Come with a job description, leave with an ad. It’s as simple as that, which is why the copywriting training offered by Mitch Sullivan and Jackie Barrie continues to be so popular with recruiters across the UK.
I joined the most recent session in London (made it before Brexit!) and, I’ll be honest, I found it quite challenging. I’d go so far as to say I felt I was outside of my comfort zone about 90% of the time. Which is exactly why I would be happy to recommend the copywriting training to any recruiter.
I’m hardly the first person to notice that what ends up advertised on company career sites as well as job boards is usually not an ad but a job description. It’s like trying to sell Coca-Cola by displaying the ingredients on a billboard.
Bad ads aren’t a reliable source of applications, which leads most recruiters to believe that ads simply no longer work. Recruitment managers mutter something about a “candidate led market” and hire a sourcer.
Don’t get me wrong: I’m sure there’s a place for a sourcer on any recruitment team. Just like there’s a place for a copywriter, or at least a recruiter who enjoys producing a good quality ad from time to time.
Writing good ads is not usually company policy. Surprisingly, the marketing department doesn’t seem to be helping, often insisting recuiters start every single ad with a company blurb. Even when the ad is published on the company career page!
Even if your company is a bit reluctant to change their ways, you have options. You may start by experimenting with a new format of ads on just one job board, for example. If it works, you’ll get the data you’ll need to convince the decision makers your approach is the right way to go.
The best advice I can give you here is something Stevie Buckley shared in one of his presentations: test your improvement ideas on an ad that’s already been posted and brought no relevant applications at all. This will make it easier to demonstrate improvement 😉
Blogging has taught me that writing is hard work. Some days it seems to happen effortlessly, but you won’t always feel inspired.
That being said, simply praciting every week will help you improve. I find it’s best to try and write around the same time every week. You may not be able to schedule writing ads perfectly every week, but creating some sort of ritual around it may be helpful.
At the very least, the process will become slightly less uncomfortable. At best, you’ll discover you’re actually having fun. And if the ads are good, you’ll see more applications coming your way.
I read somewhere that true passion for what you do only comes once you feel you’re good at it. If that’s true, then maybe the reason you don’t like writing ads is simply because you haven’t mastered it yet?
As I mentioned, I felt uncomfortable through most of the training. That’s because I have never really been responsible for writing ads, but I imagine I might feel similarly if all I had were bad writing habits.
In the end it worked! Feeling uneasy was the main signal for me that I’m learning something new. What made learning easier was a room full of people in a similar situation and two experienced trainers who guided us towards solutions instead of telling us how to do better.
By the end of the day I rewrote the job ad I initially came in with. With some help, I managed to shorten it to 290 words without cutting any of the important information. I learned several simple tricks to ensure people are more likely to read the ads I write and feel more comfortable writing.
Is it worth it?
It certainly was for me 🙂