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Seeking talent? Be short, strategic, social and show, not say

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The era of post-a-job and-pray is over.

For decades, posting a job in print or digital was a relatively simple task. All a recruiter or administrative assistant had to do was copy and paste the job description.

Today, the competition for talent is fierce, and writing content to advertise a job opening requires a lot more finesse.

The definition of a successful job post attracts a high volume of high-caliber candidates who click to apply. Within that statement are three critical metrics:

Quantity of candidates.

Quality of candidates.

Conversion of candidates.

Achieving that trifecta requires a content formula that creates love at first sight.

Making the first great impression begins with proper keywording of the job title. If your job post and the candidate don’t meet up, nothing happens.

Include the job title. This might seem obvious, but it’s mind-numbing how many job posts don’t ever mention the job title. For example, the text reads “this job” or “this position” instead of “call center supervisor” or “property underwriter.”

In search engine lingo, this is called keyword density – one part of the very sophisticated formula search engines use (job boards included) to understand your content and rank it accordingly.


Test your content. A simple way to ensure your job posting includes enough density of the job title is to create a word cloud.

There are many free word cloud generators such as WordItOut (worditout.com). Just copy and paste your job post and check which words are highlighted the most.

The desired outcome is that the words in your job title “pop out.” Search engines analyze the words in your content – they don’t see your intention.


Unfortunately, there is no hard and fast rule, but most search engine optimization experts agree that 1 to 3 percent keyword density is ideal.

That means for every 100 words in the body of your job post, the title should be mentioned once.

Optimizing keyword density isn’t a guarantee your job post will be No. 1, but not including the job title in the body of your post most likely will bury your job far down the list.

Here are a few more recommendations for writing a successful job posting.


Recruiters must change their marketing mindset. Each word takes up precious real estate.

It’s important to make the most of it because job seekers spend a maximum of 30 seconds reading a job post. Even when your post catches their attention, they then read only 20 percent of the content.

The optimal word count has been determined to be 400 words or less. If you don’t engage the potential employee immediately, they just swipe left.


Because attention spans are short, your content must focus on information the job seeker wants to “buy,” not what your company wants to “sell.”

The first paragraph should be a brief description of the job followed by a few words about your company culture. Next, list the compensation, benefits and perks that make you attractive. Then post the essential and minimum requirements for the job.

Close the posting with how to apply, especially if you offer multiple ways such as through your applicant tracking system, emailing or faxing.


Write as if the candidate who is reading your posting is the only candidate that matters.

Don’t use phrases such as “the successful candidate will …” It’s a turnoff

Instead, use “working as a sales representative for ABC Company will …”

Take this opportunity to showcase your company culture. Describe attractive perks and how you value teamwork (or whatever makes your company or this job distinctive.)


People retain 65 percent of what they see but only 16 percent of what they read. Visuals increase readership by up to 80 percent, and video is shared 1,200 percent more than text and images combined.

Increase your engagement by adding video and images of your facility and employees. Better yet, record short videos of employees in action or managers describing the job.

Post them to YouTube. Embed the video in your job posts; if you can’t, paste a link.


Building networks in LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Snapchat is paramount.

Referrals still are the best source of quality candidates, and word of mouth remains the best vehicle. Social media are word of mouth on steroids.

The best or right network depends on the job and your company. Be proactive. You can’t build a network overnight. It takes strategy and time.

No one will see or share news about a new opportunity at your company if you don’t have followers, connections or friends.

Ira S. Wolfe of Wind Gap is president of Lehigh Valley-based Success Performance Solutions and author of the new book “Recruiting in the Age of Googlization,” available on amazon.com. He can be reached at iwolfe@super-solutions.com.

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