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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 18, 2015 by

How to eliminate stress at work

akansha arora

Akansha Arora

During the week, a lot of time is spent at work, and it is important that people have a stress-free environment there. Stress exists commonly at every workplace, and being efficient at your job can help you deal with it. But what about the environment; would you like to sit eight hours a day at a place where you cannot even smile at your neighbor? Of course not! Maintaining good relationships with colleagues creates a stress free environment and enhances your productivity. Here is how you can build good relationships with your coworkers. (more…)

Posted October 19, 2015 by

Beyond the text: Communication and Gen Z – Part three: Interacting in the workplace

Part 3 of the webinar series Beyond the text: Communication and Gen Z, “Interacting in the Workplace” explains the vital role of communication in the modern workplace and prepares college students and recent graduates to adapt from the college setting to the business environment. Part 3 of this webinar will make the process of transitioning from college to the workplace a smoother one as students and graduates understand the importance of quality communication and gain practical tips and insights. (more…)

Posted August 10, 2015 by

Leadership Techniques for the Technology-driven Business World

Business, technology, internet and networking concept - businessman pressing button on virtual screens

Business, technology, internet and networking concept – businessman pressing button on virtual screens. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Whether you’re supervising a project team from the comfort of home or working closely with an overseas office, new virtual collaboration tools have rendered the traditional management environment obsolete, allowing teams to coordinate from anywhere in the world. However, as the limitations previously imposed by geography quickly dwindle, a new host of challenges has arisen for today’s business leaders.

Even the iconic image of team members gathered for a meeting around a conference room table has become a thing of the past. Instead, digital meeting services like join.me enable users to work together on a single project from wherever they happen to be, bringing the office to them. Establishing clear priorities and expectations can be difficult, for some organizations, without the benefit of face-to-face, in-person interaction, not to mention brainstorming and other creative tasks. (more…)

Posted August 05, 2015 by

4 Tips to Write an Amazing College Essay

close of a hand writing on a paper

Close of a hand writing on a paper. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Following the tips below that we got from a bunch of professional writers could just get you into your dream college.

Brainstorm

Do not be so fast to write your college essay. Besides, you still have a month to write so it’s good to take a few days to ponder on what to include in your college essay. Do a research on the real you, your accomplishments, interests and the passions that drive you to follow your goal. Through this entire brainstorm period, you will find a different way to put everything nicely in the college essay. Keep in mind that anything standard will be rejected. (more…)

Posted January 01, 2015 by

Out With The Old, In With A New… Cover Letter!

Jimmy Sweeney

Jimmy Sweeney, President of CareerJimmy

Say good-bye to the old and hello to the new! There’s something special about a bright new beginning, an opportunity to start fresh. And there’s no time like the present––January 2015––to create a cover letter that will lead you to the job you’ve only thought about.

You’re not the only one eager to start over. Employers want to pair qualified job seekers with quality jobs. Help them look good and help yourself at the same time by creating a job search cover letter that will place you front and center. How can you do that? By following the proven strategy outlined below. (more…)

Posted July 16, 2014 by

Interviewing for an Entry Level Job? Here is How to Talk About Yourself

For some people, it can be difficult to talk about themselves.  So when interviewing for an entry level job, how should a job candidate answer a question focusing on himself or herself?  Learn how to develop the right response in the following post.

But the dastardly “tell me about yourself” question may also come at you first thing in the interview, like a fast ball without warm up, in the form of “So tell me why do you think you’re right for the job?” or more bluntly “Why should we offer you this job?” Boom.

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Posted May 16, 2014 by

The Correct Use of Email in Your Job Search

Blue square button for email

Blue square button for email. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Technology can be a great tool. Email is fast and often times efficient, but in today’s society it is often overused and/or used incorrectly in a job search. Not only have we seen the incorrect use of email cost candidates a job offer, we’ve also seen it slam a door on a relationship with a future employer.

We thought it might be helpful to break the interviewing process down and discuss the dos and don’ts when it comes to email: (more…)

Posted April 28, 2014 by

What’s inside an interviewer’s mind?

Businesswoman interviewing male candidate for a job

Businesswoman interviewing male candidate for a job. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

As a fresh graduate you may falsely assume that it is your qualifications that can get you through a job interview.  However, your qualifications can only lead you to an interview call. The rest of it depends on your ability to effectively articulate your credentials and potential contributions. The way you deliver your message has an immense importance in an interview. Besides, it’s important for you to be a mind reader. You must know the expectations of an interviewer so that you can meet them.  Make sure you have a good look at these six eye openers before you go for your next interview. (more…)

Posted March 28, 2014 by

How To Crack The B-School Interview

Smiling female MBA student holding something

Smiling female MBA student holding something. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Are you currently a aspiring B-school student? Then you must have decided to do an MBA instead of a pgdm. If you have already crossed the first hurdle by sending in your essays, cracked the GMAT scores and created a stellar resume, then now it is time to ace the next important hurdle of the B-school race: the interview. This is crucial part of the admission process and you should pat yourself on the back for having made it this far. However, don’t break out the bubbly just yet. Out of the thousands of interview calls, only a few make it to the actual course; about half.

If you are wondering how to put out your best for the interview, then this is what you should pay attention to. (more…)