When it comes to your main website, associations usually don’t have a shortage of ideas about which types of content to include. Member news, leadership profiles, new technology features, regulatory updates, breaking industry news, and upcoming events are a handful of the topics that are usually deemed worthy enough to merit front-page real estate. But when constructing an online career center, I’ve found that associations don’t always put the same energy into organizing and prioritizing career content so that at one glance, visitors know where they are within your corner of the Web and what content is available for them to explore.
Enter the online career center splash page.
Career centers should have a splash page, or introductory page, that when clicked on leads the user to the site.
It’s the first page that an employer or job seeker sees when they start their journey into the career enter. The splash page is hosted on your association’s website, which means your association controls the text and content on the page, and uses the SEO strength of your main website to draw more users to the site.
This splash page is the ideal place for written career content: Lists of resources on your career portal, descriptive links to career development articles and images with alt text will improve the user experience while informing search engine crawlers what your online career center is about.
- Quickly and simply explain the value of using your career center
- Direct job seekers and employers where they want to go next
- Provide information that is relevant to job seekers and employers in your industry
You can keep this page fresh and interesting by periodically changing out the text and including a RSS feed of recently posted jobs. Another idea is to install a widget that rotates testimonials from satisfied job seekers and employers, use words and pictures of the satisfied users.
Examples of existing resources you can pull from your website and showcase on your career center’s splash page include:
- Continuing Education: Upcoming webinars, workshops, online courses
- Career Pathing Elements: Salary surveys, career or professional assessments
- Programs and Events: Short descriptions of upcoming in-person events and why your members should register, plus a handy link to register right now
- Industry Trends: Try adding another widget that pulls in relevant industry news from your publications or other reputable news outlets in your space. Or, consider adding a Twitter widget that displays a running tableau of tweets from one or more industry news leaders
There are three things to keep in mind when creating a splash page:
- Without having to scroll down the screen, employers and job seekers should be able to quickly read about the benefits of your association’s online career center.
- The navigation on your splash page should ensure that repeat visitors can quickly jump to the appropriate page of the career center to log in, search jobs, view advertising rates, register for career workshops, or find whatever links are most important to your members based on web analytics and survey feedback. (Because you’re regularly conducting surveys about the usefulness of your online career center, right?!)
- Text should be kept to a minimum so that the key points jump out. Use plenty of color and images to balance out the monotony of the text that is required to convey the purpose and benefits of your online career center.
If you offer a plethora of career resources, include links to those materials from your splash page. We also recommend that you use the same side navigation throughout your career center pages so that users can quickly access those areas while on the career center. For example, if your prefer to host your main navigation menu on the left side of your career center’s splash page, keep that menu in place on all career center pages so users instinctively know where to look to find other areas of your site.
Career centers are often the second most-visited page of an association’s website, after their site’s home page. Members join your association in large part to advance their careers, so make it easy for them to discover all the career development resources your association offers by creating a well-planned, well-organized splash page. Once they dive in, they’ll discover professional value they can’t swim without!