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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 March 21, 2016 by

Social media showcases job seekers’ skills

Social media symbol courtesy of Shutterstock.com

Arcady/Shutterstock.com

While many college students embrace social media for personal use, it also serves a professional purpose. Using social media websites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and others help job seekers create a brand for themselves based on who they are and what they can offer employers. With recruiters and hiring managers using social media to find job candidates, showcasing relevant skills is important for all job seekers, including college students and recent graduates.

• Create a personal brand – Your personal brand represents who you are and what you have to offer. It is what separates you from everyone else. Recruiters need to know if potential candidates have a brand that fits their company culture.

Lean on LinkedIn – LinkedIn is a networking website for professionals. College students can highlight their skills and areas of expertise, as well as connect on LinkedIn groups based on their career fields. Through connections on the site, you can express their interests in career fields, and learn more about career fields and job opportunities. Another way to show passion for an industry is to write about it. Providing original and unique content demonstrates to recruiters and hiring managers how knowledgeable you are in specific areas.

Use Facebook and Twitter – For job seekers who like keeping up with the latest news in their industries, Facebook and Twitter might interest them. On Facebook, you can participate in groups relevant to your career field and learn more about potential employers who are searching for the best job candidates. On Twitter, while there aren’t groups, you can use hashtags with keywords industry insiders will notice, and stay up-to-date with companies. You can also participate in discussions hosted by companies on Twitter, retweet content posted by companies’ Twitter handles, and reply to Tweets by companies with thoughtful comments to gain positive attention by those employers.

Build an online portfolio – Social media profiles give job seekers an opportunity to build online portfolios. Similar to a resume, job seekers should highlight skills and accomplishments relevant their career fields. Consider including articles, photos, and videos for the portfolio.

More than anything else, hiring managers want to know candidates can do the job. Your school, major, GPA, and class projects help hiring managers determine that, so showcasing your accomplishments with related work experience will give you a big leg up on the competition. Use LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and even Facebook to demonstrate qualifications, as many recruiters will Google candidates’ names if they’re interested in hiring you. Be sure that when recruiters search for you online, they find nothing but positive results.

Need more tips on social media related to your job search? Follow our blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube for career tips and motivation.

At College Recruiter, we believe every student and recent grad deserves a great career. We work to create a quality candidate and recruiter experience. Our interactive media solutions connect students and grads to great careers.

Posted June 05, 2015 by

How to get a position at a marketing agency

Businessmen shaking hands while in their office

Businessmen shaking hands while in their office. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Marketing has traditionally been quite an interesting field for graduates from many areas, from graphic designers, to writers and graduates with various business degrees. With the advent of online marketing, the scope has expanded even more and marketing agencies offer opportunities to an even more varied selection of students.

Marketing agencies offer excellent working conditions and the ability to improve one’s skills, as well as advance within the said agencies. However, how does one get their foot in; how does one prepare and do everything in their power to get that first position at a marketing agency. (more…)

Posted September 15, 2014 by

Serious about Seeking Entry Level Jobs? 7 Things Young Job Seekers Can Do Daily

College students and graduates who are serious about obtaining entry level jobs can do these seven things in the following post daily to enhance their employment chances.

I know you love Candy Crush. We all do. But every time I receive that “[Facebook friend] invites you to play Candy Crush Saga” notification I think: “Man, what a time suck that game is!” The super-addictive app and its red, orange and yellow candies steal precious seconds from our day… “OK, just another

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Posted August 13, 2014 by

Are You Trying to Find an Internship for the Fall? 10 New Opportunities to Consider

If you want to find an internship this fall, check out these 10 new opportunities in the following post.

Featured: Featured Your resume is revamped, your interview outfit is ready to go — now it’s time to apply for and land that Fall 2014 internship! We have TONS of new opportunities going up every day — from huge entertainment companies and magazines, to boutique PR firms. Check out the top opportunities that are looking for candidates like you, NOW

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Posted August 13, 2014 by

Considering Getting a New Entry Level Job? 12 Things to Know First

Before accepting an entry level job, consider 12 things from an infographic in the following post that you should know first.

In a recent survey, 85% of workers said they are open to the idea of changing jobs. And a great many of them aren’t considering leaving for better opportunities, but to escape their current less-than-desirable working environment. So what will be different for these unhappy careerists next time? How can

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Posted July 24, 2014 by

Preparing to Interview for an Entry Level Job? 3 Things You Should Know

Before you go in to interview for an entry level job, the following post shares three things you should know as preparation for this meeting.

Did your last interview go something like this…:

Interviewer: [Blah blah blah, raised voice at the end to emphasize that it’s a question.]

You: [Talk for a minute or two, showing off your skills through stories about your past experiences.]

Interviewer: [Blah blah blah, raised voice at the end to emphasize that it’s a question.]

You: [Talk for a minute or two, showing off your skills through stories about your past experiences.]

… and so on for about an hour? Now, obviously the interviewer didn’t sound like the adults in Charlie Brown to you, and you answered their questions without fumbling because you’ve been practicing the answers.

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Posted July 16, 2014 by

Looking for Entry Level Jobs, College Grads? Why Trust Matters in Your Job Search

College graduates who are seeking entry level jobs should understand the importance of trust in their job searches.  Learn why trust matters in the following post.

There’s one thing that matters more than your experience – do you know what it is? Now, it may seem counter-intuitive to focus on something instead of your experience – after all, isn’t that what your linkedin profile is all about?

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Posted May 27, 2014 by

Job Seekers, Not Landing Those Recent Graduate Jobs Yet? How to Still Show Your Appreciation

If you are a job seeker who has not landed one of those recent graduate jobs yet, it’s important to still show your appreciation.  The following post shows you how to do so.

You find an internal listing. You prepare for the interview and nail it. There’s no way you’re not going to be chosen for this position. After all, you fit and surpass every single criterion listed on the job description. Oh, and your mom’s first cousin knows the hiring manager’s best friend. You’re a shoe-in, right? Well, not

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Posted May 21, 2014 by

5 Ways to Enhance Your Morning Routine at Work

Do you have a morning routine once you start your day at the office?  If so, do you feel like you’re getting the most out of it?  Don’t worry, in this post you will learn five ways to enhance your routine at work, and more. (more…)