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Last Updated on October 9, 2017

The One Skill that Will Land You the Next Job Yet 90% Job Seekers Have Neglected

The One Skill that Will Land You the Next Job Yet 90% Job Seekers Have Neglected

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]

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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.

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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:

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  • Plagiarism Checker
  • Essay Outline
  • Essay Structure
  • Formatting Standards
  • Paper Formats (AP, MLA, Harvard, Chicago/Turabian)
  • Bibliography

Additionally, you set the deadline, essay type, word count, and academic level when working with places like PaperWritingHelp.net. You cannot skip this tip, otherwise you will actually lose credibility in the next tip.

Put Your Writing out There

    Author Austin Kleon writes in Steal Like An Artist,

    “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]

    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.

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    “Don’t wait until you know who you are to get started.” – Austin Kleon

    Reference

    More by this author

    Dr. Jamie Schwandt

    Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt & Red Team Critical Thinker

    9 Game Changing Tips on How to Write Goals (and Reach Them!) Creative Brain Test: 10 Best Ways To Test Your Creative Intelligence How to Be a Maverick and Develop a Maverick Mindset Being Self Aware Is the Key to Success: How to Boost Self Awareness How to Upgrade Your Critical Thinking Skills for a Sharper Mind

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    Last Updated on September 17, 2018

    How to Stop Multitasking and Become Way More Productive

    How to Stop Multitasking and Become Way More Productive

    Today we are expected to work in highly disruptive environments. We sit down at our desks, turn on our computer and immediately we are hit with hundreds of emails all vying for our attention.

    Our phones are beeping and pinging with new alerts to messages, likes and comments and our colleagues are complaining about the latest company initiative is designed to get us to do more work and spend less time at home.

    All these distractions result in us multitasking where our attention is switching between one crisis and the next.

    Multitasking is a problem. But how to stop multitasking?

    How bad really is multitasking?

    It dilutes your focus and attention so even the easiest of tasks become much harder and take longer to complete.

    Studies have shown that while you think you are multitasking, you are in fact task switching, which means your attention is switching between two or more pieces of work and that depletes the energy resources you have to do your work.

    This is why, even though you may have done little to no physical activity, you arrive home at the end of the day feeling exhausted and not in the mood to do anything.

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    We know it is not a good way to get quality work done, but the demands for out attention persist and rather than reduce, are likely to increase as the years go by.

    So what to do about it?

    Ways to stop multitasking and increase productivity

    Now, forget about how to multitask!

    Here are a few strategies on how to stop multitasking so you can get better quality and more work done in the time you have each working day:

    1. Get enough rest

    When you are tired, your brain has less strength to resist even the tiniest attention seeker. This is why when you find your mind wandering, it is a sign your brain is tired and time to take a break.

    This does not just mean taking breaks throughout the day, it also means making sure you get enough sleep every day.

    When you are well rested and take short regular breaks throughout the day your brain is fully refuelled and ready to focus in on the work that is important.

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    2. Plan your day

    When you don’t have a plan for the day, the day will create a plan for you. When you allow outside influences to take control of your day, it is very hard not to be dragged off in all directions.

    When you have a plan for the day, when you arrive at work your brain knows exactly what it is you want to accomplish and will subconsciously have prepared itself for a sustained period of focused work.

    Your resistance to distractions and other work will be high and you will focus much better on the work that needs doing.

    3. Remove everything from your desk and screen except for the work you are doing

    I learned this one a long time ago. In my previous work, I worked in a law office and I had case files to deal with. If I had more than one case file on my desk at any one time, I would find my eyes wandering over the other case files on my desk when I had something difficult to do.

    I was looking for something easier. This meant often I was working on three or four cases at one time and that always led to mistakes and slower completion.

    Now when I am working on something, I am in full-screen mode where all I can see is the work I am working on right now.

    4. When at your desk, do work

    We are creatures of habit. If we do our online shopping and news reading at our desks as well as our work, we will always have the temptation to be doing stuff that we should not be doing at that moment.

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    Do your online shopping from another place—your home or from your phone when you are having a break—and only do your work when at your desk. This conditions your brain to focus in on your work and not other distractions.

    5. Learn to say no

    Whenever you hear the phrase “learn to say no,” it does not mean going about being rude to everyone. What it does mean is delay saying yes.

    Most problems occur when we say “yes” immediately. We then have to spend an inordinate amount of energy thinking of ways to get ourselves out of the commitment we made.

    By saying “let me think about it” or “can I let you know later” gives you time to evaluate the offer and allows you to get back to what you were doing quicker.

    6. Turn off notifications on your computer

    For most of us, we still use computers to do our work. When you have email alert pop-ups and other notifications turned on, they will distract you no matter how strong you feel.

    Turn them off and schedule email reviewing for times between doing your focused work. Doing this will give you a lot of time back because you will be able to remain focused on the work in front of you.

    7. Find a quiet place to do your most important work

    Most workplaces have meeting rooms that are vacant. If you do have important work to get done, ask if you can use one of those rooms and do your work there.

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    You can close the door, put on your headphones and just focus on what is important. This is a great way to remove all the other, non-important, tasks demanding your attention and just focus on one piece of work.

    The bottom line

    Focusing on one piece of work at a time can be hard but the benefits to the amount of work you get done are worth it. You will make fewer mistakes, you will get more done and will feel a lot less tired at the end of the day.

    Make a list of the four or five things you want to get done the next day before you finish your work for the day and when you start the day, begin at the top of the list with the first item.

    Don’t start anything else until you have finished the first one and then move on to the second one. This one trick will help you to become way more productive.

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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