Voice and tone
We help people — not resumes or robots — get jobs. People.
So let’s talk in a way people understand and relate to. Let’s make sure people from all backgrounds feel welcomed.
Voice is central to the personality of the brand. It stays consistent. Like a person’s personality. Our voice is based on our core values.
Conversational, not overly casual
A good conversation starts with everyone being comfortable. That’s why we speak in simple, everyday language. When in doubt, ask this: How would I say it over a cup of coffee or tea?
We help all people get jobs. So all people need to have their voice heard. We consult with inclusion resource groups. We let people tell their own stories, even if it’s not strictly our brand voice.
Inclusive, not patronizing
We use respectful terms. Accessibility is a priority not an afterthought.
Modern, not complicated
We speak to the current world of work. So we use the latest data and terminology. But we avoid slang and technical jargon that wouldn’t be understood by all audiences.
Bold, not brash
We’re more than a job search engine. We’re the voice of better work. So we take stands. We make brave statements. We even use wit at the right times. But we always remain respectful.
While our voice is grounded and steady, our tone is constantly shifting. Sometimes we’re serious, other times lighthearted. We can reassure people at times. Or inspire them at others.
Most importantly, we serve diverse people — both employers and those looking for jobs. That means we offer flexibility with our tone to meet the needs of everyone, in every moment.
Writing about people
Indeed strives to help job seekers who face barriers. When writing for the brand, you’ll often write about these barrier-specific groups. It’s important to use the most current, respectful terms.
A good guideline is that people don’t want to be defined by their barrier. First and foremost, they are people.
someone with a neurodivergence
confined to a wheelchair, bound to a wheelchair
uses a wheelchair
the disabled, handicapped
person with a disability
normal person, healthy person
person without a disability
handicapped parking or bathroom
accessible parking or bathroom
addict, substance abuser
someone with a history of substance abuse
people, candidates with criminal records. (When writing to employers about this group)
gay man, gay person, lesbian (When writing to this group of job seekers)
all gender, gender neutral they (use this gender-neutral pronoun unless gender is known)
all gender, “they” (use this gender-neutral pronoun unless gender is otherwise known)
Words to avoid
Understanding the history of words helps reveal how deeply embedded bias can be. Here are some common terms to avoid when writing for Indeed. But don’t be hard on yourself if you make a mistake. As culture changes, language evolves. We’re all learning and working to be better.
do not allow list, blocked list
sold down the river (origin: slavery)
peanut gallery (origin: the cheap seating area in vaudeville acts reserved for marginalized groups)
grandfathered (origin: suppression of black voters)
primary, main trunk
meeting, huddle, jam sesh
stakeholder (origin: American and British colonialism)
supporter, interested party, partner
team, friends, chosen family
bossy, feisty, nag, irrational, hysterical
guys, gals, ladies (when referring to a group of people)
folks, people, friends, everyone, y’all (don’t assume everyone uses the same pronoun)
stand up, all hands meeting
forum, town hall, team meeting
These are partial lists. For more guidance visit the AP Stylebook.
Style and grammar
Title case or sentence case for headlines, headings, and buttons?
Sentence case. Post a job not Post A Job.
Only capitalize proper nouns.
Periods after headlines and taglines?
Only if the headline is more than one sentence.
Yes. Use a comma between each listed item. We invited entertainers, recruiters, and veterans.
Are contractions OK?
Using these helps us come across as conversational.
B2B or b2b?
How do we use OK?
OK, OK’d, OK’ing, OKs, per the Associated Press.
Not Ok or okay.
Yes, only for emails and social. Use sparingly.
Don’t use emoji in product.
Just use one. Only for moments of real enthusiasm.
You got the job! but not You changed your settings!
Specific, not vague
Avoid terms like “many” and “a lot.”
Use vetted data and statistics. Cite your sources.
User’s perspective, not ours
“Attract more candidates with…” not “Indeed lets you….”
It’s about the user, not us.
As part of our commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging, Indeed makes reaching all of our users a priority. Indeed strives to be a leader in accessibility.
- Create a hierarchy, with the most important information first.
- Create clear headings and subheadings in sequential order.
- Use plain language and familiar words.
- Write short sentences.
- Write for a 6th-grade reading level.
- Avoid ALL CAPS, except for short labels at small sizes.
Writing for adaptation to other languages
- Use active voice.
- Avoid reference to country-specific pop culture or sports.
- Avoid idioms and puns. They often don’t translate well.
- Use contractions sparingly.
- Avoid using synonyms for the same word in the same sentence.
- Avoid unnecessary abbreviations and acronyms.
- Above all, strive for clarity.
Principles for digital media
People who are blind often use text-to-voice screen readers. Keep these tools in mind as you write.
Don’t use references to direction.
Avoid “See below”
Use “In the following section”
Use descriptive alt text for images.
Avoid repetitive or generic alt text. If it does not offer value then it can be marked as decorative.
Write what makes the image important to the content or valuable to the user.
Example of generic alt text: “someone looking nervous”
Example of descriptive, inclusive, direct, and concise alt text: “a person looking uncomfortable as the only black, non-cisgender applicant at this job fair.”
For hashtags, use camel case.
This is a partial list. For more guidance visit the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative.
Better hiring begins here
This award-winning campaign for India pulls from the insight that people still often rely on their own referral networks to hire, despite the shift to online recruitment for small and medium businesses. Our campaign highlights the humorous situations that might occur in these scenarios.
The now-iconic “Nicht Ingrid” campaign from our German market is an example of humor done well, in an authentic and culturally-relevant tone. Her truly German first name was the perfect vehicle to get Indeed to resonate with people. Because for Germans, Indeed sounds like “Ingrid”.
The Rising Voices program combines an inclusive and visionary perspective of the world of work, rooted in Indeed’s understanding that while talent is universal, opportunity is not.