6 Steps to Improve Your CareerBuilder Results

6 Steps to Improve Your CareerBuilder Results

by Ryan Kohler

Last week one of our clients called us frustrated with the results she was getting from a posting she had placed on CareerBuilder. She wasn’t generating the number of applicants that she had hoped for, and had done some searching on CareerBuilder to try to figure out what the problem might be. She decided that the reason for her poor results was the fact that the ad showed up on the 4th page of results when running a search for the exact job title and location of her job. Showing up on the 4th page of results for a search may be normal for some searches, but if you run a search for your exact job title plus the exact location of your job (especially when that location is a smaller city), and your ad shows up pages down in the results, then you definitely have a problem.

This got me thinking about how many employers out there aren’t getting the results they are hoping for, but don’t even take the time to figure out the reason for their lack of results, let alone know how to fix the problem. Improving your results from any job board can be boiled down to 2 main factors. The first is pretty simple, does your job ad get the job seeker excited enough about the job that they decide to apply? The second factor, and the focus of this post, is whether your ad will be found by job seekers who visit the site. Below is a simple 6-step “job optimization” process that any employer can use to improve their rankings and therefore the quantity of job seekers that see their ad on CareerBuilder.

Focus on how many times each keyword phrase appears in the job title and description

Step 1 – Understand How Job Seekers Use CareerBuilder:

There are different types of job boards out there, and even within a specific type of board, they all work a bit differently. Even though CareerBuilder has an advanced search feature that allows job seekers to search based on categories, industries and more, the main search option on the homepage is based on a keyword box, category, and location. Since we are trying to improve our results on a keyword search based website we can use the next 4 steps to improve our rankings.

Step 2 – Keyword Research:

The next step is to figure out what keywords and phrases your target job seekers will be searching for. Create a list of the most popular search words and phrases for each of your jobs. If you are unsure which search phrases you should be targeting or if you think you might be missing out on some job seekers because of the words you are currently using, then click on the “HR Webinars” button at the top of our website and sign up to attend our “Keywords” Webinar. This free webinar will teach you how to research the keyword phrases you should be targeting for each of your jobs.

Step 3 – Run Sample Searches:

With your list of keyword phrases in hand, it is time to do some research. Go to CareerBuilder, run some sample searches for your keyword phrases and location, and see which jobs are listed in the first page of results. Then compare the job titles and descriptions of these listings to your own job ad. You should focus on how many times each keyword phrase appears in the job title and description. The easiest way to do this is to use the search function in your Internet browser (hold down the CTRL F keys) and count up how many times they are using the words.

Step 4 – Update your Job Posting:

Now it is time to modify your job title and description so that it uses your target keyword phrases as often as the jobs at the top of the results. You don’t want to go overboard here (just because the top ads use the words 20 times doesn’t mean that 40 would be better), but you should try to use your target keyword phrases as many times as the top ranking ads. Your job title will generally be limited to 7 or 8 words, so make sure to use the most important keyword phrases in the title, but don’t skimp on the length of the job title just because it is short in your payroll or HRIS system. Use up as much space as the job board allows. (ie. job titles such as “Accounant I” should be expanded to “Junior Accountant – Entry Level Accounting”)

Change your job location to the metro area name instead of your actual business location

Step 5 – Adjust your Location:

As with keyword phrases, you should try to focus on what your target job seekers are most likely to search for. Take a look at where your employees live compared to where your business is located for clues about targeting job seekers. Just because your company is located in one city doesn’t specifically mean that your job seekers are typing that location into a search. For instances, if your company is located in a small city or suburb near a bigger metro area, your job seekers are probably more likely to enter in the name of the greater metro area when looking for a job. (ie Draper, UT vs Salt Lake, UT) This means that you may want to change your job location to the metro area name instead of your actual business location.

Step 6 – Check your Rankings & Adjust:

Once you have made changes to your ad on CareerBuilder, then it is vital that you go back to CareerBuilder (might need to give it a day or so) and make sure that you are now ranking the way you want to. Sometimes improving your ranking requires some trial and error, so don’t be afraid to continue to tweak your ad over the course of your posting until you feel that it is ranking the way you want it to.

If you want to see this process in action, check out our blog post titled “A CareerBuilder Job Optimization Example“.


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