It’s official: we are in the midst of graduation season! In honor of the fabulous class of 2014, Webucator has launched its latest campaign to teach new grads the essential tools they need to succeed in the workforce. I was honored to be asked to take part in this campaign by sharing a post about what I consider to be a valuable skill for recent and upcoming grads who are applying for jobs.
There are many skills out there that will benefit young graduates, but today I’d like to discuss one skill that is near and dear to my heart: the ability to write well.
We tend to assume that writing skills are only important for journalists, novelists and marketing professionals, but writing plays a huge role in the first impression that you give employers, regardless of the career for which you’ve applied. Proper spelling and grammar, varied sentences and a decent vocabulary can go a long way!
Even if your job isn’t particularly heavy on writing, you will still find yourself composing emails, creating reports and communicating through the written word in some way on a daily basis. If your resumé and cover letter are written poorly or contain sloppy mistakes, employers may see this as a reflection of your future job performance, and may even pass over your application because of it.
Writers and non-writers alike, here are some ways to improve your writing in time for job applications! — Tweet this!
- Good writing comes with practice.
Even if you hate writing and consider yourself a terrible writer, there are ways to improve over time. The more you write, the better you will get. No writer is perfect, but practice makes progress!
- Read your writing aloud.
This is the best way to catch mistakes along the way. When you read your writing in your own head, you tend to cover up any typos or repeated words with whatever you originally intended to write. However, when you read out loud, you can really hear how your writing sounds to others! If you find yourself stumbling over a few words, change them — chances are, your readers will stumble, too.
- Find an editor that you trust.
For me, this person happens to be my mother. If you know someone who writes well or has a strong attention to detail, send your work to him or her for feedback before submitting a final copy. When you submit a resumé that’s littered with typos and errors, the employer assumes that you didn’t care enough to proofread. Having a second pair of eyes to look over your work will help you to avoid this, and may even teach you something new.
- The fewer words, the better.
Don’t use five words when one word would suffice. Simplify your writing! Your readers will thank you for it.
- Remember basic grammar skills!
This makes you sound educated and professional. For some of my old posts on proper grammar tips, visit here and here.
- Read often.
Immerse yourself in different types of writing by reading a variety of genres and styles. This will help you broaden your horizons, not just as a writer, but as an employee and world citizen!
In the meantime, check out Webucator’s latest course offerings in Microsoft Office if interested in developing your marketable skills further. They are even offering a FREE course in PowerPoint!
Readers, what would you consider valuable skills for the workforce? What writing tips would you have for recent grads?