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The latest news, trends and information to help you with your recruiting efforts.

Posted July 08, 2016 by

Hiring managers value first impressions and referrals

Friendly woman in business formal outfit photo by StockUnlimited.com

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

When attending your next career networking event, remember that hiring managers are watching your every move from the moment you enter the door until the second they begin networking with another job seeker. You can separate yourself from the competition by making the right first impression with recruiters. In addition, you should tell potential employers if you know someone at the particular company or organization. Referrals improve your chances of getting a foot in the door because a current employee can vouch for you, which hiring managers will respect. Internal referrals—referrals made by employees working within the organization—are the best kind of referrals to obtain. Never pass up an opportunity to mention people you know who work for an organization, particularly if you have genuine relationships with those individuals. This isn’t name dropping; it’s networking.

Eden Chen, Co-Founder of Fishermen Labs, shares his opinions on networking to find jobs and how networking influences hiring managers.

“Networking is the best way to find a job no matter what industry you are in. Those of us in hiring positions are constantly receiving resumes from recruiters and job applicants, and it’s really impossible for us to sift through the good resumes from the bad ones. When either meeting someone personally who impresses us or getting introduced to someone through a trusted friend, we’re much more willing to look at a resume and contact the applicant, and we also have social pressure to do so.”

Find more networking tips on our blog and follow us on LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook.

Eden Chen, Co-Founder of Fishermen Labs

Eden Chen, Co-Founder of Fishermen Labs

Eden Chen is the Co-Founder of Fishermen Labs, one of the fastest growing software development agencies in the US. Eden is a serial entrepreneur and heads up various other startups including Knife and Fox (design agency), Ctrl Collective (co-working), Glo Bible (app with 3 million+ downloads), Zolo Studios (game studio), and Dev Crew (international software development).

Posted July 06, 2016 by

What makes job seekers highly effective: Part 2

When job seekers find immediate success, what are they doing right? How are they standing out from the rest of the applicants who earn interviews?

Those job seeker secrets to success were discussed in detail as part of the Successful Job Seekers Research portion of the 2016 Job Preparedness Indicator Study. The survey was conducted in March 2015 by the Career Advisory Board (CAB) established by DeVry University. As part of the research, over 500 job seekers were surveyed and the key findings and data from the research are highlighted in the accompanying video featuring Steven Rothberg, founder of College Recruiter, moderating a discussion with Alexandra Levit, a consultant, speaker, and workplace expert who has written six career advice books, and was formerly a nationally syndicated career columnist for the Wall Street Journal, and Madeleine Slutsky of DeVry University. The interview and discussion takes place from Google’s Chicago offices during the NACE 2016 Conference in June.

Read the first article in this series: What makes a job seeker highly effective, Part 1 and learn more in the video below:


If the video is not playing or displaying properly click here.

What criteria qualifies one as a successful job seeker? According to the 2016 Job Preparedness Indicator Study, this includes:

A. Active job seekers who secured a job offer within six months of their first interview.
B. Passive candidates who already had a job, were recruited, and accepted an offer within 6 months of being recruited.

“That’s pretty successful,” says Levit. “If you’re able to get a new job within six months, you’re doing something right.”

According to the study, the first thing successful job seekers do is target their job search to a specific company.

“The conventional wisdom is that if you just send your resume out to as many people as possible, it’s a number game; eventually something will hit,” says Levit. “In fact, this is the opposite of what we found to be true.”

According to the survey data, 51 percent of active job seekers applied to five or fewer positions, and 66 percent applied to 10 or fewer jobs.

“The majority of our successful job seekers are really going after specific companies they want to work at,” says Levit.

They also know that they are qualified for those jobs, before submitting applications, says Levit. The research showed that 90 percent of job seekers wanted to be at least 75 percent qualified before applying to a targeted company and job, meaning they fit at least seven out of the 10 requirements of the job description before applying. In addition, 41 percent wanted to be at least 90 percent qualified before applying – meaning they fit nine out of the 10 requirements of the job description before applying.

