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Posted May 16, 2016 by

Improving your writing and getting career prospects

Woman writing photo by StockUnlimited.com

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

You may be able to walk the talk, but can you write it?

It’s no big secret that writing skills factor in greatly when it comes to getting and keeping a job, especially in such a competitive market. In a study conducted by Grammarly, out of 100 native English speakers’ LinkedIn profiles, those with fewer grammatical errors had more promotions and held higher positions in their respective companies.

With this in mind, it’s no wonder writing is a crucial communication tool for those in the workforce. In order to be fully able to convey your ideas, you need to articulate them clearly to other people. Writing often serves as the medium we relate ideas with, whether sending and responding to an email or updating our resumes for future employers.

Despite this overwhelming piece of evidence, not everyone pays attention to improving their writing. Do you want to remain stagnant in your job, or do you want to grow and get career prospects? Here are a few tips on how to become a better writer in the workforce:

1. Be a wide reader

You are what you read. There are numerous benefits linked to reading, and among the most notable would be improved writing skills.

In order to be great, you need to take inspiration from those who already are. Train your brain to tune into good writing practices by reading extensively. Others’ writing styles can certainly influence your own if you read them enough. Take time to sit back with a book, a well-written blog entry, or even browse through the news at least once a day. Aside from being able to unwind after or before the stressful day ahead, you’ll also be able to acquire new knowledge.

This tip is especially helpful if you’re in the creative industry, where creative and powerful writing is the main tool of the trade, but it can also be beneficial for simple business writing. Noting some common trends in your favorite writers like style, grammar, and tone go a long way in helping to develop your own voice. You also learn new things in the process, which you can incorporate in the other areas of your life.

2. Read your work backwards

It sounds silly at first, but it’s effective in weeding out any grammatical errors you’ve missed in your last work email. Give it a shot, and it could save you from an embarrassing typo.

Our minds are programmed to autocorrect any minor errors they encounter. Remember those online tests that ask you to spot the “the” in a sentence? You may have been one of the majority who filtered out the extra “the”, in which case this second tip can come in handy to avoid any similar grammatical slip-ups.

Start from the last word of your composition up to the first word you’ve written. Since you’re no longer operating in the context of the content, your focus stays on the form of the text. If you’re already aware of what errors you’re on the lookout for, you’ll be able to spot any repetitive words, misplaced punctuation, and faulty spacing. Note this only works on a structural level, and not if you’re looking for something else like content relevance and fact-checking.

3. Turn spell check on

This doesn’t necessarily improve your skill, but it’s an easy fix if you’re in a hurry to compose an error-free report you’ll be delivering to your bosses the next day. Ruby Hardman, an editor from ResumesPlanet shared: “We can’t always be on top of our writing game, and having technology on our side helps in taking some of the load off our shoulders.”

Turn spell check on so you can automatically spot mistakes without having to painstakingly go through your work word per word. Don’t take this to mean you can let your guard down. In fact, this should give you time to focus on other aspects of your writing. If you’re writing up a resume, take the time to organize the details of it. If you’re writing a speech for a presentation, use it to focus on your tone and fine-tuning your content to the audience you’re presenting to.

Just remember that spell check isn’t perfect, either. There will be some errors it will miss and some idioms it may misinterpret. In that case, always have a dictionary ready to counter-check the results. Sometimes you’ll still have to do the heavy lifting in refining your work, but it will all pay off with a thriving career, and improved communication between yourself and other people.

Get on it write away!

Writing is an often overlooked skill that plays a huge, though subtle, role in leveraging your career. In his article on Harvard Business Review, iFixit’s Kyle Wiens openly declared he wasn’t too keen on hiring people with poor grammar, precisely because they don’t make good employees. According to Wiens, these job seekers lack the critical thinking and orientation to detail that efficient workers and leaders possess.

In order to project the right image to your employer, make sure to be on top of your writing game immediately. Read the right things to absorb some of their influence, proofread your work extensively, and if you’re in a rush, spell check is always a safe option. Just make sure to scan and countercheck for any missed marks.

So what are you waiting for? Become a better writer, and increase your chances of moving up in your industry today.

For more tips to improve your job search and build a career, head over to our blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

Paige Donahue, guest writer

Paige Donahue, guest writer

Paige Donahue is an editor and blogger from Pennsylvania. She is a traveler and a collector of some sort – coins, comic books, and stories. You can connect with her via Twitter.

