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How to write a better performing online job description

Category: Job description writing

An online job advert is like a shop window. Many people use job search engines to search for vacancies so they may never see the front page of your careers site before applying. What you say really, really matters. This is your best opportunity to engage with candidates.

How to be more visible in job aggregators

First things first, how do you make sure people find your job advert? We wrote recently about job aggregators. They’re essentially search engines for job listings and are used by up to 75% of jobseekers. They’re like Google, but just for vacancies. To get your jobs to the top of those job listings you need to help the technology understand what you’re looking for in an applicant. Then it can match you to people looking for companies, and jobs, like yours.

The, well, key thing about getting this right is choosing good keywords. Think about what your desired candidates might be searching for. Perhaps “sales manager” jobs or “administrator” roles. These could be keywords.

Once you’ve chosen a good keyword, you need to use it regularly in your ad. Add it to the job title, and regularly in the job description. Not too much though, a 2% density of keywords should put it at the top of search results.

How to write a good online job description

  1. Now you’ve chosen your keywords, think beyond just what you want - but what you offer. Job seekers could find you based on searches for “family leave” or “flexible working.” Jobseekers are increasingly interested in what employers have to offer. Well-qualified candidates may be searching on their terms as much as your own.
  2. On a technical point, provide an individual web page for each job on your career site. This makes it easier for the search engine to read your description. For the best results, jobs need a HTML page each. Avoid posting details as a PDF or Word document.
  3. Think about readability. Do you need someone with “insert industry jargon for job” or can you describe what you need in broader categories? If you use the wrong words, or too many niche words from your organisation, potential job seekers may never find you. That’s because your keywords didn’t get matched to their search. Or you may have been very low on a long list of jobs.

Looking for advice on diversifying your applicant pool? We’ve built a powerful workplace attraction tool serving thousands of jobseekers and their potential employers. Learn more about what we do here.


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VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please email [email protected] for more information.

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