How to optimize your job description to find that perfect content or marketing candidate

Estimated read time: 6 minutes

There are certain roles on your marketing team that you definitely need even when one person plays more than one role.

To find the right candidates can be a challenge. With tens of thousands of jobs published on LinkedIn every couple days finding the right match includes using:

  • the right words to be found
  • having a good distribution strategy
  • having the right titles and using easily digestible job descriptions.

If you aren’t standing above the rest somebody else will.

By the way, I didn’t just make up that number from LinkedIn. In the last 24 hours before I wrote this there were over 15,000 new jobs posted that matched to the term marketing.

Filtering that down a little further and setting it to only show executive and director-level roles there are still over 1,200 jobs posted in the last 24 hours.

A while back I blogged about how over a number of years I had applied to over 2000 jobs on LinkedIn with very little success.

I now think that part of the problem was that I didn’t use LinkedIn premium which costs around $29 per month. Since I started using that feature I’ve had around 30 interviews. I think in part because LinkedIn shows you as a featured applicant.

That’s basically the sponsored post model. Whoever paid for the service shows up at the top of the list.

With that many job openings being posted and with some getting hundreds of applicants finding the right candidate certainly requires good differentiation writing skills on the company side as well.

Picking job titles

One way to stand out is to pick the right job titles. This is just a sampling of titles I’ve seen in my recent job hunt:

    Head of content acquisition
    VP omni channel strategy
    Director of acquisition and retention marketing
    Director of revenue marketing
    Director of SEM or SEO or social
    Director of demand generation
    Head of brand experience
    Marketing expert
    Content guru
    Offer marketing

Some of these roles are certainly highly specialized and they need the specific area – like SEO.

One problem in the marketplace is that a director of marketing isn’t always the same type of role.

As Orbit Media reported:


Marketing compensation varies wildly. For example, Marketing Directors report compensation ranges from $42,000 to $162,000. Industry, company size, geography and experience are all major factors. The marketing director role for $40,000 is very different and draws in very different candidates than the $170,000 role.

There might even be a chance that somebody wants a marketing unicorn ? for the price of a marketing pony ?.

I don’t see the market to start agreeing anytime soon on what should be a marketing director and what should be something else and it certainly does depend on the organization and size.

One other way to differentiate is to just make up invent new and maybe better titles. Maybe more descriptive ones.

The late Steve Buttry tried to do that at The Gazette in Cedar Rapids in an attempt to reinvigorate journalism.

He came up with a number of new titles in a restructuring including a new title for himself:

… announced bold changes in the organization of the Gazette newsroom.  Buttry was editor of the paper, but that role has passed to Lyle Muller, and Buttry has assumed a newly coined title: Information Content Conductor.  I’m sure he’s the only guy in the country with that title right now.

Source: Nieman Lab

I don’t mind that at all especially if the titles still have the keywords that job searchers use in them. Here is an example of the terms that I’m searching for and getting alerts for:

    I then filter by geography and when the job was posted. Just the terms


    • and


    • on their own get me a good number of results. With the wide variety of job titles out their chances are that those two terms are still in the description.

General vs. specific titles

Most in-house teams – at least on the B2B marketing side are small with 3-5 people. That also aligns with my experience. I’ve never seen a marketing team that couldn’t use more help.

That’s one reason that when I’ve built teams I’ve kept the titles rather high level – like content marketing strategist.

What does the content marketing strategist do?

Part of the role is what I’ve called a content marketing journalist before. In a nutshell, they share the stories that help us advance a company’s mission and help us reach goals.

In addition, they also use the latest strategies to get the message in front of people.

Once you have a team you can stretch the different team members towards whatever their strengths are. Some people might be better podcasters while others are better social media strategists and others yet are better at running webinars.

In a perfect world we would have specialized people for everything we need to get done but the reality seems to be the teams are smaller and have a mix of generalists leaning toward specialties (aka strengths) and specialists.

Words to use in job descriptions

My biggest advice here would be to not use the words that you don’t want in people.

Personally, I’m open to any job anywhere in the United States and can work onsite for the right role. Relocation or quasi-relocation are options and I can do remote.

Some companies are completely opposed to remote so their job descriptions say:

“No remote.”

Simply by using the word remote can also get them to show up in all the job seeker alerts set for remote.

Other words that are worth considering to cut are the most used words – like rockstar, guru and similar – in job descriptions according to this Indeed blog post:

These job titles include everything from “Software Ninjaneer” and “Content Hero” to “Sales Rockstar” and “Brand Warrior.” And while the Chief Heart Officer (HR Manager) and Director of Fundom (Marketing Manager) sound like delightful positions, the Colon Lover (Copywriter) might turn a few heads at a networking event.

While wacky job titles may be fun and eye-catching, job seekers are typically not searching for terms such as “hero” and “warrior.” You stand a better chance of being discovered by potential hires when your job title accurately describes the work to be done.

As much as I’m always trying to become the expert – especially publicly recognized expert – I don’t usually think of myself as the expert and would never search for that by looking for a job.

It’s good to be descriptive in your job descriptions. Also make sure to use the terms that people search for. Sounds like good web writing best practices should be at work.

It matters to get the right people. As Mike Stiles said in this episode of the Content Marketing Quickie Podcast: Everyone has the same technology. It’s the creatives (aka people) who will help you stand out.