Successful job seekers also customize their resume and job search, and do significant research before putting together their cover letter, resume, and online profile for their target company. The survey results showed that 67 percent of successful job seekers reached out to the company contact person, and 32 percent reached out to their network to get inside info on the target company before applying. In addition, 84 percent tailored their resume to the exact specifics of the job they were targeting, updating it for each job. Translation: A targeted resume is much more effective than a one-size-fits-all resume.

“This is something the Career Advisory Board has been saying for years,” says Levit. “Yes, unfortunately, every resume has to be customized if you want to be taken seriously. That’s what successful job seekers are doing.”

Hiring managers pick up a resume and are going to know, within 20 seconds, if the applicant is a good fit for the job, says Levit. That’s why it’s important to tailor/customize each resume for a specific job.

The study also uncovered some surprising news for job seekers: Successful job seekers don’t necessarily consider job-seeking a full-time role.

Levit said this: “I have to admit, this is counter to the advice I have always given, which has been ‘if you are in the job market and not currently employed, you should be treating your job search like a full-time job,’ meaning you are spending seven or eight hours a day on (the job search). That’s not what successful job seekers are doing.”

The study showed that 47 percent of successful job seekers conducted job search activities a total of one to three hours a day and 45 percent spent less than an hour per day on the job search. This includes writing resumes, networking, searching for jobs, and researching companies, among other job search duties.

“Whatever they are doing is effective and efficient,” says Levitt. “It’s not quantity, it’s quality.”

The bottom line? Successful job seekers put together job searches that target a specific company and job, and write resumes and cover letters tailored to that specific job. They work to connect with people inside the organization for which they are applying, and doing all of this is helping them land jobs faster than those who are not conducting a specific, targeted job search.

Watch the video to learn more about what makes a job seeker highly effective.

For more advice for job seekers, check out our blog and follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Posted July 04, 2016 by

How college students can network professionally

Tablet photo by StockUnlimited.com

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

While obtaining a higher education, it’s a smart idea for college students to gather some contacts along the way. Building a professional network in college can be helpful when searching for internships and entry-level jobs. Don’t underestimate classmates, professors, or anyone else who can assist with your job search. John Moriarty, Director of the Career Development Center at Barry University, gives advice on how college students can build a professional network in school.

“The old adage, “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” is as true today as it was 50 years ago. Building a professional network is the key to unlocking the secrets to success and scores of unknown opportunities. The internet makes it possible to identify professionals in your chosen field; passion, persistence, and determination will enable you to connect with those professionals.

The first and most obvious place for college students to find professionals to connect with while still in school is LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a professional social media platform where professionals create profiles detailing their professional experience, expertise, and education. Using the advanced search feature in LinkedIn, students can search various criteria to find the right person to connect with.

Armed with a list of professionals who are working in college students’ desired fields, it is now time for students to contact the professionals about conducting an informational interview. Ask to meet with professionals (15 to 20 minutes) to learn more about what it takes to succeed in their professions and get advice as job seekers just beginning their careers. Request a face-to-face meeting, but if that is not possible, ask for a phone interview. This is an excellent opportunity for students to build a rapport with professionals and impress them with passion, enthusiasm, and a desire to succeed in the industry.

Besides LinkedIn, college students should take advantage of other internet resources such as industry association websites, news articles, and blogs to identify connections. In addition, students should use the resources of faculty, staff, and the career development center to build their networks.”

Learn more about building a professional network in college on our blog, and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

John Moriarty, Director of the Career Development Center at Barry University

John Moriarty, Director of the Career Development Center at Barry University

John Moriarty has an M.B.A. from National University in San Diego, California, and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Florida. A native of South Florida, and a Marine Corps veteran, John spent nine years recruiting employees for various local and national companies before joining the Barry University Career Development Center staff. John has served as a Career Counselor, an Assistant Director, and is currently serving as the Director of the Career Development Center.

