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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 January 30, 2015 by

10 resources to improve your grammar and writing skills

Julie Petersen photo

Julie Petersen

This article features a list of study resources that will help improve your grammar and writing and help you get better grades on your essays and dissertations. There is a very mixed list of websites that can be helpful both for young and experienced students. Besides, several resources can be easily used by people that have English as their second language. All the mentioned websites have quite different approach, quality and content, so the list cannot be ranked in any way. (more…)

Posted December 30, 2014 by

When Pockets are Empty: Getting Quick Money

Melissa Burns

Melissa Burns

Students always need money – this is a fundamental truth. And if you happen to be one of these poor unfortunate souls, the lack of money must seem especially painful to you. First, it’s high time to buy presents, second, holiday parties are not going to pay for themselves. What can a poor student do to get a reasonable amount of money for such a short period without lowering himself (or herself) down to the position of a shop assistant or a waiter – considering the fact that all such part-time positions are most likely taken before holidays? (more…)

Posted September 16, 2014 by

College Graduates, Desire to be Better Professionals on Your Jobs? 35 Ways to Improve Yourselves

To be better professionals on their jobs, college graduates can do any of these 35 things in the following post.

We live fast-paced lives; our careers are certainly no different. Sometimes it can be difficult to stop for a moment to think about professional development. The reality is, though, that by choosing one area improvement to focus on at a time, we can become better versions of ourselves – and better

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Posted January 22, 2014 by

Watch out for Interview pitfalls in 2014

Man with fingers crossed behind his back at the thought of lying during an interview

Man with fingers crossed behind his back at the thought of lying during an interview. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

It is 10 am in the morning, you are pretty relaxed, you’ve had a good night sleep, and you are humming an old favorite tune of yours. Your thoughts shift to how you’ll be spending your day while you Water plants with great care and affection, suddenly a shrill sound disrupts your thinking process and it takes few seconds before you realize that it’s your phone that is ringing. You rush to fetch it, say hello and then for two whole minutes all you say is ‘yes’ five times. What has gotten you so mortified? Who was on the other end of the call? Why at once your shoulders have slumped and your mouth has gone dry? Why is your adrenaline going crazy once more? (more…)

Posted November 27, 2013 by

Prep for College Admissions: 4 Easy Tips

Admissions and other words written on a chalkboard

Admissions and other words written on a chalkboard. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

“But she just started high school,” you think to yourself, when your daughter brings home info about the PSAT. She’s doing all that she can to keep up in her physics class, and now she’s supposed to start thinking about the next four-year segment of her education? A Forbes article titled “Why Start Preparing for College in the Sixth Grade” says as many as 90 percent of college-bound high school seniors wish they’d started preparing earlier. Today’s high school students juggle college prep classes, sports and part-time jobs, all while researching colleges, choosing fields of study and applying for financial aid. Here are four things your teen should remember to help them navigate the path to college: (more…)

Posted November 22, 2013 by

How to start a career in Internet Marketing?

Saurabh Tyagi

Saurabh Tyagi

In recent years, the data-driven online marketing industry has acquired an explosive growth. In the US alone the industry stands at about $62billion (October 2013) as per a recent study published by the Direct Marketing Association. The survey has revealed one thing very clearly; a career in internet marketing is going to be one of the hottest choices for the future.

Online marketing is becoming exponentially important for every business now. As per the March 2013 data of International Telecommunication Union, the number of internet users is 2,749 millions, which means 38.8% of the total world population is now connected through and to the web. This statistic reveals the huge potential that internet marketing holds. Thus any business that employs online marketing tactics to promote his or her business has the ability to reach an audience as big as 38.85 of the world’s population. Currently the average brand visibility of a product is far lesser. Here comes the role of skilled professionals who don the hat of an Internet Marketer or Digital Marketer to make such impossibility a reality. If you possess the ability to persevere and an unquenchable thirst to learn, find yourself a career in this field. (more…)

Posted November 19, 2013 by

What is College Dissertation Writing

A dissertation in English Literature

A dissertation in English Literature. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Dissertation writing is a requirement of an advanced degree of an academic career. Dissertation writing requires an interesting topic which should be worth exploring to work on. It is the result of what you have learnt during your stay in the college. Dissertation writing is not something which you will learn over night, it is something which you learn throughout your academic degree. Being a student you know that at the end of your bachelors and masters program you have to submit your thesis or you can say a dissertation. Dissertation writing is done at higher levels, teachers expect from students that the dissertation which they will submit should be perfect and plagiarism free in terms of academic writing. (more…)

Posted November 13, 2013 by

College Students, GPA is not Most Important Factor for Entry Level Job Search. 5 Factors to Focus On

While earning an impressive GPA doesn’t hurt their consideration for an entry level job, college students should know that it is not the most important factor.  Learn five factors they need to focus on for job search success in the following post.

Here’s the deal: contrary to what you’ve been told your whole academic life… straight A’s don’t pay off. Your college GPA is to some degree important for your future—no employer wants to hire a D student. But if you’re tempted to spend all four years of college glued to the library for that perfect

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Posted October 18, 2013 by

Classes for Entrepreneur Hopefuls

Stacia Pierce

Stacia Pierce

Now more than ever, college grads are catching the entrepreneur bug and planning to branch out on their own. It’s no surprise, considering the job market is flooded with grads looking for work. If you think you have what it takes to generate your own income, the best time to start preparing is while you’re still in school.

You can enhance your skill set and make connections with the right people by choosing classes that prepare you for life as a business owner. Whether you’re a business major or not, you can take electives to strengthen your knowledge in valuable areas that all entrepreneurs need. Here are some of the top areas where you should focus on expanding your knowledge: (more…)