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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 April 21, 2016 by

Reviewing job candidates’ social media profiles

Businessperson with social networking sites on digital tablet courtesy of Shutterstock.com

Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock.com

As college recruiters review job candidates’ social media profiles, they will find things they like and others not so much. These profiles tell recruiters not only whether or not candidates are qualified for specific jobs, but also if they are the right fit for their companies. Brandi Britton, District President of OfficeTeam, shares tips on what recruiters should look for when reviewing candidates’ social media profiles.

– “Many recruiters and HR professionals perform online searches of job candidates’ social media profiles to learn more about them, including their industry involvement.

– It may be a red flag to some recruiters if they can’t find candidates’ LinkedIn profiles or anything else about them online.

– A good gauge of candidates’ online activity is how often they update their profiles and if they post useful advice or comments on articles on LinkedIn and industry forums.

– In certain fields or positions, a greater emphasis is placed on digital activity. For example, many companies today rely on creative professionals to help build their firms’ online image, so they want to see that prospective hires have done the same for themselves.

– Negative comments, especially about former employers or colleagues, can cause recruiters to question a job seeker’s professionalism. There may also be concerns that this job seeker’s improper language/behavior will continue in the workplace.

– Employers may form conclusions about people’s personalities or whether they will fit in with the company’s culture based on online remarks.

– Pictures showing candidates in an unflattering light may also deter recruiters from pursuing candidates.

– Recruiters should look to get a sense of candidates’ capabilities through their online profiles. For example, check for information about candidates’ work history and key accomplishments.

– It may be helpful to check if candidates incorporated key industry terms that describe skills and specialties recruiters are looking for.

– Employers may also look for red flags like inconsistencies made on applicants’ resumes that would deter them from considering candidates.

– Keep in mind that looking up candidates online definitely has some risks. Information on the Internet isn’t always accurate; it’s hard to be sure what recruiters find relates to particular candidates and not others with the same name.”

At College Recruiter, we believe every student and recent graduate deserves a great career. We are committed to creating a quality candidate and recruiter experience. Our interactive media solutions connect students and graduates to excellent entry-level jobs and internships. Why not let College Recruiter assist you in the recruiting process? Be sure to follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook for more information about the best practices in college recruiting.

Brandi Britton, District President for OfficeTeam

Brandi Britton, District President for OfficeTeam

Brandi Britton is a District President for OfficeTeam, the nation’s leading staffing service specializing in the temporary placement of highly skilled administrative and office support professionals. OfficeTeam has more than 300 locations worldwide and places tens of thousands of highly skilled candidates each year into positions ranging from executive and administrative assistant to receptionist and customer service representative.

Posted October 07, 2015 by

3 tips for recruiting and hiring a diverse workforce

Diversity is an important topic in today’s workforce. Employers recognize that recruiting and hiring people with unique perspectives and ideas helps them grow.

To help explore these issues, College Recruiter recently hosted a College Recruiting Bootcamp on LGBT and other diversity hiring issues on Tuesday, September 29, at the Twilio headquarters in San Francisco.

College Recruiter has been publishing the opinions from a number of talent acquisition and recruiting leaders about why and how employers should diversify their workforces. Employers should keep in mind these three tips for creating a diverse workforce, shared by Val Matta, Vice President of Business Development at CareerShift. (more…)

Posted February 06, 2015 by

Cracking the MBA Admissions Code with the Perfect Job History

Yael Redelman-Sidi photo

Yael Redelman-Sidi, Founder of Admit1MBA & Admit2Med

If you’re in college and already know you will need an MBA to achieve your career goals (maybe you want to work for Private Equity or become a product manager for Google), you have to be careful and creative while considering the career path that will most increase your chances of admission to top business programs.

Leading programs like Wharton, Harvard, Columbia Business School, NYU Stern and MIT receive thousands of applications, with as many as 20 people competing for each spot in the class. The decision of the MBA admissions board is influenced by whether your professional and personal experience will allow you to make valuable contributions in the classroom. Your time in the workforce has to be meaningful and relevant. (more…)

Posted May 22, 2014 by

Need References for Recent Graduate Jobs? How to Approach Getting Them

For job seekers who need some references in their searches for recent graduate jobs, learn some tips to approach getting them in the following post.

Asking for help is never easy, but in our careers, we all need it from time to time. It’s good to remember that the people who’ve been the most successful and important to our careers are the people most able and willing to lend a hand. When it’s time to ask for references, seek out the

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Posted May 21, 2014 by

Looking for an Entry Level Job as a Librarian? An Interview with One Job Seeker

For anyone trying to find an entry level job as a librarian, the following post features an interview with one job seeker you might be interested in.

This anonymous interview is with a job hunter who is currently employed (even if part-time or in an unrelated field), has not been hired within the last two months, and has been looking for a new position for six months to a…

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