By Rex Recruiting

Our next installment of the #JobPosting101 series touches on using keywords and SEO. If you missed it, check out the last Job Posting Blog.

Given the growing importance of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and the exponential use of Machine Learning and AI in the staffing industry, there has never been a more important time to understand how to use Keywords in Job Posting Advertisements.

First off, never forget rule number 1 “Remember who your audience is.” Yes, it is true that web crawling robots and indexing algorithms are partially your audiences.  They are your marketing audience because these tools are deployed to catalog and organize the content on job boards and search engines. If you follow the Job Posting 101 tactics, your job posting will rank higher in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERP), increasing your reach to candidates. Deploying Keywords in a bad way will not only hurt the number of candidates you reach, but it will also kill the number of applicants you convert with your advertisement. Just read the Job Posting excerpt below.

Software Developer Keyword Soup

I am unsure about you, but I would cringe if I saw this Software Developer role. Sure, the keyword density of this posting is off the charts.  It says software three times, Software Developer twice, and a variant of Develop four times just in this paragraph… But, any human reading it is probably scratching their head and saying, “Advance the core product forward” What other direction would they want it to go in?

I could spend some hours explaining how to optimize your career page and job postings to maximize your reach and conversion ratio. But, for the sake of this article, here are some rules to live by with Keywords.


In accordance with the golden rule of “remember your audience,” using keywords that are common ground for your industry is incredibly important. If your company has internal jargon for a job title or just strange job titles, throw them away on the job posting. Think to yourself, what is my candidate putting into the search bar when looking for a job? Test them by using keyword planning tools (Google) and going onto the job boards and platforms you are posting and searching using that term. (For the most accurate results, a fresh incognito tab)


If a job posting has been around for an extended period (30+ days) and is still landing on the first couple of SERPs then they are getting candidate traffic. Search engines and job boards use your cookies, account history, and trends to bring to you the most relevant data. If you are emulating what works in your space, you will be lumped into the same category and become more relevant. This is also why it’s important to use an incognito browser. You may think you are optimizing yourself, but your search history may sway the results you are looking at.


For a keyword to register as an important term, you must use it more than once. Most search engines will generally recognize it as an important term when they see it between 3-5 times. It is also important to consider your posting structure, as that can change the weight a search engine gives your term.


I ran into this in the Healthcare industry. Our client was using the term PA to describe a Physician Assistant. Not only was PA not as commonly searched by users, but it was also used as an abbreviation for multiple other industries causing keyword degradation.

Sometimes, abbreviations can be to your advantage. The same client was searching for Advanced Practice Registered Nurses, which is often abbreviated as APRN or referenced as Nurse Practitioner. To avoid the keyword soup, they would use the abbreviation in conjunction (Nurse Practitioner – APRN). IN THE QUALIFICATION SECTION, the APRN keyword and utilization of Nurse Practitioner and Advanced Practice Register Nurse helped distinguish it.  This was especially important because Nurse Practitioners would pull hits for Nurses. This technique helped. It took tracking the applicants and click rates to fine-tune.


The web page’s structure comes into play with the assigned weight and use of keywords. We will spend some time talking about structure and other search engine optimization techniques in the next couple of installments of #JobPosting101

Find the whole Job Posting 101 series here.