5 Ways to Optimize an Online Job Description

Published: June 27, 2014 Author: Clearpoint Tags: Manager's Corner

Online job descriptions are often the first place candidates learn about your open positions. If you want to attract top talent for your company, you need to have clear and compelling job descriptions that:

  • Can be found easily by candidates searching related keywords
  • Have accurate and intriguing job titles that stand out from similar positions
  • Feature enough information to help candidates make informed decisions on whether the job is a good fit
  • Attract great candidates by outlining benefits, company culture, and vision

So how can you optimize your online job descriptions? Here are five tips that will help you write powerful descriptions and draw top talent to your organization.

1. Have a strong understanding of the job itself

Unless you've previously worked in the position for which you're writing the job description, you may not have enough insight into the particular goals and objectives for that job. You can draw information from job listings from other companies, but they won't always match what the position entails at your organization--and the people who wrote those descriptions may not be well-informed, either.

Instead of relying solely on third-party information, look to more direct resources: the employees who have held that position at your company. Review their job histories to find out more about what worked and what didn't for this job. If possible--for example, if people who've worked in that position have since been promoted within the company--talk directly to them and get a feel for what the job is all about. Then, rewrite your description accordingly.

2. Know who you want to hire

The goal of a job description is to match candidates with positions. With that in mind, you should write job descriptions that appeal to the type of person you're looking to hire.

Take some extra time to create a profile of the ideal candidate. Decide on the skills, experiences, and qualities you're looking for, and research what draws this kind of person to a particular career. This will help you determine the direction your online job description should take.

3. Cater to the search engines

Whether your online description is posted on your company job board, your LinkedIn pages, a dedicated online job board site, or all of the above, it will be accessible to search engines. And while some candidates may find your job description by cruising the boards, many others are using Google and other general search engines to get started with their job search.

In addition to a descriptive job title, make sure your job description includes industry keywords that will help search engines find it for relevant searches. Look to resources such as the U.S. Department of Labor and O*Net job type descriptions to find the most popular terms for your particular job openings.

4. Write enough--but not too much

Single-sentence job descriptions look suspicious, while paragraph after paragraph of vague buzzwords and corporate speak can send candidates scrambling for the back button. Online reading is a different experience from reading printed material. The preference is for short paragraphs, broken up with subheadings, bullet points, and white space to make for easy reading and skimming.

Start with a short paragraph that introduces basic job details, your company, and how candidates can apply. Next, place a brief bulleted list of job requirements, including both necessary skills and educational levels or experience.

5. Highlight incentives over demands

If your job description reads like an overbearing boss, no one is going to want to apply. Online job descriptions should not be a long litany of "You must do this, you will do that, you need to have this." Instead, use language that illustrates how the candidate will benefit by working for you: "You'll enjoy doing this, you'll have the opportunity for that."

In addition, don't leave off your benefits. This doesn't mean you have to spell out salaries and bonus structures. However, mention perks such as flexible scheduling, paid time off, telecommuting options, and even on-site benefits like exercise facilities or large, private offices. Your culture and your benefits will do more to attract top talent than your dollar amounts.

When you take the time to write compelling online job descriptions, you'll be able to boost your recruitment efforts and find better candidates, faster.

If you are looking for recruiting agencies in Houston, contact our team today.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comments (0)

Hot Jobs of the Week

Here are just a few of the “hot jobs” Clearpoint is working on this week. Please apply for anything that is a fit for your skills and experience, and as always please feel free to share with your networks.