The One Skill That Can Land You the Next Job
By Dr. Jamie Schwandt
Are you looking for a job searching tip that actually works? Here is one skill that 90% of job seekers typically ignore.
What is this ignored skill? Writing.
“If you are trying to decide among a few people to fill a position, hire the best writer. Clear writing is a sign of clear thinking. Great writers know how to communicate. They make things easy to understand. They can put themselves in someone else’s shoes. They know how to omit. And those are qualities you want in any candidate.” – Jason Fried, author of Rework
Clear Writing Means Clear Thinking
Simply put, employers seek strong writers. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, 73.4% of employers look for candidates with strong writing skills.1
Kyle Wiens also remarks in I Won’t Hire People Who Use Poor Grammar. Here’s Why 2,
“Good grammar makes good business sense – and not just when it comes to hiring writers. Grammar signifies more than just a person’s ability to remember high school English. I’ve found that people who make fewer mistakes on a grammar test also make fewer mistakes when they are doing something unrelated to writing – like stocking shelves and labeling parts.”
Wiens in fact uses grammar as his litmus test. He made his employees to prove whether they were detail-oriented with the grammar test.
People typically do not write well and this impacts future career potential. If you do not possess the skills necessary to write well, why would a prospective employer put trust and faith in your ability to be an effective communicator? Try the following exercise if you do not believe me.
Describe the difference between the following:
- Its and It’s
- Your and You’re
- Affect and Effect
- Anymore and Any more
- Assure or Ensure or Insure
Don’t fret if you struggled with this exercise as you are in good company. However, many employers complain that they cannot find qualified candidates because of this.
Writing Is the Foundation of a Good Idea
So, what can you do? Simply get help. There are quite a few places to turn to online for assistance with improving your writing skills and it’s important to find the right one.
Websites like this will help you with professional writing development:
- Plagiarism Checker
- Essay Outline
- Essay Structure
- Formatting Standards
- Paper Formats (AP, MLA, Harvard, Chicago/Turabian)
Additionally, you set the deadline, essay type, word count, and academic level when working with places like. You cannot skip this tip, otherwise you will actually lose credibility in the next tip.
Put Your Writing out There
“Do good work, then put it where people can see it.”
This is quite possibly some of the best advice you will ever receive when it comes to writing, yet it is also the most intimidating.
I have fully embraced this idea. The more I write, the more confident I become in my writing. The more I share my writing, the more confident I am with my communication skills.
Finally, let’s take a quick look at a few more practical tips you can use to improve your writing.3
- Get really good at outlining. A good outline will save you time and energy. Moreover, a good outline will help you draft a paper that flows well. Here’s an effective way to outline any ideas you have: Super-Efficient Writing: How I Consistently Write Over 1,000 High-Quality Words in Less Than 60 Minutes
- Braindump now, write later. Let your creative juices flow by dumping your thoughts throughout the day. Don’t worry about spelling, grammar, or structure here… just dump your thoughts as fast as possible. Read more about how to brain dump here: How to Declutter Your Brain and Get Organized
- Journal daily. This is paramount to writing well and to critical thinking. Journaling should be a deep reflection of each day. Find out How A Tiny Journal Can Supercharge Your Productivity
I guarantee you will improve your chances of landing the job you want and desire if you actively work to improve your writing skills. So, master this ignored skill and put yourself a notch above everyone else.
“Don’t wait until you know who you are to get started.” – Austin Kleon
About the Author