Your Browser Is Out of Date :(

Some sections of this website won’t display properly in your browser.
For the best experience, please update to one of the newer options below.



Online Job Boards Are the New Talent Battleground

Every year, over 18 million people are hired from job postings on the web. That’s a lot of competition! Online job boards have become talent battlegrounds, where HR and recruiters fight to attract the best new hires. Here’s how to optimize your online job listings and win the battle.

Post in the right place

One of the biggest mistakes HR makes is advertising jobs on a generic, one-size-fits-all job board. It’s a surefire way to get applications from all the wrong people: unqualified, inexperienced, outside your industry. You might as well post a flyer in Times Square and hope the right candidate calls.

Instead, focus your recruiting dollars on industry-specific job boards that cater to a niche audience of job seekers. Want to hire a stage manager for your Broadway musical? Post on Want to hire an amazing media, marketing or advertising professional? Post on Mediabistro. It’s that easy.

Simplify the job title

Skip the long-winded job titles! The perfect length is under 50 characters. The title should reflect industry standards, and avoid the whimsical, made-up titles that were so popular a few years ago.

Put yourself in a job seeker’s shoes, and think about what terms they will search for. You want to make it super simple for your ideal candidate to find you.

For example:
NO: Writerly Wizard Wanted!
YES: Senior Marketing Copywriter

NO: Sales
YES: Media Sales Manager

NO: Account Rockstar
YES: Junior Account Executive

Streamline the job description

99% of job descriptions are too long. Yes, even yours!

Aim to keep the job description under 400 words. 300 is even better. You can start by deleting any industry buzzwords, jargon and meaningless cliches. (Here’s a comprehensive list to get you started.)

One thing you probably don’t have—but should—is a call to action. At the end of every job description, you need to tell candidates what to do next. A CTA can be as basic as:

“Apply today.”

Or, it can feel like a warm invitation:

“We’re looking forward to reviewing your application. Click the APPLY NOW button to submit your materials.”

However you phrase it, your CTA should get job seekers to take action immediately, instead of clicking to view the next listing.

Make it easy to apply

Most online application processes are unnecessarily complicated. Candidates have to create accounts, fill out lengthy forms, and upload multiple documents.

That’s one of the quickest ways to lose top talent. They can afford to be choosy, so they’ll choose not to apply, rather than get lost in your application maze.

For an initial application, you only need to ask for four things:

1. Name
2. Email address
3. Resume
4. Link to website, portfolio or LinkedIn page

You can also include an OPTIONAL space for a candidate to paste a cover letter, introduction paragraph, or note.

DO NOT require a cover letter. Candidates hate writing them, and we all hate reading them.

Focus on employer branding

Every month, 4 million new jobs are posted online. That’s a lot of competition.

The best way to stand out from the crowd is employer branding. This gives job seekers a clear picture of your company’s vibe, reputation and job offerings.

Mediabistro offers several ways to enhance your employer branding:

Want to take your job listing to the next level?

Download our free eBook, The Complete Guide to Creating an Effective Job Listing.

Watch our free on-demand video course, Copywriting Secrets to Instantly Improve Your Job Descriptions.

View our helpful infographic, Elements of a Successful Job Listing.

Like what you’re reading? Sign up to get our best career advice and job search tips.