Posted July 03, 2016 by

Networking tips for introverted job seekers

Woman with glasses covering her mouth with a document photo by StockUnlimited.com

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

While being shy is not a crime, it is something job seekers need to overcome to network. For introverted college students and recent graduates, networking might seem impossible or intimidating when trying to find internships or entry-level jobs. However, that doesn’t mean introverts can’t interact well with people. Knowing what to do ahead of time and practicing it can make introverted job seekers more comfortable when networking. The more confident they are networking, the better their chances of learning about job opportunities, including those in the hidden job market. Peter Margaritis, Chief Edutainment Officer of The Accidental Accountant, shares networking tips to help introverts with their job search.

“Tip 1: Smile and have a positive attitude, which is displayed by projecting inviting body language, a.k.a. don’t cross your arms over your chest.

Tip 2: Ask the other person questions first after you introduce yourself to reduce the level of your nervousness. Ask questions like, where do you work and what role do you play in the organization? These are just some easy questions to start the conversation.

Tip 3: Don’t sit with or follow your network at an event. Break away and meet someone new.”

Want to learn more about networking? Visit our blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

Peter Margaritis, Chief Edutainment Officer of The Accidental Accountant

Peter Margaritis, Chief Edutainment Officer of The Accidental Accountant

Peter A. Margaritis, CPA, is a speaker, educator, trainer, humorist, and self-proclaimed Chief “Edutainment” Officer for The Accidental Accountant™. Partnering with the Business Learning Institute, his firm helps accountants and other business leaders to increase their profitability by strengthening their business success skills and improving morale through better communication. He is a member of the Ohio Society of CPAs, Georgia Society of CPAs, National Speakers Association, and the American Institute of CPAs. Peter is also the author of Improv Is No Joke: Using Improvisation to Create Positive Results in Leadership and Life. www.theaccidentalaccountant.com

Posted June 29, 2016 by

What makes a job seeker highly effective: Part 1

The 2016 Job Preparedness Indicator Study surveyed 500 U.S.-based hiring managers and measured gaps between what hiring managers are looking for and what candidates are bringing to the table. In addition, the study focused on job seeker success factors, and highlighted key elements of a successful job search.

The survey was conducted in March 2015 by the Career Advisory Board (CAB) established by DeVry University. Key findings from the study, related to issues facing hiring managers, are analyzed in the article below, and the accompanying video features Steven Rothberg, founder of College Recruiter, moderating a discussion about the findings with CAB co-chairs Madeleine Slutsky of DeVry University and Alexandra Levit, a consultant, speaker, and workplace expert who has written six career advice books, and was formerly a nationally syndicated career columnist for the Wall Street Journal.

This is the first in a two-part series analyzing the study and panel discussion with Rothberg, Slutsky, and Levit. The video was conducted from Google’s Chicago offices during NACE 2016 in June:


If the video is not playing or displaying properly click here.

Two intriguing factors emerged from the 2016 Job Preparedness Indicator Study, which is now in its sixth year:

1. Hiring managers focus on 23 key soft skills: Hiring managers are focusing on a list of 23 key skills they believe today’s job seeker should have. Those 23 skills are:

  • Integrity
  • Work ethic
  • Time management
  • Written communication
  • Problem solving
  • Adaptability
  • Technology skills
  • Ability to work in a matrixed environment
  • Strategic perspective
  • Networking skills
  • Business acumen
  • Global competence
  • Accountability
  • Self-motivation
  • Verbal communication
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Assimilation of new information
  • Decision making
  • Analytical skills
  • Innovation
  • Presentation skills
  • Real-world work experience
  • Risk taking

2. Hiring managers are unrealistic: Today’s hiring managers are unrealistic, according to the study. They expect job seekers to not only bring all 23 key skills to the table, but also require candidates to have the right education, related experience, and be a perfect interviewer, among other requirements.

These requirements are affecting hiring decisions and that should concern hiring managers, says Levit.

“When we look at the list of 23 skills that (hiring managers) said were important, they expect candidates to come through the door having a check box next to every single one of those skills,” says Levit. “You also have to be from the perfect industry, you have to be from the perfect background, you have to have graduated from a top university, and you have to be the perfect interviewer.”

