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June 2, 2011 / Toby Dayton

LinkUp’s Recommendation to Google, Bing and Yahoo: Use Schema.org to help employers and jobseekers

Today Google, Bing and Yahoo announced a partnership to create a universal markup for better searching and organizing things like people, events and books. They made this format available (in easy-to-read language with examples) at http://schema.org/

But they neglected to include a “schema” for job listings, and LinkUp is working to bring this to their attention. So although their big change will make things like recipes for chicken cacciatore or websites about Bob Dylan more accessible, real job openings will continue to evade the big 3 search engines.

Fortunately Google, Bing and Yahoo are becoming more accessible and together we can fix this oversight.

Beyond this point lies a lot of technical jargon. If that isn’t for you, send this article to the tech people you know or fill out this form, giving the link to this blog post, to tell the search engines that you want them to help our jobseekers and hiring managers.

The people at Schema.org need to add a “Opportunity” element to their system (specifically as a child of “Thing”). Doing this will make it easier for employers to classify the jobs on their site, which will make it easier for search engines to list their jobs, which will make it easier for jobseekers to find jobs – everyone wins!

Here’s an example of what the HTML* could look like:

<div itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Opportunity">
  <span itemprop="name">PHP Developer</span>

  <a href="http://linkup.jobs/?a=showJob&ID=4471" itemprop="url">Learn more about the job</a> or
  <a href="http://linkup.jobs/?a=applyToJob&ID=4471" itemprop="applicationUrl">apply now</a>!.

  <p><span itemprop="employer">LinkUp</span> is looking to hire a <span itemprop="commitmentType">full-time</span> <span itemprop="language">PHP developer</a> for our <span itemprop="location">St. Louis Park, MN</span> office.</p>
  <p itemprop="description">We are seeking a skilled PHP Programmer to add to our growing IT group, yada yada yada.</p>

  <p>For more information, contact <span itemscope itemprop="Person"><span itemprop="name">Eric Caron</span> at <span itemprop="email">eric@linkup.com</span></span>.</p>
</div>

* For the sake of getting-to-the-point, this isn’t 100% up to spec. But it demonstrates the power of the schema without being overly complicated or sacrificing design.

Here’s a full mapping of the schema:

Property Expected Type Description
Properties from Thing
description Text A short description of the item.
image URL URL of an image of the item.
name Text The name of the item.
url Text URL of the item.
Properties from Opportunity
employer Organization The originator of the opportunity.
contact Person Individual responsible for listing the opportunity.
applicationUrl URL Location of form to apply for the opportunity
startDate Date If applicable, when the opportunity starts.
endDate Date If applicable, when the opportunity ends.
requirements Text Any requirements expected of the person applying for the opportunity.
education Text Specific education background required for the opportunity.
location Place Location of the opportunity.
commitmentType Text The involvement expected with this opportunity. Can be contract, temporary, temp-to-hire, seasonal, internship, part-time or full-time,
language Language Primary language spoken by colleagues, expected of the opportunity, or that the opportunity involves.
compensation Number or Text The salary, wage, or other compensation associated with this Opportunity.
benefits Text Any benefits that are involved with the Opportunity.

We are anxious for the discussion to start about where this schema is lacking, or what is has but doesn’t need. Feel free to post in the comments below, or email eric@linkup.com. We’ll keep posting new information as the schema evolves!