By Priti Dadlani
If you want to stand out from other applicants for a job, polish your writing skills.
It doesn’t matter what field you’re in or what job you’re applying for, being able to communicate clearly and concisely will make you shine.
“In a highly competitive technology landscape, those candidates who express themselves clearly in written form get faster consideration from the human resources person doing the preliminary screening,” says Raj Dadlani, CEO and founder of Huntech Consultants Inc..
“In nearly all the highly technical roles we are assigned by our clients, good written skills speak volumes in term of a candidate’s ability to present and document ideas, write clean and robust code, and demonstrate attention to detail. Shoddy and careless writing is a red flag that potential recruits might have difficulty in other equally important areas, such as verbal communication and comprehension skills.”
Most technology companies now want collaboration between multi-site development centres, so it is even more imperative that candidates write clearly and concisely, adds Dadlani.
Dr. Stephanie Heald-Fisher of Globe University points out getting promoted is also impacted by writing skills.
“Good writing skills communicate intelligence, professionalism, and competency (Worth, n.d.). Poor writing skills communicate a lack of intelligence, professionalism, and competency. Once again, your professional image is impacted by your writing skills. The better your skills are, the better your image is and the better your chances for promotion.”
Writing guru Ann Handley has a blog devoted to good content and writing. “Words matter. Your words (what you say) and style (how you say it) are your most cherished (and undervalued) assets,” according to Handley.
She is Chief Content Officer of MarketingProfs, a member of the LinkedIn Influencer program and writes a monthly columnist for Entrepreneur magazine.
Handley is also co-author of Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business. The book is required reading in a Digital Strategy course I am taking. In a recent blog post, Handley talks about 9 Qualities of Good Writing. My favourite is No. 3:
“Good writing is like good teaching. Good writing strives to explain, to make things a little bit clearer, to make sense of our world… even if it’s just a product description.”
There’s no dearth of articles offering writing tips on the internet these days, like this one on Inc.com on 30 Incorrectly Used Words That Can Make You Look Bad. I have my own personal list of tricky words that trip me up and I’m sure you do too.
Finally, have a look at a great slide deck on FastCompany.com It’s based on tweets by Emma Coats, a former Pixar storyboard artist. “This list of 22 rules of storytelling was widely embraced as it was applicable to any writer or anyone who was in the business of communicating.”
In my next post, I will share my own 10 writing tips to get you started!
But first, have I convinced you that good writing matters?