This article is based on research for our recent eGuide, How to attract qualified candidates with an engaging career page.
A good career page tells potential candidates everything they need to know about a company: what it’s like to work there, how they’ll make a difference, what perks they can expect, and so on. It engages them, and encourages them to apply.
A bad career page, however, does just the opposite. An old or outdated page sends the message that your company is, well, old and outdated. It conjures up images of dusty, boring offices filled with dial-up internet and stale coffee. In short, a bad career page encourages job seekers not to apply – and to steer clear of your company in the future.
Here are eight career page mistakes that are turning off job seekers:
Unrealistic stock photos
Many companies use stock photography on their website – it’s a low-cost option for small businesses that can’t afford to bring in a professional photography, but still want quality images. However, it’s important to choose the right images – ones that have natural light, real office settings, and direct angles (meaning, the camera isn’t looking upwards or downward toward the subjects). “Authenticity is key. Whether you use photos of actual employees, or stock, it has to be believable,” says Dave Dennis, Workopolis’ UX design manager. “The standard stock photo of the thumbs up call center rep is something that immediately dates a website.”
Overly decorative fonts – or too many fonts on a page – immediately make a page seem like it was designed in 1998. And that, in turn, tells a job seeker that you haven’t revisited your career page (or your perks, or your salaries) since then. “Generally, you don’t want more than two or three fonts on a page. Usually one font is selected for headings and titles, and another for the body copy,” says Dennis. “Fonts you generally want to avoid are script fonts, unless they’re being used as a display heading, or part of a wordmark. Script fonts can be hard to read, especially since cursive isn’t taught in schools anymore.”
“Legacy verbiage” and clichés
A career page riddled with phrases like “that’s the way we always do it!” raises red flags for seekers because it’s clichéd and jargon-y. “The new workforce has no time for this,” says Sonya Matheson, Workopolis’ employer branding expert. Instead, focus on showing, rather than telling, job seekers what it’s like to work for your company with features like testimonials or videos. And keep any explanation copy simple, concise, and easy to read – it comes across as more authentic.
Outdated or inconsistent job postings
This is a given. Leaving up postings from last month (or worse, last year!) will send seekers running the other way. It also raises a red flag if the jobs your posting on Workopolis, for example, don’t correspond to the listings on your website. Your job postings are one of the most important components of your career page, so keep them in good order at all times. The same goes with any career events you have listed on your site, like campus career fairs or information sessions.
Filling your career page with as many SEO keywords as possible to rank higher in search engines screams of the ‘90s, exposes your lack of website savvy, and makes for an all-around bad user experience. But keyword stuffing has an additional danger: it gets your site ranked as spam. It’s important to be easily findable via search engine, but if seekers arrive at your career page only to find barely-legible copy, it’s kind of defeating the point of the page in the first place.
An inactive social presence
A quality career page can act as a hub for all your online recruitment strategies, and that includes social media. But if your page includes a Twitter feed that hasn’t seen a post since January, it can bring any engagement down to a standstill. If you’re embedding social platforms in your site – or even if you’re simply including links to your various social accounts – be sure that your social presence is relatively active, with up-to-date branding and a consistent voice. For more on bringing social media into the recruitment process, download our free eGuide, Building your employer brand with social media. Here’s a sneak peek:
Not optimizing for mobile
Nothing says outdated like a webpage that becomes impossible to read or navigate on a mobile device – and considering that recent Workopolis research found that 33 per cent of job seekers are viewing jobs on a mobile screen, it’s increasingly important. With that in mind, it’s important to offer a page with responsive design that adapts to a tablet or smartphone screen – especially now that Google has started mobile-first indexing, which ranks websites based on the performance of their mobile version, rather than their desktop version.
When a seeker hits a 404 Not Found on your career page, they’re going to give up and move on to another company. End of story.
Remember: download our free eGuide, How to attract qualified candidates with an engaging career page, today.