Writing guidelines

Welcome to icould!

We’re always on the hunt for new and interesting content. If you’d like to contribute to the site, here’s a list of what we’re looking for – have a good read through before getting in touch.

We get lots of article submissions and it’s not possible to post everything. We usually consider submissions on a rolling basis towards the end of each month and will get back to you if your idea sounds like a good fit.

As we’re such a small team, we can’t always provide feedback. If you don’t hear from us it means your suggestion or submission isn’t quite right for the site this time.

Content overview

icould offers career ideas, inspiration and information to help young people make informed choices about their futures. At the heart of our site we have over 1000 personal video stories of people talking about their jobs, career paths and choices. We also feature a range of written content which falls into two main types:

  • Personal career stories and insights
  • More general advice and information on education choices, career options, job profiles, and work-related issues such as finding a job

Tell us your idea

  • Take a look at the site for an idea of typical style and content and to check you’re suggesting something new (we don’t want new pieces on subjects already covered)
  • Send us your proposed title with a short paragraph or a few bullet points outlining what your piece will cover. We will let you know if this sounds suitable and you can then get writing (see guidelines below)

Length and structure

  • Keep it brief! Users have a short attention span so our word count for guest contributions is just 350-550 words
  • Break up text – keep paragraphs short, and consider using subheadings, lists and bullet points
  • Include an introduction, setting out what you are going to cover and use the main body of your article to explain your points in more detail
  • Put any sources for further information or next steps in a ‘Find out more’ section at the end of your piece

Audience, tone and language

  • Our target users are 14-24 years old.  For general pieces, write as if you’re talking to an average 14 year-old
  • Be friendly and conversational – talk to the reader directly (use ‘you’), and feel free to use contractions (‘we’re’ rather than ‘we are’)
  • Make copy clear and easy to understand. Use short sentences and simple, everyday language – ‘pay’ or ‘salary’ is better than ‘remuneration’
  • Don’t waffle. If a word, sentence or paragraph is not adding anything then cut it out
  • Avoid technical terms or those not in common use. If you must use specific terms, explain what you mean
  • Use UK English

Style and messaging

  • Try to manage expectations and be realistic. Avoid ‘you can be anything you want’ messages but do emphasise options and alternative routes
  • Give examples and include practical advice and tips where you can
  • Check what you’ve written is consistent and makes sense
  • We are a UK-based site, so please write for a UK audience

Overview articles

  • If you’re writing an overview piece about a particular job or sector, be specific. Try and avoid statements which apply to lots of different jobs or which are subjective. People have different ideas about what is boring or interesting
  • Include information about different routes or ways to get started
  • Explain at the top of your piece what the job or sector actually is or does

We’re not looking for articles about…

  • Starting your own business (unless written from a personal perspective)
  • Outlines of specific courses
  • Masters courses

We signpost to other sites which do this well.

Author biographies

  • Please supply a brief author biog to appear at the end of the piece – two or three lines in the third person which give a sense of your career to date.  You can include details such as your childhood career dream, anything you enjoyed at school or went on to study, first or unusual jobs, plus any other conventional biog information, leading to your current job
  • Take the Buzz Quiz and tell us your Buzz animal type – we’ll include this with your biog

External links and promotion of products and services

  • Make sure any links go to sites suitable for our target audience. In general, we feature external links at the end of a piece, rather than mid-article
  • We don’t promote paid-for services or products in the main body of an article, but can usually include links and mentions in a line at the end of your piece
  • We don’t accept sponsored posts
  • We will credit you as the author

Still interested?

Please send us your article idea using our Contact us form and we can take things from there.