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How to Proofread / Write For Online Job Boards

How to proofread / write for online job boards

Copywriting and proofreading is a key element in most businesses, whatever literature you publish, whether that be content for the website, social media, emails, user guides, recruitment campaigns etc. all fall under this umbrella. Content, especially content within the public domain, is as representative of your company as your employees are.

You wouldn’t expect your employees to give out a negative company image and you should pay the same care and attention to your written documentation too – let’s not forget written content is official and holds more permanency than spoken or behavioural actions. After all, the pen is mightier than the sword!

So taking this into account, and focusing in particular on your recruitment content, are you confident that you are sending out the right image and tone for your organisation? In addition to your branding, do you know your market?

That is, do you know how online recruitment advertising works – how applicants find jobs? Having your job in front of the right people and attracting them in the process are important factors to consider when placing a job advert online and we’ve compiled a couple of things to think about to make sure you’re getting it right.

Skills of a copywriter

Being a copywriter includes more than just having a solid understanding of English and how to use it in practice. Familiarity with the company is important in order to reflect the desired tone of the brand as well as an understanding of what the company is looking for in their new employee and how to attract this top talent. Some skills a copywriter must need for writing successful job adverts include:

  • Understanding the recruitment market

When advertising your job online it’s important to make sure you understand the job board market and target audience. Things to consider include: How do applicants search for jobs? How do I get my job at the top of searches?

Selecting the right job board is only part of it, you also need to understand how this job board works. How do you get your job at the top of search results and thus in front of the right people? We know from experience that applicants only look at the first 20 jobs or so when searching on a job board so it’s imperative that your job features here. The main factor here is key wording. Each job board works slightly differently but all in all, you need to ensure you have a searchable title and that relevant key words are distributed throughout the body of the text (it is suggested key words are repeated 3 – 5 times usually).

For example, a Sales Executive job may include the key words: Sales Executive, Business Development, Account Manager, Sales Advisor...

As well as getting the job found, it needs to be compelling enough for the applicants to click into it. The job board market is highly competitive and applicants can be ruthless, so for help with what to include in a good recruitment advert and for tips on the title, salary, location etc. please see our previous blog here.

  • Consistency of tone

Consistency across your content is a key part of the brand image and setting a tone for your company as a whole. That means your job advert should be reflective of your company culture, whether that’s corporate or more relaxed. This includes the tone of your advert and the language chosen – keep it honest and keep it consistent, but remember an advert is designed to attract people to apply for the role so bear in mind that you also want to be engaging and appealing – don’t make it too formal, and remember the difference between a job advert and a job description.

  • Grammar & punctuation

A good knowledge of the English Language is essential in this kind of role. You must be conversant with the principles of written English including spelling, grammar and punctuation. Double check your spelling because it is often the case that the spell-check on computers is unreliable as it offers an American-English correction, meaning that often words are changed automatically or are underlined as being incorrect because it only recognises the American form. Common examples include licence vs. license and organise vs. organize.

If you are ever unsure about something whether that’s where to put a semicolon or how to decide between affect vs. effect or you’re vs. your there are always some great online sources to help you including dailywritingtips.com, dictionary.com and grammarist.com

  • Attention to detail

Strong attention to detail is such an important quality for a proofreader/anyone in an editing position. It is sometimes the case that deadlines need to be met and time is short so speed and accuracy are of the essence. This is easier to do if you are particularly au fait with English and some mistakes stand out, if anything because they are pet peeves for writers. Whilst spotting mistakes is easier if you are not the author yourself, when you’ve written the content it becomes more difficult, this is because your brain predicts what you intended to say rather than what you have actually typed. Therefore, it is often best to have a couple of people check over something to eliminate any pesky mistakes being missed.

Why it is important to proofread

You may ask yourself why is it so important to proofread; the advert is going out for 28 days and the job is more important than your writing ability. Well, of course, this is true, the job is more important in the grand scheme of things but one must consider that the job advertisement is actually the first point of contact an applicant has with your company and first impressions count. Not only does a poorly written/proofed advert make you look like you lack the attention and care for the role in general but it also suggests that you are not professional. It can be a deterrent for applicants and could be the deciding factor between two competitor companies.

As well as the impression it gives out about the company, you must must must keep in mind how job boards work. If you have misspelt your key words or have a typo in the title then this WILL affect your search results. Your job simply won’t be found and as such, it won’t generate a good response.

We hope you found this blog useful, don’t forget that the Flat Fee Recruiter service includes a professionally written and key worded recruitment advert specifically designed for job boards so if you’d like to reduce your recruitment headache get in touch on 0113 3227243 or email us at

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