How to Structure Job Listings: A Guide for Employers

How to Write a Job Listing, Why Listen to JIM – Jobs in Manchester

As an online jobs board, JIM – Jobs in Manchester, we see countless job listings daily. Our focus it to promote these listing and one of the simplest ways to boost and promote a job listing on the internet is to get the listing in good enough shape to be pulled and promoted by Google.

Getting a listing noticed by Google can be easy, but to make a job listing stand out in the vast sea of other competing opportunities takes some more work; planning for this from the start can help employers who are hiring with better converting listings and in turn a cheaper hiring experience. 

How to Get Google to Notice Job Listings

Google’s algorithm is complex, but the JIM team is here to help by breaking down the information that is useful to employers when it comes to structuring a Job listing. Below we will cover structuring the best ways to order information in a job listing, critical information that is required by Google for listings, and general tips on how to improve your listings that aren’t necessarily critical but can make or break a job post.  

But before we move on let’s just give a quick overview of the Google algorithm for the uninformed, and why you should care about it… 

Understanding Google’s Algorithm, SEO, and Why it Matters

The algorithm determines the ranking of web pages in search results. These pages can be categorised and in our case as job listing but other examples are articles, events, and products. Google uses and shows these categories in different ways, when searching for jobs on Google above the usual search results you may see a box featuring jobs relevant to the search term as shown in the accompanying image. This is where you want your jobs to be listed. 

The exact workings of the algorithm are a secret, but we do know that factors such as relevance, quality, and user experience play a significant role in determining search ranking. By structuring your job listings effectively, you can improve their chances of appearing in Google Jobs results, making them more visible to potential candidates.  

At JIM, we use schema markup to assure listing on our site have the correct structured data for Google’s algorithm to get listings ranked faster. This ‘search engine optimisation’ takes information such as the job location, salary, company information and more to determine the ranking of our listings.  

Screenshot 2024 03 15 at 03.46.16

The Key Elements of a Well-Structured Job Listing

This section is in the order of what we see as a well performing job listing. Some of this you may find odd but most employers job listing don’t take SEO into account.  

The Job Title, Naming Conventions

Your job title is your primary key word, it is what a potential applicant will most likely type into their browser, or at least some portion of the job title. Be mindful not give your job roles unnecessary names or titles that applicant won’t understand, or that isn’t search friendly, and be cautious with abbreviations. Beverage Dissemination Officer sound fancy but Bartender will outperform it every day of the week.

Obviously, there are exceptions to this as some specialist roles may require specialist titles that applicants looking to fill those roles will be aware of, such as in the Healthcare and Science sectors.

The next and true job title sin that is looked poorly upon by Google is cramming in information and incentives into job titles such as “cash in hand” and “sign on bonus”. This ‘clickbait’ treatment is frowned upon by both Google and most jobs boards; Google tends to penalise them, so you mainly see this tactic on social media or job boards that either don’t care for the behaviour or are too large to moderate the listings. Don’t be these people, it isn’t a good look.

The acceptable additions to job titles, that will benefit your listing are:  

  • Who the position is aimed at such as Graduate, Entry Level, can help listing performance if stated in the title. 
  • If the position is an Apprenticeship or Internship, you should state it in the job title. 
  • If the role is part time of full time, it should also be found in the job description, and if the listing is set up appropriately in the ‘structured data’ for Google’s search algorithm. 

The Job Description

You may find this odd as most employers talk about their organisation first in job listings. For most applicants your organisation is secondary, and to keep them engaged the job description should come first. Your job description should be clear, concise, and provide all the necessary details about the role, including responsibilities, qualifications, and any specific requirements.

We will be diving into SEO (search engine optimisation) and how important keywords are in your job listing but remember in addition to SEO, it’s important to write job descriptions that are compelling to potential candidates. Some employers attempt to convey the companies’ culture through the way they write, either by tone of voice, using colloquial and informal language. It doesn’t work for every business as it may not match or be appropriate for your businesses industry or culture.  

Keywords and Search Terms in Your Job Description

The job description is the meat of your listing and allows you to mention the job title and other role related keywords such as the industry, skills, responsibilities, and other search terms a candidate could possibly search for to find your job listing. These keywords should be incorporated naturally, but if you are having a hard time trying to include them use bullet points, as an easy win to get in keywords in a way that makes the content easier to digest for applicants.  

An example for our Bartender position mentioned earlier. 

What is required of the role: 

  • Deliver exceptional guest service in a fast-paced environment. 
  • Extensive knowledge of craft cocktails and spirits. 
  • Experience creating high-quality coffee drinks (a plus). 
  • Maintain accurate bar inventory and ensure proper stock levels. 
  • Proficient in using POS systems (point-of-sale systems). 
  • Ability to multitask and prioritize effectively. 
  • Experience handling cash transactions. 

Location and Salary, Critical Information

By far the most important information for job listings, the location of your business or where the applicant will be working, and the salary are crucial in the ranking of job listing. Both are used in the pages ‘structured data’ and weigh heavily on the ranking of a job on Google. 

The Importance of Location Information in Job Listings

The location for job listings can be rather broad, the bare minimum requirement is a country. But if you do include more accurate information such as the business headquarters or the address the role is working out of it will allow Google to rank the listing higher for search users geographically.

