The Art of Crafting an Effective Job Title

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In recruiting, a job title is often your first impression. Here’s how to get it right.

When recruiting top talent, like it or not, you’re actually marketing. That means you need a hook (or several), and it all starts with the job title.

The anatomy of an effective job title

While composing a job title might seem straightforward enough, candidates who can afford to be picky skim through titles with rapid-fire discernment. Too broad, too vague, or lacking savvy, can signal everything from the position being a mismatch, to difficulties at the workplace. Here’s what it takes to make an attractive and descriptive job title:

Universal terminology. You might not be aware of it, but what you call your position in house isn’t necessarily industry vernacular. For example, a company that relies on their software engineer to take on broader IT duties is looking to lighten his load on that front, they shouldn’t advertise for another software engineer. The point is, you want prospects to recognize their expertise and interests in the job title, or they’re not going to click on it.

Job appeal. Top candidates are attracted to jobs that tap into their talents. For example, instead of “video editor,” a more attractive title might be “creative visual storyteller” or “talented promo creator.” While this isn’t necessary their official title, it provides an insight into what their role would be, and how your company values their service.

Be clear. Coding, and acronyms that only have meaning within your company, might confuse or even repel recruits. Again, keep things universal, direct, and easy to understand.

Be search engine friendly. Special characters and ellipses can damage your posting’s relevance to Internet searches. If you want to be found online, don’t use them! Too many abbreviations can further hinder online visibility.

Write sentences, not gatherings of keywords. While loading your posting title with relevant keywords might seem search engine friendly, it’s probably not going to grab anything more than virtual eyeballs.

Stop trying to be hip. “Ninja” seems to be a popular recruiting buzzword these days, but being too trendy may damage your credibility and professionalism more than attract quality candidates. Secondly, and possibly even more importantly, it doesn’t provide job aggregators with the terminology they seek out, thereby damaging the online visibility of your post.

Don’t include your location. In most job-posting situations you’ll be prompted to enter geographic information; however, doing so in your title can cause more harm than good. Including your location may turn off both candidates seeking to relocate and search results.

Be professional. Spelling and grammatical errors are a telltale sign to job seekers that your company either hasn’t been around very long or won’t be. In addition, misspellings, once again, are unlikely to show up in search results.

Back the title up with an expert recruiting strategy

The title you lead a job posting with is, literally, only the beginning. In today’s market, top recruits are flooded with options. If you don’t stand out, you may be stuck with second best.

Mankuta | Gallagher has been providing strategic recruiting tools for employers since 1994. Our expert recruiters assist our clients with every step of the process. If you’re looking to develop a successful recruiting strategy, connect with us today. We look forward to using our experience to help you land your next recruit.