Levit continued: “Essentially they want somebody who has the complete and total package and aren’t really willing to say ‘maybe this person is strong in x, but we will have to train them on y.’”

These stringent hiring requirements were okay a few years ago, says Levit, because there were more job seekers in the market than what company’s knew what to do with. But the playing field has changed, and hiring managers need to be more open.

“As it becomes more of a job seekers market, with the recession well behind us, this is going to be a problem because you are going to see positions that are going to be left empty for many months, and that the people who are still doing the jobs of two or three individuals will start to burn out, and then they will leave, then you will need to fill more positions.”

One positive note for hiring managers emerged from the study: Today’s college graduates are entering the workforce better prepared than they have in the past two, five or ten years. Translation: Today’s entry-level job seeker is advanced in all facets of the process.

“I see the needle moving here,” says Levit. “Universities are preparing college students a little bit better for the work world and they are coming out with some of these (23 key) skills already.”

However, even though college grads are better prepared, hiring managers and employers may overlook these, well-trained, rising stars because of strict hiring requirements. The trend isn’t about to change soon, either.

“We don’t see this trend really going anywhere, which makes me concerned for hiring managers, because generally they are pretty unrealistic,” says Levit.

For more advice for employers and hiring managers, check out our blog and follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Posted June 16, 2016 by

Networking tips for college students and recent grads

Businessman and businesswoman chatting in the office pantry photo by StockUnlimited.com

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

To improve their chances of landing entry-level jobs, college students and recent graduates should engage in networking. Professional networking often includes but is not limited to talking to and building relationships with the right people who can advance their careers. Students and recent grads also have to think about branding themselves personally and professionally. Networking is a long process, and students should begin early. So how can job seekers network successfully? Bruce Harpham, Founder of Projectmanagementhacks.com, shares two networking tips for college students and recent graduates.

Join a professional association to explore a career interest. For example, the Project Management Institute is great if you are interested in project management or the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Institute if you are interested in finance. For the best results, attend an event and then ask to meet one-on-one with an association leader. Many professional associations have free or low cost fees for students. Spending three to four hours per month attending networking events and talking with an industry leader is worth 10 hours of online job search.

Prepare for coffee networking meetings. Come prepared with three to five specific questions written in a notebook to ask professionals about their careers. Make sure none of the questions are answerable with a two minute Google search. Putting 15 minutes of preparation time into developing good questions means you will gather better information and create more effective relationships. I still follow this practice today and it regularly impresses the people I meet.”

Need more networking tips for your job search? Go to our blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

Bruce Harpham, Founder of Projectmanagementhacks.com

Bruce Harpham, Founder of Projectmanagementhacks.com

Bruce Harpham is the Founder of Projectmanagementhacks.com, a career development resource, and freelance writer. Bruce’s writing has appeared in CIO, InfoWorld, CSO, ProjectManagement.com, and other publications. Bruce lives in Toronto, Canada.

Posted June 13, 2016 by

Top 9 excuses for not attending a job interview

 

Oh no! Something has gone horribly wrong and now you can’t attend the job interview! What can you possibly say to the company to make them give you another chance? Well, whatever you are going to say, may I suggest that you say it as early as possible? Call in a timely fashion. This will show them you respect them and their time. This is vital if you want to make certain that you’ll get another chance. (more…)

Posted June 11, 2016 by

10 summer internship opportunities for 2016

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

Do you imagine yourself with your own business or want to improve your skills? The best way to become a shark in any industry or business is to gain experience through a summer internship with top world companies and organizations.

Internships in Europe or USA’s top companies can help you to get skills you never had before. After the program, you will return to your home country with a backpack full of knowledge and skills. In this article, we’ve collected a list of 10 summer internship opportunities in the U.S. and abroad for 2016-2017 that may catch your interest.

