Before we give you the scoop on how to utilize keywords in job ads, it would be helpful if we defined what keywords are and why they are important. In simple terms,
Keywords are the words that candidates typically enter into the search bar when searching for open job listings
Often we hear about keywords for blogging and social media, so you may be wondering why keywords would be important for job ads. There are two primary reasons that recruiters utilize keywords for job ads.
Helps Candidates Find Your Job Ad
Hidden job ads are the biggest culprit of low engagement levels. Of course, you don’t mean for your job ad to be hidden, but when you neglect to use keywords, it makes it difficult for candidates to find your open position. As a result, you risk encountering
- little to no applicants and
- applicants that don’t really fit the job description
Improves Candidate Matching
What’s even more important is the fact that utilizing keywords helps improve candidate matching. By researching and using keywords, you can get into the head of the job searcher and define what exactly they are looking for. So, when they search for particular keywords and your job ad comes up, they’ll be encouraged to apply because your description incorporates the words they’ve searched for.
How Do I Choose the Right Keywords?
You don’t have to be an SEO specialist to find the right keywords. You don’t even have to pay for some expensive software to find keywords for you. To choose the right keywords, there are three methods to help with prediction.
Examine Other Job Descriptions
The first thing you’ll want to do is brainstorm keywords that you want to include in your job ad. The words you come up with will be based on the user’s search intent (the reason they are searching that particular keyword) and what exactly you are looking for in an ideal candidate.
If you are stuck when thinking of keywords, take a look at other job ads. Search for the position you are hiring for, examine the top job ads, and take note of some keywords that you could incorporate in your job ad.
Check the search volume for your relevant terms
Keyword finders and search volume tools will become your best friend. Because you aren’t writing job ads every day, it probably wouldn’t make sense to pay for an expensive tool. Luckily, there are tons of free keywords tools you can use. Some examples include Google Keywords, Ahrefs, and WordStream.
With tools like these, you can
- analyze and extract keywords from other job ads
- check the volume of the keywords you’ve brainstormed
- discover new keywords
According to experts, the key is to find a word with a decent search volume (doesn’t have to be extremely high) and low competition. That way, your job ad can work its way to the top.
Consider the Your Language
We generally encourage recruiters to stray away from industry- and job- specific jargon to make their job posts more inclusive. While this seems counter-intuitive when attempting to use keywords, it is actually beneficial. Most people won’t search for jargon that you use in your particular workplace. Also, if someone is new to the industry, they won’t know to search for those super specific terms. Therefore, using general industry keywords will draw in more candidates.
How do I Utilize Keywords for Job Ads?
Consider the Job Board
Some job boards (like JobSearcher) allow candidates to search based on
- job description
- job title and
So, it is important to use keywords in every part of your job ad, not just the description.
The Job Title is the Most Important Keyword
Your job title appears in the job ad’s title tag, hypertext, AND the actual job description. This means that Google and other search engines will use this to match your job ad to search results.
So, your job title should be concise, be specific, and include 1-2 or more of the following elements:
- Seniority (entry-level, junior, senior)
- A vital skill (Spanish-speaking, coding, etc)
- Job type (part-time, full-time)
- Acronyms (Registered Nurse (RN))
Don’t Over-Utilize Keywords
Too much of anything is never good.
While keywords are an integral part of your job ad, remember to use them moderately. A good number of keywords to use is between 5-7. You don’t want to go over 7 keywords because you take the risk of your job ad sounding jargony and unoriginal AND being misrepresentative of your ideal candidate.
The whole purpose of using keywords in your job ad is to be more visible and potentially increase engagement. In addition to using keywords, there are other ways to make sure you get more candidates to see and apply to your job posting (check out our YouTube vid for more info).
Once you’ve used these tips to create a great job ad, head on over to JobSearcher to post a free job, and put your job ad writing skills to the test.