For example, a job listing for a position based in Manchester City Centre will appear to be ranked higher for someone searching for a job whilst in the city centre closer to the location than further out in Greater Manchester. This doesn’t guaranty ranking higher than listing with better structured data and information. 

The Importance of Salary Information in Job Listings

Salary is always a big talking point when it comes to job listings. At JIM we believe a salary should always be present on job listings, it is just good practice. But we do understand the reluctancy in businesses and especially if the role is specialised or the range for experience can fluctuate vastly.

Either way the inclusion of a salary is a big help for getting a job listing promoted by Google, listings will usually rank above others without a salary increasing your chances of applicant’s exposure to your job.

Most applicants won’t give your listing the time of day if there isn’t a salary, and it can reflect poorly on employers, with applicants questioning the businesses culture before they have even looked at your job listing. Competitive isn’t valid in the salary structured data for job listings. 

If you can’t post a salary for your job listings it can be a lot harder to rank on Google, usually it requires having your job posted across various websites, social media, and jobs boards to give the listing legitimacy in Google’s eyes. 

About your Company, Benefits and Culture

Now is the time to sell yourself as an employer, if a potential applicant has got this far then it is time to reel them in. We’d recommend being concise and aim to give candidates insight into your company and its culture to help them decide if they’d be a good fit. Talk about the perks, benefits, and incentives you offer as the last push to get potential applicants to apply.

The Application Process and JIM – Jobs in Manchester

Your job listing is almost complete, and you sign off with instructions on how to apply and maybe some accompanying documents such as an in-depth job spec but what is the process after that? How do the applicants apply for your vacancy?

JIM – Jobs in Manchester is just a promotional tool, and we send applicants directly to the employer’s sites, application portal or link directly to an email address. We operate like this to make the application process as smooth as possible, no signup, no taking of applicant’s information. But after that it is out of our hands.

You could have the best job listing in the world but lose out on the majority of your applicants if you have cumbersome application portal, asking applicants to create accounts, sign up, and upload documents. We recommend evaluating your application process as you could be spending time and money and losing applicants at the final hurdle, make it clear and make it easy. 

Job Listings Best Practices to Get the Best Results

Keyword research   

As mentioned earlier with job titles, take the time to research relevant keywords and phrases related to your industry and the specific role you’re hiring for, and use them in your job listing. Remember what are your applicants searching for? This will improve your listings visibility on Google. 

Use Multiple Avenues to Promote Your Jobs 

Google can see your job listing posted across multiple sites and this can carry poor job listings as it is that powerful when it comes to ranking. And as much as we hate to say it as JIM is a jobs board, you should be posting your vacancies on multiple sites and platforms to get the best results and the most exposure. 

Employee Reviews and Your Companies Digital Footprint 

It might appear off topic, but your company has a digital footprint and both good and poor reviews of your company can make the difference to potential applicants. Workers are more inclined to review past employers and these reviews can either improve or worsen your company’s credibility and appeal. Interested applicant will check sites like Glassdoor and Indeed if they are seriously weighing up wanting to work for you. 

Keep your Job Listings Updated 

Sometimes the hiring process can be timely so keeping your job listings up to date with the latest information about the role and your company ensures that candidates have accurate information but also signals to Google that your listing is current and relevant.  

What we Have Learned as an Online Jobs Board

This blog is just a helpful tool for employers to make the most out of their money. Hiring is expensive and time consuming, but thinking about your job listing is the cheapest part and it can play the biggest role. Optimising your job listings for better visibility on Google is essential in today’s competitive job market.

We live in a world where the Internet and Google are at most people’s fingertips. By informing employers on how best to poise their job listings to perform well on these platforms aligns with JIM – Jobs in Manchester’s goals to connect the people of Greater Manchester to local employers. By following what we have outlined in this blog, you can improve your chances of attracting the right candidates.

Good luck with your recruitment efforts, and happy hiring! 

FAQ: How to Structure Job Listings: A Guide for Employers

Focus on clarity and conciseness in your job description, highlighting key responsibilities and qualifications. Make sure your job title is descriptive and relevant to attract the right candidates. 

Google is often the first place candidates turn to when searching for jobs. Optimising your listings can improve their visibility in search results, increasing your chances of attracting qualified applicants. 

Structuring your job listings effectively is key. Include important details such as location and salary, use relevant keywords, and ensure your listings are mobile-friendly for better search visibility. 

Location information helps Google rank your listings higher for users searching in specific geographic areas. Providing accurate location details can significantly improve your listing’s visibility. 

Yes, including salary information is highly recommended. Listings with salary information tend to rank higher in search results and attract more applicants. It also helps candidates determine if the role aligns with their expectations. 

Showcase your company culture, benefits, and perks to entice applicants. Ensure your application process is simple and straightforward to avoid losing potential candidates at the final hurdle. 

Conduct keyword research to identify relevant terms and phrases. Promote your listings across multiple platforms for maximum exposure. Encourage employee reviews to enhance your company’s credibility. 

Keeping your listings up-to-date signals to Google that your content is current and relevant, improving its chances of appearing in search results. It also ensures that candidates have accurate information about the role and your company.

JIM is dedicated to promoting and optimising job listings for employers in Manchester. We use structured data markup and SEO techniques to improve the visibility of your listings, connecting you with qualified candidates in the local area. 

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