Success With Job Boards — Posting Is Not Enough

Part I of a four part series. Part I: Success With Job Boards — Posting Is Not Enough As a consultant and lecturer on Internet Recruiting, I hear many of the success stories and woes associated with Internet Recruiting. The success stories are wonderful to hear. The woes are typically easy to remedy. This article and the three that follow focus on techniques that we’ve learned along the way that can help you turn those WOES into WOWS. WOE: “I’ve posted all over the Internet to many different sites, including all the top rated job boards, technical sites, and newsgroups but my results are disappointing.” Just because you’ve posted on the Internet is not enough. Just because you’ve spent your entire recruiting budget on Internet postings is also not enough. It’s how you’ve posted that separates the successes from the failures. There are several factors that create a fine line between success and failure using a job board. WOW 1: The Subject Heading is the key to generating views of your job ad. Spending the time up front to write descriptive, thorough, and creative job titles will lead to better results in the end. The actual content of your job posting becomes meaningless if no candidate clicks through your hyperlink to read your ad. Use all available characters: Job Boards typically allow between 30-50 characters for the Job Title. Use every available character. The more descriptive, and better written the title, the more likely a candidate will be to click on it. Marketing, marketing, marketing… Disguising myself as a job seeker with a technical background, I went out to one of the major career sites and conducted a search for a position matching my “persona’s” strongest skills sets: Perl & Unix. I limited my search to Chicago and requested postings from the last 30 days – 125 jobs resulted. As a job seeker I now have to determine which of these 125 positions I want to click into. With only a few minutes to search, before my manager comes by and sees me, I want to click on the most interesting jobs first. Logically I will click through based on the Subject Headings that are most attractive to me (assuming I am not attracted to any particular company). The range of subject headings from which to choose included:

  • Developer
  • Software Engineer
  • Programmer
  • Consulting Engineer High Speed Systems Design
  • Unix/c++ Developer (Perl)
  • E-Commerce Software Developers

Based on the above – which job would you click on first? Each of these subject headings could be describing the exact same position. The last 3 titles are much more informative and eye catching than the first three. Marketing, marketing, marketing… By simply spending a few extra minutes focusing on the wording of your Job Title you could immediately turn those WOES into WOWS! Bonus WOW: If you have extra characters available, add in something about the opportunity. Using the example above I created a new subject heading by adding to one of the existing headings: Unix/c++ Developer (Perl) – Hot Company. The added words “Hot Company” gives the impression that the company is technologically advanced, growing, and aggressive. The title went from 27 to 40 characters, fitting exactly into the allowable range for most sites. A candidate’s curiosity will have peaked by this subject heading. Homework – Don’t you hate it? You be the job seeker. Visit sites to which you post jobs and do a search for a position similar to the ones for which are seeking candidates. Then assess:

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  • Does your job show up in the listings?
  • How does the subject-heading look compared to competitive ads?
  • Would a job seeker be equally attracted to your ad compared to your competitors’?
  • Where does it show up in the order of job listings?
  • Is there an opportunity for you to add some WOW to this ad?

Bonus Project: If you are using any of the career sites that track page views you can simulate your own “Subject Heading” test. Take the exact same job description and post it 3 separate times on the same site, changing only the subject heading with each posting. During a three-week period check the page views for each ad. During the first week, which ad had the most page views? At the end of the three-week period which ad had the most page views? What was the ratio of resume submissions to page views for each of the ads? E-mail me with your results and we’ll share them in a future article. Next Month – Part II – Now that you’ve got the subject heading (the initial Marketing piece) perfected, you have to sell the candidate on the opportunity. We’ll cover how you can turn your ad content from a WOE to a WOW.

Karen Osofsky ( is a co-founder of, an e-recruiting consulting firm that provides outsourced recruiting solutions to rapidly growing companies and new ventures. The firm provides a broad range of recruiting consulting, sourcing, screening, and strategy development services to help companies manage the front-end recruiting process. Tiburon Group is a Certified AIRS Solutions Partner.


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