Posted December 19, 2014 by

Modern Career Paths: Achieving Web Analytics Certification

Eshna Verma

Eshna Verma

Analytics is the process of looking at a website’s traffic and conversion numbers and trying to improve and optimize the performance of the site, the traffic flow, and sales. For most website owners, it’s a sideshow to the real concern: sales. Most business owners and webmasters want to know how to get more people to the site and how to get those people to pay for something, be it an affiliate program or a homegrown product or service offering.

But, most business owners and webmasters need an analytics specialist. Is that you? That depends. If you love combing through numbers and optimizing things, it might be. Here’s how to get your web analytics certification. (more…)

Posted September 16, 2014 by

College Graduates, Desire to be Better Professionals on Your Jobs? 35 Ways to Improve Yourselves

To be better professionals on their jobs, college graduates can do any of these 35 things in the following post.

We live fast-paced lives; our careers are certainly no different. Sometimes it can be difficult to stop for a moment to think about professional development. The reality is, though, that by choosing one area improvement to focus on at a time, we can become better versions of ourselves – and better

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Posted September 02, 2014 by

Tough in Your Search for Entry Level Jobs? Words to Inspire You for Success

While those of you searching for entry level jobs might sometimes feel like giving up, hopefully the following post can inspire you to keep going.

Job Search can be stressful and take much longer that you expect. It’s not easy to go through the pressure at times. Success comes to those who keep going, positively, enthusiastically and with a plan. Here are some inspiring sayings that might motivate you or help carry on when the going gets tough: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Don’t Quit When things

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Posted August 18, 2014 by

College Graduates, 3 Ways to Separate Yourself from the Competition When Searching for Jobs

As college graduates begin searching for jobs, they need to stand out from other job seekers.  Learn three ways they can separate themselves from the competition in the following post.

One of a job candidates’ biggest worries? The competition. How are their credentials? How much experience do they have? What is their online presence like? How good are they during the job interview? Do they have an inside track to this job? While it’s completely normal to be concerned about your

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Posted August 14, 2014 by

Want to Write a Resume Recruiters Will Notice? 7 Tips to Achieve this Goal

Job seekers, if you’re wondering how to impress recruiters with your resumes, the following post has seven tips that will help you achieve this goal.

Having been one, I know this for a fact: Recruiters are a cynical bunch! Having spent a large portion of their professional lives reading resumes, they have seen every trick in the book. And this makes them extremely hard to impress…

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Posted July 09, 2014 by

3 Reasons Why Graduates Should Find an Internship

If you are a college graduate looking to get some work experience and potentially discover a career, the following post shares three reasons why you should find an internship.

Featured: Featured Students always ask me if they should try to intern after college. My response is that it always depends on the student’s circumstance and previous experience. One of our campus ambassadors from UCF just graduated and is interning at UniversalMusic Groupthis summer. I asked Kailee why she decided to intern after graduation and

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Posted June 19, 2014 by

What You May Not Know as a Student or Someone Starting an Entry Level Job

As a student or young professional working on an entry level job, there are certain things you may not have learned in the classroom concerning your career.  In the following post, learn what they are, as well as get some career advice.

Whether you’re about to enter college or just starting out your career, figuring out what to do with your life is one of the biggest challenges one will ever face. And despite all you learn about math, science, business, arts, sociology, psychology, history, and English; you still never feel 100%

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Posted June 16, 2014 by

College Students, Need the Right Contacts to Find Jobs? 3 Tips to Build Your Network

For college students to find jobs these days, it is a good idea to have contacts who can assist them.  In the following post, learn three tips they can use to build a network.

As you build a great career, there are few things more valuable than a great personal network. And yet, many of the tasks that must be done to build a truly extraordinary network seem to go ignored. Perhaps it is because these tasks take us outside our comfort zones. Or because they require genuine effort. No

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Posted June 09, 2014 by

Are Recruiters Interviewing You by Skype? Remember These Tips

Before interviewing with any recruiters by Skype, the following post has some tips to help you prepare.

Featured: Featured Several of our Campus Ambassadors are graduating and in the middle of the job hunt, and many of them have told us about the use of Skype for interviews. I spoke with our former ambassador, Caitlin Beck, who just graduated from Fordham about her experience and tips for other young grads doing Skype interviews:1. Treat it

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