Mediocre Job Postings Can Kill Even the Best Job Boards

Sometimes digital publishers or trade publication websites do all the ”right” things to make their sites successful. They are able to publish across multiple platforms, are committed to high quality content, and have a sound social media strategy. Yet the metrics tell a different story.

Lackluster job listings can seriously affect your site metrics.
Lackluster job listings can seriously affect your site metrics.

If your site features a custom job board, that may be a good place to focus your sleuthing when trying to figure out why site stats indicate your site isn’t delivering. Beyond being mobile-friendly and simple for both employers and job seekers to use, the best job boards have to have well-written job postings in order to bring visitors back and in order for the job board to pull its weight in terms of traffic and revenue development. If you haven’t taken a good look at the job postings on your site, maybe you should. Here’s what you should know about what makes the best job boards effective.

What Job Seekers Want in Job Listings

Job seekers aren’t so much interested in job title as they are in what skills or qualities are expected of applicants. The job title ”Analyst III” doesn’t mean nearly as much as ”Analyst of computer generated versus collected data” does in the job description. Knowing they would be expected to ”manage executive operations” isn’t nearly as meaningful as knowing they would be expected to ”create monthly reports on departmental decisions using Excel spreadsheet data.”

Job seekers also want to know where the job is located geographically, and they want to know the name of the hiring manager. Applying for jobs using huge aggregators or Craigslist often involves sending a resume or application to an unknown hiring manager in a nameless company in a non-specific location, and many job seekers consider replying to these listings to be a waste of time. They expect more specificity from the best job boards, particularly job boards dedicated to a specific niche or geographic location.

Poorly Worded Job Postings and Why They Turn Job Seekers Off

Job descriptions that ask for candidates with ”excellent problem solving skills” could be advertising for a chief line cook or a CFO. It can be impossible to tell whether the problems being solved have to do with processing special food orders or allocating millions of dollars across departments in a 10,000-employee investment firm. Furthermore, internal company jargon is meaningless to most job seekers. You may know exactly what a ”level 2 segment team leader” is, but it’s unlikely anyone outside your company does.

Avoid company-specific jargon in your listings to avoid confusing potential applicants.
Avoid company-specific jargon in your listings to avoid confusing potential applicants.

Consider asking someone from outside your company to read job descriptions and point out what does and doesn’t make sense. Job seekers need to know whether they’re qualified to be a ”PCA Analyst” or not by knowing exactly what such an employee does before they can make an informed decision to apply or not. Clarity helps avoid wasted time for both your company and the job seeker and is a prime characteristic of the best job boards.

Characteristics of Good Job Listings

Job listings, of course, vary across profession and geographic region, but effective job listings have some common characteristics. Ask yourself if the job listings on your job board have them:

  • Listings should have a one-line description of what the company does
  • They should also have a more detailed description about the specific problems the employee is expected to solve, the accounts she is supposed to land, or the challenges he is supposed to meet.
  • Listing should state what you expect in terms of length of experience and type of experience from job candidates.
  • They should include an outline of salary information. Granted, most job descriptions don’t include specific salary information, but job seekers want to know if the pay is commensurate with their particular skills and length of experience, and job listings can address this without giving specific dollar figures.

Have a look at the job listings on your website’s job board if you’re flummoxed about flat-lining site statistics. Poorly written job listings turn off job seekers and make them wonder if returning to the job board (or your site overall) is worthwhile. You may consider putting together a document of guidelines for employers who list on your job board that helps them create job listings that get results. Or you could provide employers who are listing on your job board for the first time with examples of well-written and poorly-written job descriptions. Make it easy for employers to create good job listings on your job board, and you address the needs of employers, job seekers, and you, the site owner. The best job boards satisfy the needs of all three parties.

Photo Credits: Michal Marcol /, artur84 /

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