ARTICLES, BLOGS & VIDEOS

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

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 June 17, 2015 by

Work Smart: Tips for Students to Get More out of Their Day

Female student reading a book for finding information. Young woman sitting at table doing assignments in university library.

Female student reading a book for finding information. Young woman sitting at table doing assignments in university library. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Are you working hard in class, racing to your job after school and trying to make it to an extracurricular activity during the week? Working while going to school full time means you have to work smart. Organize your time to squeeze in extra schoolwork between classes, work and fun. Here are few tips to maximize your time: (more…)

Posted October 20, 2014 by

3 Steps to Marketing Your Working Abroad Experience on Your Resume

Work abroad sign

Work abroad sign. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Attention TEFL teachers: remember the excitement you felt a year or two ago, when you were preparing to jet off to a foreign country for exotic adventures and easy money?

If you’re the driven type, that excitement has probably been replaced by nagging worries and questions like: Will my TEFL experience help me get a job back home? Should I include my teaching experience on my resume? When I was a teacher in Taiwan these questions always popped up at expat get-togethers.

As time goes by, many expats begin to feel themselves sinking into to the quicksand that can become teaching abroad. They know that they don’t want to teach forever, but they fear that their time their time spent teaching will be seen as a negative to employers back home. (more…)

Posted October 08, 2014 by

5 Tips for Creating an Outline: Make Writing Easier, Even When You’re Short on Time

Rear view of a young man working of a computer

Rear view of a young man working of a computer. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Maybe you were assigned a paper at the last minute. Maybe you procrastinated. Maybe some emergency happened during the time that you had planned to spend working on your paper. However you got to this point, the reality is that you need to write a good paper in a short amount of time. How do you avoid panic and get done what you need to get done? Use these five tips to guide you to completing your paper. (more…)

Posted August 11, 2014 by

Young Professionals, Want Attention on Your Entry Level Jobs? 5 Things You Can Do

In order to stand out on their entry level jobs in the right way, young professionals can do these five things in the following post.

No matter what industry you work in, all careers boil down to one rule: don’t be stepped on, stay one step ahead. Stand out from your colleagues so when it’s time to discuss raises and promotions, you can be a strong contender. Trying to break away from the pack?

Original post:

Continue Reading

Posted April 25, 2014 by

Applying for Recent Graduate Jobs with Creative Resumes? 5 Examples Along with Resume Tips

If you need some inspiration for putting together creative resumes when applying for recent graduate jobs, the following post shares some examples along with some resume tips for success.

When it comes to your internship or job search, you’re probably wondering how you can differentiate yourself from other candidates. Maybe a creative resume seems like a good way to go. Especially since over the last decade, Millennials have, with great fanfare in some cases, gotten creative with their resumes in order to land dream jobs and internships…

View this article:

Continue Reading

Posted August 15, 2013 by

Vacation Time? 12 Ways to Leave the Office Behind

Dawn Dugan

Dawn Dugan, Salary.com contributing writer

You work hard. You deserve your vacation. Yet in a world where we’re all shouldering more and constant connectivity is par for the course, leaving the office behind can seem difficult, if not impossible.

Yet with a little preparation and follow-through, work doesn’t have to ruin your vacation.

This article explores 12 tips to a restorative, relaxing, and work-free vacation you can truly enjoy. (more…)