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Good morning,

As a smart and savvy recruiter, you probably test and try out different copy and job postings on your recruiter website for your job seekers and clients (NOTE! This article does not address job postings on job board sites). Sometimes you might even do a whole site revamp and see how a different look/feel enhances the quality of the candidates/clients who contact you.

Ever wonder what happens if a visitor comes to a page you removed from your recruiter website two revamps ago? In virtually all cases, they'll get an ERROR 404 (page not found). But wouldn't it be tremendous if, instead of a boring 404 boring blah page, your visitors were returned a dramatic pointer to your current jobs, or maybe action words that highlight why you're the recruiter or employer of choice?

Believe it or not, it's a very simple thing to implement! And trust me, you will thank your lucky stars that you got it done today (I rescued about 30 people on my last ezine by implementing it!). Here's how to do it.

You can break down every page in your website into one of two categories.

    1.) Pages that exist and that you use and want your candidates and clients to visit (ie, valid pages such as current job posts, resume submittal instructions, why choose you, etc.).

    2.) Pages that do NOT exist that you do not use and do NOT want your visitors to visit (ie, mistyped URLs to your site, expired job postings you've removed from your site, etc.).

That's it!

Active pages are easy - they're the things you know that are on your site. But when a person mistypes a URL, you can customize a generic page to be returned instead of the usual 404 error. And on that customized page, you can include links to your current jobs, optin ezine, marketing copy and more.

The easiest way to set this up is the following. First design the error page you'd like displayed (click on for what I created). Then check your the main directory of your website. You want to find a file named .htaccess - if it's not present, you can simply create one on your own computer via a text editor and upload it to your root directory.

Let's say that you name your error file "error.html". Simply add the following two lines to your .htaccess file:

# 404 handles File not found errors ErrorDocument 404

(of course, you'd change '' to your own site).

And that's it!

Make no mistake about it, folks - this can save you untold hours of agony. I had created my 404 page the day before last week's RISE ezine. When I sent out that edition, I had forgotten to change some crucial links. Wah! If I didn't have my customized error page turned on, all of my subscribers who wanted to check out my services have found broken links...instead, they were all redirected to my correct information pages. Whew!

Need some resources to build 404s? Consider: (see the hall of fame 404s and get inspired!)

Creating a customized 404 is extremely easy to do and can benefit you as a recruiter greatly. Make sure to take advantage of


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Copyright © 2002 Barbara Ling. All rights reserved.
Internet recruiting techniques and ideas for effective profit-generating methodologies for recruiters