Corporate Eye

Good Copy Habits

colourful tiesAn old boss of mine used to be infamous for bemoaning modern business dress standards and he was always complaining that nobody wears ties anymore. He’s got a point, however, and it’s now perfectly acceptable in most offices and boardrooms to wear an open necked shirt and trousers. Even for interviews, going tieless is generally acceptable.

Of course, we could blame changing taste or attitudes towards business, but a lot of it has to do with making a good first impression. In the past, a sharp suit and tie was guaranteed to impress, but now everyone, including prospective employees, is getting their first impression of you before they’ve even met you: via your website.

Much like walking into a interview situation with a suit that was once fashionable in the ’70s, an out of date website is the worst possible start you can make, so you need to get into good habits with your web copy as soon as you can. Here are some simple ways to ensure you don’t make a web based faux-pas.

Always Check Your Dates
It’s absolutely vital to ensure that any dates or deadlines on your page are up to date. On seeing ‘applications close in June 2011’ on a page, prospective applicants will assume you’re no longer recruiting, even if the copy itself is fresh. Ensure the main recruitment page ties to any linked pages, such as an application form, too.

Spring Clean Copy
However dynamic the recruitment business is, the specifics of a job role don’t always change that much and it’s reasonable not to rewrite this with every new intake. Applicants will, however, spot copy that reads the same as previous intakes, so make sure you freshen up areas that can be reworked.

Insist On Quality
You wouldn’t accept spelling mistakes in an application form, so applicants won’t accept spelling mistakes on web copy. If there are mistakes on your page, most graduates will simply close the browser window: it really does matter!

Take on Help
Writing copy is time consuming, so why not outsource it? Copywriters work either with marking organisations or freelance and are usually happy working remotely. Beware, though, quality copy costs: pay good fees and you will be rewarded.

Once you’ve established a system which keeps your pages furnished with top quality copy it will be with you for life; it’s getting into the habit that’s hard!

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Tom Goodsir

Tom started his career early; taking on an associate role at Deloitte just a few days after his eighteenth birthday, working in a technical role but with a focus on identifying and recruiting talented undergraduates. He is now entering his final year at Exeter University and he continues to work with the recruitment side of the firm and remains an active brand ambassador on campus. Over the last few years, Tom has spent time building up a reputation as a freelance writer and has developed both a strong client base and good knowledge of social media along the way. Though there’s still plenty to learn, experience working in both the smallest and the largest of businesses has served him well and given him a feel for balancing strong corporate ideas with a personal tone. As a student, Tom is able to offer a valuable insight into the way graduate recruitment works from the other side and how students and interns react to particular styles of marketing and recruitment. Eventually he hopes to take off his copywriting business before embarking on an MA in philosophy.