The job hunt is in a near-continual state of flux. Old jobs become obsolete, new employers arrive to shake up the market and emerging technology flips the job search process on its ear. Candidates hardly know what to expect, but job boards can offer them an anchor in uncertain times through relevant, valuable content.
Content should do more than convey information. It should tell a story. What will yours say? Here are a few ideas to lure in candidates with information that they need.
Offer Something Different and Fresh
Content creation is a full-time job. There's always the temptation to serve up what everyone else is offering because it has a clear audience. But how can you stand apart when your voice is just like the rest?
Be the job board platform that offers something more and better. If they can find the same story across multiple outlets, there's no reason to choose yours over anyone else's. If a story is trending, how can you tell it better?
Here are a few tips:
- Find a key point in the story that no one has elaborated on
- Use that angle as a research launch pad
- Refine your job board voice
It's too easy to rehash the same story, especially if it's already popular. Your goal, however, should be standing out as a beacon. You can't do that if you only blend in with the same tired old drone that candidates get from every site.
Source Candidate Hubs to Find What's Trending
You might think you know what matters, but have you asked them directly? Find the hubs where people looking for work spend their time chatting with each other. That's where you'll find the meaty topics, such as how to ask for a raise and get it, using vacation time, and finding out which education path leads to a certain career.
Quora is a great example. Search any topic and you'll probably find someone who has asked a question about it before. That's the starting point. Next, scroll through responses where other people give their opinions and sometimes offer up links to resources that back them up.
Now you're getting somewhere.
Glassdoor is another wealth of information. What do job candidates cheer for? What do they complain about? Where there's passion, there's interest. Develop content around what makes them happy, nervous, confused and frustrated.
Sites where candidates speak openly are better research targets than ones where they might measure their words. The only way to really get to the heart of what matters is through seeing the job seeking environment through their eyes, not through a soft-focus lens.
Hone Your Content Writing Craft
Once you know what candidates want to know, hammer down and create strong, informational, meaty content. Leave the fluff for other content creators.
Who are you writing for? Know your audience and tailor your writing to suit them. If you're not as knowledgeable about the topic as you'd like to be, learn before you begin. The only thing worse than no content is weak words that are a bit too careless with the truth.
Remember, content helps your audience, but it's also a job board marketing tool. The last thing you want is a reputation for playing fast and loose with the facts.
Tone and language are also important. If the topic is extremely high-tech, soft language might turn them off. Likewise, overly technical content sounds pretentious to the wrong audience.
Avoid corporate speak, no matter what you do. It drips with 80's-era overcompensation and insincerity. Forbes calls it ''poisonous.''
If you're tempted to refer to industry experts as a ''S.W.A.T. team'' or talk about opinions as ''buy-ins,'' Forbes thinks you should step around as if it's a mud puddle and use smarter, clear language.
If you're not comfortable with your writing skills or those of anyone else on your team, there are loads of developmental programs available online for free. HubSpot has a comprehensive content marketing training program that doesn't cost a penny.
Strike a Balance Between Timely and Evergreen Content
Timely content brings in new site visitors, but it has a lifespan. Evergreen content rings true for years and adds depth to your base of material, but it runs the risk of repeating what everyone else in the industry has already said. The right balance, says FlyingHippo, is about 80/20.
With 80 percent evergreen content, you'll develop a substantial library of reference material that candidates can refer to now and in the years to come. With 20 percent timely content, candidates can learn about what's trending without a steep drop-off in readership once the newsy content inevitably loses its shine.
That said, your mileage may vary. The key isn't striking an 80/20 balance, but finding your own balance and sticking with it. Data analytics will show which content scores points with readers and which falls off the lower end of the radar so you can fine-tune your approach.
Post frequency is another issue. For the best results, aim for a steady stream of balanced content published at regular, dependable intervals. For example, Mondays and Wednesdays could be newsy blog post days. Friday's content might follow the typical Friday vibe with more relaxed content that gives readers something to chew on over the weekend. That's how to build a brand.
The best job boards have a story to tell and candidates want to hear it. At least that's what Magdex communications manager, Stephanie Mills, says. Content writing is an art and a science, but it all begins with a story.
Which stories do your readers want to hear? Start your research now and build a killer stream of valuable content that benefits job candidates and sets you apart as a thought leader. In time, you'll be known as the go-to source for valuable information that keeps candidates on an upward career trajectory.