As a recruiter you’ve screened hundreds or thousands of CVs.
You’ll see the same mistakes each time and make the same updates. As a content marketer in a recruitment agency, these are the most common items I update in the hundreds of pieces of content I see from around the world.
Take a look and see how many you may be doing, plus I've included some suggestions on how to fix or avoid these in the future.
This is my number one. Next time you read over a typical insights piece or a salary guide commentary - see how much it pops up! I think it’s perhaps because it’s a phrase used on the phone often.
Firstly, if you remove the phrase from the sentence it tends to mean exactly the same thing.
Secondly, which market? Qualify it by saying ‘employment market’ or ‘jobs market’, or are you talking about an industry or the European market etc.?
Not only does it give context, and removes an overused phrase, but it also happens to generally help SEO (searchability online). If you have a ‘compliance market update’ your team compiles each month you’d be better off calling it a ‘compliance recruitment update’. You’ll build up a wealth of good articles named and associated with the phrase ‘compliance recruitment’. Guess who appears on the first page of Google when you’ve got a business looking for compliance recruiters. And guess who doesn’t?!
Also, you don't want to give the impression you're McKinsey or similar - you’re talking about a particular angle and not the whole discipline or industry. I read a lot about marketing of course, but a recruiter’s Marketing Commentary Q1 etc. is not going to give me the most up-to-date digital marketing tips and tricks. But if I see an interesting headline about a type of skill employers are or aren't looking at that's more likely to pique my interest and has context around the content inside.
What's she talking about? You capitalise job titles.
No. You don't.
Well, you shouldn't.
Don’t believe me? The Times, The Guardian and the University of Oxford don’t.
To briefly cover the grammar bit: if you are talking about a particular person then you can use capital letters for the job title. This is a style thing, not even a grammar must, think of it as an ego massage. So, in front of their name or when referring to that person by their title rather than their name.
The Content Marketing Manager wrote a piece for us.
Louise wrote a piece for us.
The Marketing Team sit over there.
Graham, Harry and Matt sit over there.
Here, the 'a' and the 'the' reference a specific person or people.
But...if you are talking about any person, then it’s lowercase. ‘We are looking for a content marketing manager.’ As in anyone who could be a (good) content marketing manager. And with your job ads, you're always looking for someone, anyone, who could fit that role.
Industries, disciplines, skills, responsibilities and types of company are often erroneously capitalised, such as in the fund services example above. Whilst you may do this to attract attention in job ads, in other content it just looks incorrect and unchecked. And the reason it attracts attention? Because it's deemed ugly to the human eye. You’re also asking people to trust you to proofread their CVs and and send them on...
Most of us wouldn't write the top example here. We'd know it wasn't correct. So why write the third one here?
❌ The Shopkeeper Mops the Pet shop floor.
✔️ The shopkeeper mops the pet shop floor.
❌ We’re looking for a Finance Analyst to provide effective Financial and Commercial support for a leading Hospitality group.
✔️ We’re looking for a finance analyst to provide effective financial and commercial support for a leading hospitality group.
A colleague once told me an old team manager of his had advised him, “everytime you write ‘me’ or ‘I’ in your jobs and emails, then make sure to write ‘you’ three times more.” I’m not sure how realistic it is is to tally off pronouns and recraft your sentences but I do agree with the sentiment. When you’re writing a content piece, steer it to your audience and their point of view.
In a job ad this is so-so. It's understandable that from time to time you may want to or have to include such phrasing. That said, it's a job ad. It’s likely to be fairly obvious you’re a recruiter, the logo or name on the job board pretty much qualifies it. Do remember your audience nonetheless and how you may be coming across. If you’re writing for/to a job seeker or a potential job seeker then why not use the term ‘employer’ or similar. Or swap it out a bit rather than the ‘my’, ‘my’, ‘my’. Whether that’s how you really feel about your job or not it can come across as, ‘I just need you to fill my job for my client so I get paid.’
This also stands for use of the word 'candidate'. A candidate is not really the same as a 'job seeker', or an 'applicant'. Someone whom we term as 'passive' in the recruitment industry is also not a candidate. They've not applied for anything yet.
Skipping to the grammar bit on this one: you use an apostrophe to indicate possession. Hence why this is called the possessive in grammar terms. If you want to show there is more than one CV (plural), then just add an S. No apostrophe needed.
✔️ The CV’s formatting was terrible. - The formatting of one CV was terrible.
✔️ The CVs’ formatting was terrible. - The formatting of more than one CV was terrible.
✔️ The CVs were sat on my desk.
Whilst in certain regions or countries it’s a colloquial phrase, it’s not correct in written language. Remember when you were at school in your language class and you had to learn phrases around the morning routine like, ‘I wash myself’ and found yourself repeating, ‘Je me leve. Je me lave. Je me bla bla.’
In a nutshell it’s when someone does something to themselves. No one else can get in contact with yourself, only you...but as it's not possible for you to get in contact with yourself then that shows how and why that sentence is wrong. It doesn't make sense.
❌ I got in contact with yourself because…
✔️ I got in contact with you because...
❌ Get in contact with myself if you want to find out more.
✔️ Get in contact with me if you want to find out more.
If you're making an initial introductory call it's probably not the best phrase to be leading with. It can come across as very salesy and if you're fairly new to sales, and there's not a level of confidence in your voice, then it risks sounding cringy.
If you're with Morgan McKinley already ;), check out the Write or Wrong Guide for help, or speak to your marketing team to see how we can help you attract the best talent and business leads with your jobs and content.
And if you're not then check out our jobs here to become part of a market-leading recruitment company.