When you need words for your recruitment website
Writing web content always presents a special kind of challenge. After all, unlike an advertisement that may have a shelf/online life of a few weeks, a website, one hopes, will be there for all to see for at least a couple of years. It is, quite simply, an organisation's shop window, and I've been fortunate enough to have been asked to write website content for that window for a diverse range of businesses, each with their own unique brief. Some just wanted a few holding pages, others wanted the whole shooting match, including all the words, plus straplines and ideas for imagery. No matter what's required, you'll find I'm affordable, easy to work with and, importantly, I won't keep you waiting weeks and weeks for your copy. So, the next time you're thinking of revamping your website, why not get in touch? In the meantime, here are just a few examples of some of the websites I have written copy for:
The British Library
One day, I received an email out of the blue saying The British Library wanted to update their existing careers pages and transfer them to a new platform and would I be interested in being considered for the work? My first thought was – The British Library, an institution of world renown, wants me to work with them? Initially, I convinced myself in typical self-deprecating copywriter style that the project would be too big an undertaking and fraught with danger dealing with lots of people, each with their own idea about what they wanted. But, after I’d had a word with my inner self, I decided to meet them. And, I’m so glad I did, because it was a great project to work on. It also gave me a real insight into what the Library does, having lived in ignorance for years. Books? Yes, they have millions of them - and so much more besides. Over 150 million items spanning nearly 3,000 years, to be precise. By getting to write the copy for the new careers section of their site, I gained a real understanding of what goes on there day-to-day. Hopefully, the potential job seeker considering their next move will too.
The Media Exchange
The Media Exchange got in touch as they were looking for a copywriter that specialised in recruitment to help out with the words for their new site. Someone had had a go at writing something, but they weren’t happy with the tone. Their brief to me? “Because we operate in advertising/media we need the site not only to look really good, but to sound welcoming. We’re looking for something young and friendly and, above all, we want it to be a focal point. If our website creates a discussion that would be great. We want it to be catchy, not too text heavy – punchy”. Game on, as they say! The result? A colourful, modern looking site that was genuinely fun to work on. I also got to write stuff like “…in the days when if you had a mobile, it was probably the size of a brick, video players were the size of a small suitcase and the alien like screeching of a fax machine was considered state-of-the-art…” and "...we'd love the opportunity to show you our etchings, so to speak". You won't see lines like that on many websites! many
Virgin Active Health Clubs
It's not every day that you get to work for Richard Branson (OK, it was very indirectly, via an ad agency, but I'm sure he'll get to see the website at some stage). There was already a website in existence, but VA's marketing people had produced a glossy hundred and something page guide for their people that talked about their culture, their personality, where they are and where they are going. And, they wanted the new site to reflect the same style, tone and energy. No pressure then! They have have 118 clubs in the UK alone, and 250 worldwide, making them one of the fastest-growing businesses within the Virgin Group, so there was quite a story to tell, and more than just a few areas of the business to cover off in terms of describing the culture, as well as each and every job within. But, I love the challenge of mirroring the style and tone and creating warm, friendly, yet professional content that tells a story, rather than just makes statements (And, that's not a dig at the organisations that choose to go down that route. OK, maybe it is), so it was a project that was right up my copywriting street, so to speak.
It’s always nice to be asked to write content for an area of business that I'm already conversant with. After all, I’ve worked in recruitment communications for, oooh, let me see now, lots of years, firstly as a ‘suit’ up to Account Director level, and latterly (since 2001 in fact) as a creative copywriter. I was delighted therefore when James Swift, MD of digital employer marketing agency Beyond Interactive, asked me to come up with the words that would form the basis of the brand spanking new Beyond interactive website. They’ve got some cracking clients and some great success stories to tell, so it was a genuine pleasure to get the writing gig. The brief? Essentially, to tell their story in a friendly but professional way. To extol the virtues of using their services and demonstrate how a whole range of clients have benefited from Beyond Interactive’s expertise. ‘Job done!’ as they say. www.beyondinteractive.co.uk
Whilst he already knew me via my presence on Twitter and through our discussions at various social recruitment events, I was never the less flattered when Metashift’s MD Matt Alder asked me to write the copy for his new website. After all, Matt’s a pre-eminent digital, social and mobile strategist and something of a recruitment futurist, whilst I’m one of those creative types that’s slow to warm to advancements in technology, particularly where recruitment is concerned – hence the reason for some of the friendly debates between us in the past! As for Metashift, it’s a leading digital strategy consultancy that provides digital, social and mobile recruitment solutions aimed at making the complex world of recruitment a bit easier to grasp. The brief? Matt wanted “minimal copy with impact” that would work on a site that is geared up to be accessible via mobiles and tablets, as well as PCs. To take a look at the result, and indeed how Matt may be able to help your business, visit www.metashift.co.uk
Four by Four
This was a nice project to get involved in for two reasons. Firstly, it was an opportunity to work with an ex-colleague from my advertising agency days, and secondly, it was an excursion away from my speciality of writing copy for recruitment communications. Four by Four is a boutique design, branding and advertising agency that provides innovative creative solutions for clients in a variety of business sectors. I've known Pip, the owner, since we both worked at Lonsdales Advertising Services back in the mid to late 1990s, Pip as an art director, me as a 'suit', so it was nice to be able to work with her again, but this time on her brief, not mine! Essentially, the website showcases a number of case studies in a portfolio of work that Four by Four have carried out and Pip wanted me to supply the words that described what each client was looking for and how Four by Four delivered the right creative solution.
