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:
Synapri is an established technology recruitment consultancy based in Bromley, Kent. When they decided to update their website they felt that the words they had were OK, but maybe needed some creative input and a bit of a polish, so went in search of a copywriter that specialised in recruitment. Having found me on Linkedin, they got in touch to ask if I would review what they had written and amend/re-word as I saw fit in order to make the whole thing flow a bit better and be more consistent in tone. The voice they were aiming for was a professional and friendly one, 'but with a bit of edge to it'. They also wanted to get across the fact that they're heavily focussed on the whole customer experience, extremely experienced and consultative, specialist at what they do and always go the extra mile to deliver on their promises. The result is a modern and colourful site with succinct and very clear messaging about them and what they can offer both candidates and clients alike. www.synapri.com
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 gave me a real insight into what the Library does, having lived in ignorance for years. Books? Yes, they have millions of them - but so much more besides. Over 150 million items spanning nearly 3,000 years, to be precise. A brilliant project to work on - and the largest too.
The Media Exchange
The Media Exchange 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? “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 site that was great fun to work on. I got to write stuff like “…in the days when if you had a mobile, it was probably as big as 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 careers sites! www.themediaexchange.com/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 got 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 had 250+ clubs worldwide at the time, 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 loved the challenge of mirroring the style and tone and creating warm, friendly, yet professional content that told a story, rather than just making statements, 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 a then brand new Beyond interactive website. They’ve got some cracking clients and had 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.
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.
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.
Back in 2011, Appello was a relatively new recruitment consultancy that worked with a varied portfolio of businesses that ranged from blue chips to SMEs in sectors that included Accountancy & Finance, Banking & Financial Services, Human Resources, Information Technology, Legal, Sales & Marketing and Design Engineering. Having found me via Linkedin, I was asked if I could tidy up the draft copy they 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.
The PAW Associates website was the very first site I wrote content for when I went freelance in 2001. Owner Penny-Anne Winter is someone I'd worked with off and on for almost 20 years, firstly as an account handler at various advertising agencies when 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'd switched from being a 'suit' to a creative. 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.
A 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.