Be Seen

February 14, 2007

When you think of search engine optimization you automatically think of getting your website to the top of the search engine results in order to increase online sales. But what about utilizing search to enhance your recruiting strategy? Companies spend thousands of dollars advertising open jobs on places like Monster and Career Builder but often neglect the importance of being found on the various search engines. There are generally two road blocks that companies have that prevent their job listings from being found in the major search engines. 

  1. Job postings are not written in a way that the everyday job seeker will find them.
  2. Some companies use applicant tracking systems, these systems are generally not designed with search in mind. Search engines are not able to get to the content within ATS systems, therefore, the job is not indexed and you miss out on the opportunity of being visible in major search engines.

Since more and more job applicants are using search engines like Yahoo and Google to find their next job opportunity. If your job posting isn’t visible you are missing out on many qualified applicants.  

How do I optimize my Job Listings to be found in search engines? 

It’s really not as difficult as one might think. Search engines care about keyword rich content. In this scenario your job posting is the content. Once you know a few simple techniques you’re that much closer to being found in search engines like MSN, Yahoo & Google.

1.      Use common words, instead of corporate language.
ou need to use words that people are actively using to search. Instead of posting for a Mechanical D/D Engineer Try “Mechanical Design and Drafting Engineer instead.

2.      Expand on your Acronyms
Don’t avoid using acronyms, but always remember to include their definition as well. DBA (Database Analyst) SOX (Sarbanes Oxley) PM (Project Manager) RN (Registered Nurse)

3. Use multiple job titles
One company may call a person an account manager, but another company may use account executive as the job title. Using multiple job titles will give you a better opportunity to be found in the search results.

4. Use better job headers
instead of using fluff like “fantastic marketing opportunity” in your jobs header, incorporate keywords instead. “Product Marketing Opportunity” would be a better choice here.

What about my Applicant Tracking System? 

If you company uses an ATS system your more then likely going to need to seek out the Pro’s to help you. Applicant tracking systems were not designed with search engines in mind. The job postings listed within them are invisible to the search engines as the ATS systems often use frames, Pop-ups or extremely long URL strings that cannot be indexed.  There are companies that offer career site optimization services.  HotGigs, Jobs2Web Service extracts and reconfigures your company’s job content so it is accessible to the major search engines. Once a candidate finds your job posting they are directed back to your ATS system. Jobster offers a similar program although I am not sure how it works. 

The price of filling open positions is getting out of control, if you’re only online source for job candidates are the job boards, you are wasting money and missing out on prospects, so why not lower your cost per hire and start utilizing the benefits of search?