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There are personality tests that will try to make you pick between an apple or orange, red or blue, all in an attempt to collect this series of subtle cues to figure you out. Buzzfeed pretty much mastered the art and even made a name off of them. I don’t want to tell you how many times I woke up in the middle of the night and saw the phone glowing from my wife’s side of the bed as she whispered, “I’m a Boston Terrier lover! How did they know?”

But if you ask me, Buzzfeed saying I’m a dog person based on my favorite color isn’t that enlightening. What I think is? How people search. Think about it. Have you ever leaned over the shoulder of someone you’re dating as they’re searching? You watch as they open a browser then they search. You cringe.

“That’s not how you search for Indian restaurants,” you thought.

Depending on how long you’ve been in a relationship with this person, you say something: “Why don’t you just search India Palace” or “just ask Alexa for Indian near me, silly.” Whatever it is, our search style is probably more indicative of who we are than what some quiz cranks out.

Search patterns and the words we use are indicative of so many things – not just our relationship compatibility, but our frames of reference for how we experience the world. In my example, it’s the difference between finding a restaurant and finding a group of restaurants nearby. But the stakes are much higher if we think about it in the context of a job.

Discovery is the linchpin of your candidate experience.

If a candidate can’t find your job, no ATS will make a difference. Those great stories you spent thousands to create? They are part of a digital echo chamber, not a measurable impact. Most people stop me at this point to say, “but my jobs are compatible with Google for Jobs,” to which I say that’s great. And it is.

But what if you aren’t even using the right words?

Here’s an example. Two job titles: Office Assistant and Administrative Assistant. Are the two jobs different? If you ask me, they’re probably the same job at two different companies. It’s just a preference, right? Not when it comes to search.

The job title Office Assistant gets 8,100 searches on average each month. Administrative Assistant, on the other hand, reaches over 60,000. That’s not a typo. Sixty thousand searches. That’s almost 10x the volume by changing one word. Crazy right?   

Here’s the horrifying part.

Most of our candidate-facing platforms offer search on keyword match alone, and it puts everyone at a disadvantage.

Bottom line that means if the dreamiest Office Assistant candidate ever were sitting in your database, you’d probably never know because you never searched for “administrative.” On the flip side, the best candidates never find your jobs because your technology creates no search forgiveness for job seekers.

Until now. Google has created a hiring system that will translate military occupational codes into jobs for veterans and can return job postings in 100 different languages. And now SmashFly’s smarter version of the career site search means that when you search “Director of Marketing,” the first result isn’t for an internship or a Director of Engineering job.

SmashFly Career Site Job Search

The tools are getting smarter, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get smarter about this whole thing, too.

How do you search job title traffic?

It’s simple. If you want to know how much search volume your title gets, use UberSuggest. It’s free and easy to get instant data on how many searches your keyword gets per month.

Interested in learning how to compare traffic and dive deeper? Try this.

Google your current job title and the word “resume.” For example, “director of marketing resume.” Click on the tab for image results.

There, you’ll see a bunch of resumes. Yes, it’s that easy. Now open up the results in preview and scan the resumes for similar job titles. For example, Marketing Director or Director of Channel Marketing. Pick three or four, if possible.

Then, open Google Trends. You’ll enter each title in the search to compare the volume.

Once you click go, you have a pile of free information available to help you make a better decision about what title you should use on that marketing job post. You’ll see overall search volume and the projected trends for that keyword, so you know if they are on the rise or decline. Related searches. You can dive deep enough to discover how people in your community search for a specific phrase.

With this tactic and upgraded tools, we can give the advantage to the job seeker by helping them find us. Assuming they did, then and only then, can we start to worry about the rest of the oh-so-flawed candidate experience.

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