The Recruitment Reading List: The Ad Special

Welcome back to another Recruitment Reading List, an article especially designed to assist your recruitment career. This time around we’re focusing on Marketing. If you don’t know why, you’re probably in the wrong game.

Marketing is Recruitment.

And Recruitment is Marketing.

They’re one and the same.

A lot of the time, the Marketing you’ll utilise in recruitment has nothing to do with the written word. For a long part of the day, you’ll be on the phone. Selling.

Be that to candidates or clients, you’re marketing yourself. You’re marketing a job. A candidate. A lifestyle. A change of scenery.

So, when you head to your keyboard to sell, at best you’re not very well prepared.

Recruiters aren’t taught great copywriting. Unless they head out for a copywriting course, obviously.

Selling in writing is an art.

An art that has new practices and tips all the time. But, the basic  principles remain. So here are the books I’ve bought for my own learning that all revolve around learning the best principles, from the best in the game.


Scientific Advertising

Claude C Hopkins

Remember when I said there was sage advice that hadn’t altered over many years? This book backs up that claim.

Written in 1923, the insights into consumer behaviour have stayed true throughout a huge change in what consumers are looking for.

The world was an incredibly different place then. As you’d expect over 94 years of history. But this book is as good a guide to your sales writing as anything you’ll find.

Hopkins’ desire in writing it was to explain the basic rules. The rules of how people advertise and more importantly why people buy. True whatever you’re selling. Want your returns to be a forgone conclusion rather than a guess? This is the book for you.

David Ogilvy, who’s generally considered an oracle on advertising, has previously acclaimed this book.

Commenting “Nobody should be allowed to have anything to do with advertising until they have read this book seven times.” And that it changed the course of his life. 

Still struggling to get decent applications to your job ads?

Buy it here


Great Leads

Michael Masterton & John Forde

80% of an ad or sales letter’s success comes from the headline and lead. Yes, that means if you’re writing a business email to someone, which happens more than you care to think about in recruitment, the title of the email is crucial. But so is the lead.

This book offers an easy to follow guide on how to maximise the potential of your job ads or sales emails. So that people actually buy into what you’re writing. Which in recruitment is absolutely paramount.

Even before you start to write, the process of your ad or email will start. And this book shows how that process works.

Do you want to know how copywriters are so successful? Do you want to know the secrets they’d prefer you didn’t?

Then having this book on your desk is absolutely critical to your career.

Buy it here


The Adweek Copywriting Handbook

Joseph Sugarman

If you’re writing ads, the end goal is an application. If you’re writing an email the end goal is probably someone using your services. They’re good things to try and attain, but not huge decisions on the reader’s behalf.

Imagine trying to sell an aeroplane. In a magazine ad. Your writing would have to be pretty good in order to get that done. But that’s what Joe Sugarman did.

Want to write copy that will entice, motivate, and move customers to buy? Of course you do. You’re a Recruiter.

And you’re selling your own brand every single day. If that brand’s sloppy, misses the point or isn’t appreciated, you won’t go far. If it’s slick, practiced and engaging… you’re going to make a lot of money.

Maybe enough money to afford to sell your third corporate jet you don’t use that much, in a magazine ad.

Buy it here


Breakthrough Advertising

Eugene Schwartz

This book’s not cheap and is really only for the dedicated. Not just due to the price however. It’s punchy. But that’s what you’d probably expect for a sales guide often referred to as ‘a gospel on copy’. It’s truly one of a kind. And may explain the £550 price tag.

You may even need to read this book several times before you understand the theories within. Schwarz, the Author was a genius by all accounts.

There aren’t copy and paste approaches, it’s a guide to help you to be different. To help you create different kinds of ads. Your market is changing. Almost daily.

Your network hangs out in different places. They buy differently. They interact differently. And you need to change with them or you’ll be left behind.

Do you want to stand out? Do you want to be different to everyone else who does what you do? Then this book is where you need to start. Yes, it’s a lot to spend on a book. But place one person from a direct consequence, and you’ll be annoyed you didn’t buy it sooner.

Buy it here


And for more articles in the series on recruitment reading, simply click here and get your industry reading sorted. All designed to give you an edge ahead of your competitors and make you more money.