How to write job descriptions like a copywriter and hire top talent for your non-profit


Fragrance ads are weird. Chocolate ads are decadent. And job descriptions are …dull. We’d almost be disappointed if they weren’t. And yet, by bucking the trend, there’s an opportunity to stand out. That’s why learning how to write job descriptions like a copywriter should be high on your non-profit’s to-do list.

Why are job ads so excruciatingly boring?

Visit a recruitment site – any will do – and type in a job title. Scan the top three results and ask yourself if these ads…

  1. Have the same effect as Nytol – even before you’ve finished the first sentence?
  2. Fail to mention anything specific about the role, salary, or team culture?
  3. Try hard  to impress using lengthy words and long sentences?
  4. Read more like an elaborate shopping list?

Then fret not, because the bar is low – so low you’ll be able to limbo dance under it and outclass your rivals faster than Maverick in Top Gun.

Copywriting for non-profits

How to write job outlines like a pro copywriter in just a few simple steps…

Before we dive into the detail we need to ask a basic but important question.

What does a copywriter do?

They’re masters of most media

A copywriter creates content – like blogs, ads, emails, and web pages – with the intention of exciting a specific response from their audience. The desired outcome could be (a) clicking a link; (b) subscribing to a newsletter or (c) donating money.

They’re psychologically savvy

Good copywriters understand customer behaviour, the sector they operate in, and are expert persuaders. They know how to read data too – scouring platforms like Google Analytics to understand what makes their audience tick.

If this sounds like a tall order, worry not. Learning how to write job descriptions like a copywriter doesn’t mean you need to master the art overnight. But learning a few tips and tricks will help elevate your ads above the humdrum crowd.

How can I write job descriptions like a copywriter?

Here are a few tips to get you started.

Read great content often

There’s no substitute for reading. Next time you’re at the train station read the billboard ads – paying particular attention to headings, tone, and structure. 

Even if you hate shopping channels tune in and listen Believe it or not, most presenter dialogue is scripted in advance by a direct-response copywriter.

Along the way collect these examples – snapping photos, tearing out pages, or copying and pasting – to create a swipe file you can return to when inspiration has run dry.

Know thy audience

To write job descriptions like a copywriter become obsessed with your audience’s questions. . 

But how  will you know what these challenges are?

  1. Ask your audience by creating a poll and posting it on social media or via your email distribution list
  2. Visit industry forums and eavesdrop on the digital noise – what are your prospects most vocal about? 
  3. Research competitor content – what do they think the biggest challenges are for your customers and industry?

How to write job ads for charities

Master the art of SEO

Writing great content is hard. But optimising it for search engines is a whole new level. Liberally peppering your job ad  with well-researched keywords will help prospects find you.

Where should you start?

  • Search like a customer. What queries pop up in the ‘People Also Ask?’ section on Google? Use these in your content and master the art of answering them well (check out our previous article on snippets if you want to take it next level).
  • Use Google Ads or Ahrefs to identify the keywords and phrases your customers are using to search for your B2B product or service – then weave them into your content 
  • Keen to know what topics are trending in your sector? Then type your keyword or phrase into Answer The Public to get a list of categorised questions you can use. .

Less is better

Copywriters understand the importance of brevity. It’s not about them – it’s about their audience. Which is why short sentences (no more than twenty words in length) work best. 

They’re also experts at reigning in their egos. Long words serve only to confuse readers – who, by the way, have an average reading age of 8 years old in the UK.

Create a rhythm

Vary sentence lengths. That way, readers are more likely to engage – because the words flow like music. Creating a rhythm. And increasing your chances of conversion.

Content writing tips

Writing your job description

So, how do you write job descriptions like a copywriter? Having followed the steps outlined it’s time to fire up your Word document and create your first draft.

  • Create intrigue early on. Remember, you’re still telling a story so think like a writer. What can you say that’ll blow them away?
  • Don’t forget specifics. Tell your applicants what you do, why you’re good at it, and precisely what the role will involve too.
  • Create a simple call to action:
    • Email to request your application pack
    • Click this link to complete your online application – it takes just five minutes
  • Manage expectations by outlining the process:
    • What will happen if they’re unsuccessful?
    • What’s the next step if they pass phase one?
    • How soon do you want to hire for the position?

As you can see, this is like walking a tightrope. You need to turn snore-inducing facts into intriguing content while creating a first-class user experience – so applicants remain engaged. 

Would you rather hand the writing to someone else instead?

Then book a free consultation with one of our experts today and let’s talk content over a coffee.

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