As the biggest independent graduate job board in the UK, is brilliant at helping graduates and recruiters find each other – but with a complex audience segmentation, it needed a style and tone of voice that was appropriate and familiar to all.

The brief

To research the different kinds of audience, run a one-day workshop and create a tone of voice guide that would make sure all messages and online content could be written in a warm, friendly and consistent style by multiple people at the company.

The Thinking

I began by carrying out a website audit, which showed varying levels of formality. This provided many of the questions – and much of the content – for a one-day workshop with the directors.

In the workshop we focused on elements like the company’s vision, mission and values, audience and competitor analysis, customer personas and plenty of exercises!

The copy

The nature of this work is clearly only applicable to, so it’s not something I can share here (plus the final document was over 10 pages long).

However, here’s a brief segment of the final guide:

How do we communicate?

We’re informal, but not chatty. We write and speak in a tone of voice that is familiar, but avoid using local dialect or slang.

We’re professional, not wacky. Finding a job and a career is serious business, so we’re not ‘down with the kids’, which can often seem contrived, patronising and insincere.

We’re friendly and warm. We can remain professional without sounding too detached or distant by concentrating on the positives and not dwelling on the negatives.

We’re calm, not lively. We don’t use caps lock or excessive exclamation marks to reflect excitement. Finding a graduate job can be exciting, but it also requires a sensible, measured approach.

We offer a touch of humour. This isn’t about telling jokes, but reflecting our human side – enough to show our audience that there are real people behind the words and the website.

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