When one of the world's largest recruitment consultancies asked me to write the content for their brand new website, it was a challenge I was happy to rise to. The brief? Take the existing content for all of their 31 divisions, both client and candidate side and, using no more than 500 characters (not words) for the text and 45 characters for the headlines, come up with a new entry for each. Oh and also rewrite the sections about the various add-on services they offer. All in all it amounted to around 90 pages of content - a pretty big project! Up until then, each division had been free to write as much or as little about themselves as they felt necessary. That meant I was sometimes faced with editing maybe 300, 400 or even 500 words down to just 500 characters. Put simply, each word really did count. The result? A much more succinct website that states very clearly what each division does, but minus the waffle.
Appello is a relatively new recruitment consultancy that works with a varied portfolio of businesses that range from blue chips to SMEs in sectors that include Accountancy & Finance, Banking & Financial Services, Human Resources, Information Technology, Legal, Sales & Marketing and Design Engineering. Having found me via Linkedin, owner Parm Bhagidi asked me if I could tidy up the draft copy she had produced and, working with a number of sporting images that had been selected for use on the site, come up with suitable headlines to run throughout. The theme was all about being the best, aiming high, being a champion etc. It was a refreshing change from just having images of people working in an office to work from, and the result was a vibrant, colourful site with a very modern feel. See the results for yourself here - www.appelloresource.com
The PAW Associates website was the very first site I wrote content for. Owner Penny-Anne Winter is someone I have worked with off and on for almost 20 years, firstly when I was an account handler at various advertising agencies and she was at a couple of large recruitment companies - Parity and Robert Half - and latterly when Penny set up her own business, PAW Associates, and I had switched from being a 'suit' to a creative and started my own copywriting business. Whilst not the most 'all singing, all dancing' site, what I liked particularly about working on this project was the fact that Penny asked me to source images as well as produce the content. That meant I was able to have input into the design aspect of the site. The brief was that it had to be people centric, but Penny didn't want flat, bog standard shots of people smiling at each other across a boardroom table, staring intently at a computer screen or shaking hands. Instead we selected imagery that did indeed reflect 'people' but in a more striking way.
MyTime Active is a social enterprise and charity that works with health providers and local authorities to deliver a variety of services that range from leisure centres and golf courses to health prevention, rehabilitation and treatment programmes within local communities. Originally working within the confines of the London Borough of Bromley, they have since expanded and now deal with a variety of organisations across the country. They found me from a Google search of 'Bromley Copywriter' and gave me a call. Within a day I was able to walk up the road to a meeting which resulted in being briefed to improve upon a few areas of their existing web content. Being split across three divisions, it's a vast site, so we are currently going through sections of it bit by bit. The great thing about being involved on this project is not only are they the closest client geographically that I have ever worked with (a mere 5 minute walk away) but also that there are so many different strands, each presenting their own creative challenge.
Another Hamilton Bradshaw business, HB International is a leading executive search firm specialising in the Financial Services sector, both in the UK and globally. The brief here was a mix of refreshing existing content plus creating new, plus coming up with headlines for each page to add interest. So often on websites you'll see an about us page that is headed up 'about us' - the reader knows that, they just clicked on the 'about us' link on the menu bar. Rather than just say 'about us', why not use a headline that tells people a bit about yourself in a quick and easily digestible soundbite? Anyway, that was the aim - on each page to spruce up the content and add a headline that informs and reiterates the message HB International are trying to convey. As a result of working on the content for this site I was also asked to do the content for HB Ingram Mayet (below) www.hbinternational.co.uk
HB Ingram Mayet
HB Ingram Mayet are specialists in contingency recruitment for Permanent and Interim (Temporary) Front Office, Middle Office and Back Office on a global scale. They also recently joined the Hamilton Bradshaw stable and wanted to improve upon their web presence. Knowing that I had already successfully worked with a number of business within the HB portfolio, MD Mo Mayet asked me if I would have a look at their content too. He wasn't looking for wholesale changes but wanted to achieve consistency between the HB Ingram site and the HB International one to show that they were now part of the same company. Mo also wanted to make a bigger sell of the fact that, as part of the Hamilton Bradshaw portfolio HB Ingram Mayet were still retaining their independence but now had the backing of one of the biggest players in the recruitment field.
The James Caan Foundation
The James Caan Foundation has been in existence since 2005, when James Caan set it up to build a school in Pakistan. Five years and many projects later, James' daughter Hanah joined the JCF team and quickly saw the huge potential of its ability to partner with others to make a bigger impact. As a result, the foundation re-launched as a registered charity with the aim of using its networks, resources, expertise and capital to try and make a difference to the lives of people around the world. My small, but hopefully worthwhile contribution was to produce content that answered Hanah's brief which was that she wanted the website to be informative, inspiring, credible and professional but also relatable and informal. It needed to embody the entrepreneurial spirit, representing James as founder, but having it's own identity. It needed to show that JCF are not only taking lessons learned through business and applying them in their philanthropic work, but also sharing those lessons with the wider community.