U.S. Embassy in London and Paris – Internship in International Relations

Generally, U.S. Embassy’s Internship in IR is an unpaid program. Nevertheless, they offer a Pamela Harriman Foreign Service Fellowship for students majoring in international affairs. This fellowship provides a $5000 grant to one intern at each U.S. embassy abroad. Start with interning at the U.S. Department of State, and you will have a chance to land the Fellowship. But don’t be upset if you didn’t get the grant; interning at the Embassy could give you a perfect ability to start your international career and gain positive experience in your field. This is not just an ability to work at the embassy; it’s a chance to become a part of something really important.

The World Bank – Internships in Economics, Finance, and other related fields

This summer internship program provides learning and first-hand experience to students and junior career professionals. Interns generally admit significant improvement of their skills and gain positive experience while working in a diverse environment. To be eligible, you must have an undergraduate degree and major in one of the following fields: economics, finance, education, social studies, or agriculture. Professional experience and fluency in foreign languages will be advantageous for your application. The Bank pays salaries to all interns and provides an allowance to travel expenses (on the individual basis). Located in Washington, D.C., the World Bank offers a training of four weeks minimum in duration.

KONE – internships in IT, Engineering, Business and Law

KONE is the global leader in the elevator and escalator industry and well-known for its solutions for modernization and maintenance of urban buildings. KONE offers various traineeships and internships in its units around the globe and can be an excellent starting point for entry-level professionals. The company looks for cooperation with senior students and gives the opportunity to write thesis assignments together with KONE’s professional mentors. This cooperation will complement your theoretical education and provide you with valuable industry insights.

Goldman Sachs – Internship in Financial Markets

Goldman Sachs provides you with an internship as a summer internship analyst. You can participate and intern almost everywhere you like as their offices are located all across the Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa. Despite that the program has no specific or strict requirements, any academic achievements would be advantageous for you. Interning in Goldman Sachs, you have a chance to get a full-time job position after you finish your summer internship.

H&M – internships in Business, Engineering

For those who love fashion, you may like this internship program. H&M offers an internship at their headquarters in Sweden. Participation can be a bit competitive, and you have to submit your application a year before you plan to intern. But imagine six weeks living abroad and working at one of the most successful companies in the modern world. That’s worth the effort, right?

Projects Abroad– Internship in Journalism

If you are looking for non-paid, but ultra useful, challenging yet really rewarding experience, you should try to participate at a Projects Abroad. This company offers two types of an internships: a Print journalism and a Broadcast placement. A Print journalism provides you with a job at a certain newspaper or magazine of a local community while a Broadcast placement will provide you with a job on the TV or a radio station. Together with hands-on industry experience, you get the opportunity to intern and travel the world – Projects Abroad has its offices in many countries, including Argentina, China, India, Jamaica, and Romania.

KPMG – Internship in Finance

This company looks for interns interested in finance and economics. The KPMG provides work with audit, advisory, and taxes in diverse spheres of business. The biggest advantage of this summer internship is that the corporation will cover all expenses of an intern, including flights and medical insurance. KPMG can become a perfect starting point for financial enthusiasts.

IAESTE – internships in technical fields

IAESTE is a worldwide company with many internship programs in engineering, computer sciences, architecture, and other technical fields. These internships are hosted in more than 80 countries around the world. There are no special requirements for candidates. However, if you know the local language, it will be much easier to adjust in a new environment. IAESTE internship gives its participants an opportunity to obtain new skills, get practical experience, and establish a vast network of potential partners.

Deloitte – Internship in Business

With Deloitte, you can intern in Brazil, China, Spain, Sweden, or Turkey. The internship opportunities are open to both freshman and senior students. Together with Deloitte professionals, all interns will explore peculiarities of the modern workplace and global markets and foster business relationships with leading experts in the industry. Note that prior to going abroad, the company will ask you attend a special two-weeks training session in your home country.

Gap Medics Ltd – internship in Medicine and Dental fields

It’s not a paid summer internship, but it is a unique opportunity to gain perfect experience. This is a big international company that provides students of medicine and dental majors with an opportunity to improve their critical and soft skills while travelling in one of the most beautiful parts of our world. You can become an intern in Croatia, Poland, and Thailand or in the Caribbean. The Gap Medics Ltd offers programs in Spanish and English that enables more students to have practice in their field. Also, during the internship, you will be able to address all your issues or questions to company’s support team that operates 24/7.

Hope this information will help you find a perfect internship for the summer. The business world has many opportunities for you to improve your skills and intern abroad during the summer; just believe in yourself.

Emma Rundle, guest writer

Emma Rundle, guest writer

Searching for a summer internship right now? Check out the internships posted on College Recruiter.com and register to have new job postings sent directly to you. Be sure to follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and YouTube as well.

Emma Rundle is a student, blogger and freelance writer for Eduzaurus. In Emma’s opinion, one of the primary goals in life is helping people, especially students.

Posted May 23, 2016 by

5 tips to manage a stress-free online job search

Women laptop photo by StockUnlimited.com

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

Today, most job searches are conducted online. Although some parts of the country will still focus on more personable job searches, the majority of young Americans will be searching for their first entry-level jobs on computers. Online job searches are both convenient and troublesome. Recent graduates no longer have to go to an employment agency’s office or endlessly drop in on various professionals in order to gain employment in a company; rather they can conduct all of their employment research from the comfort of their own homes. On the other hand, potential entry-level employees can be difficult to distinguish from one another because their résumés tend to look similar. On paper, new grads can appear to be one and the same, but in person their different skills, interests, and personalities can shine through. For many employers, the right personality is just as valuable as qualifications on paper. So how can recent grads manage their online job search without becoming entirely overwhelmed?

1) Focus the job search

New grads who have obtained broad degrees such as in business or communications will be able to apply to a diverse range of jobs. However, applying to several different jobs in several different subfields can become stressful very quickly. Job seekers are encouraged to focus their searches on a particular job title (and similar positions) during their online searches. They should start with a subfield they feel passionate about because their excitement for the position (or lack thereof) will shine through and give them a better chance of achieving interviews.

2) Supplement with in-person contacts and connections

Although online job searches are convenient, they are not always successful if conducted without the help of in-person contacts. Former professors and alumni connections are an essential part of a first time job search, and they can provide introductions and tips that can be extremely valuable. An online resume can easily go from the middle of the pile to the top with an introduction or recommendation coming from someone already within the company.

3) Pick a time of day to call it quits

At some point, job seekers have to call it quits, at least for that day. In many cases, recent grads are searching for a job late in the evening after coming home from their part-time college jobs. Job seekers don’t do a great job of proofreading or checking for important details late at night and often send out applications they later wish they could have taken a second look at. The late hours of the evening also come with varying degrees of mental fatigue that result from a full day’s work. Even if job seekers are a few minutes away from finishing an important application, they’re encouraged to proofread the next morning with fresh eyes.

4) Go the extra mile

Because most current applicants don’t reach out in person or on the phone, those who do will get more attention. If there is a number for an HR Manager or department head, applicants should give them a call and introduce themselves or ask any pertinent questions regarding the position. Instead of following up with just an email, follow up with a personable phone call. Applicants who are giving an interview are encouraged to send a handwritten thank-you note that will make them stand out from the crowd.

5) Put a little piece of your personality in each cover letter

Because the hiring manager only learns about applicants from a couple pieces of paper, it’s important their personalities shine through. Most applicants write one cover letter and gear it towards each position. However, an applicant’s skills and passion tend to become apparent when each cover letter is written from scratch. Additionally, it’s important that job seekers write their cover letters at a time of day when they have a lot of energy and enthusiasm. It’s also a great idea to ask another person to proofread a cover letter and make sure that it’s personable, professional, and easy to read.

For more help with your online job search, make you way to our blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

Robyn Scott, guest writer

Robyn Scott, guest writer

Robyn Scott, a guest writer for College Recruiter, is a private tutor with TutorNerds LLC. She has a BA from the University of California, Irvine, and a MA from the University of Southampton, UK.

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.