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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

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    Last Updated on March 23, 2021

    Manage Your Energy so You Can Manage Your Time

    Manage Your Energy so You Can Manage Your Time

    One of the greatest ironies of this age is that while various gadgets like smartphones and netbooks allow you to multitask, it seems that you never manage to get things done. You are caught in the busyness trap. There’s just too much work to do in one day that sometimes you end up exhausted with half-finished tasks.

    The problem lies in how to keep our energy level high to ensure that you finish at least one of your most important tasks for the day. There’s just not enough hours in a day and it’s not possible to be productive the whole time.

    You need more than time management. You need energy management

    1. Dispel the idea that you need to be a “morning person” to be productive

    How many times have you heard (or read) this advice – wake up early so that you can do all the tasks at hand. There’s nothing wrong with that advice. It’s actually reeks of good common sense – start early, finish early. The thing is that technique alone won’t work with everyone. Especially not with people who are not morning larks.

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    I should know because I was once deluded with the idea that I will be more productive if I get out of bed by 6 a.m. Like most of you Lifehackers, I’m always on the lookout for productivity hacks because I have a lot of things in my plate. I’m working full time as an editor for a news agency, while at the same time tending to my side business as a content marketing strategist. I’m also a travel blogger and oh yeah, I forgot, I also have a life.

    I read a lot of productivity books and blogs looking for ways to make the most of my 24 hours. Most stories on productivity stress waking up early. So I did – and I was a major failure in that department – both in waking up early and finishing early.

    2. Determine your “peak hours”

    Energy management begins with looking for your most productive hours in a day. Getting attuned to your body clock won’t happen instantly but there’s a way around it.

    Monitor your working habits for one week and list down the time when you managed to do the most work. Take note also of what you feel during those hours – do you feel energized or lethargic? Monitor this and you will find a pattern later on.

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    My experiment with being a morning lark proved that ignoring my body clock and just doing it by disciplining myself to wake up before 8 a.m. will push me to be more productive. I thought that by writing blog posts and other reports in the morning that I would be finished by noon and use my lunch break for a quick gym session. That never happened. I was sleepy, distracted and couldn’t write jack before 10 a.m.

    In fact that was one experiment that I shouldn’t have tried because I should know better. After all, I’ve been writing for a living for the last 15 years, and I have observed time and again that I write more –and better – in the afternoon and in evenings after supper. I’m a night owl. I might as well, accept it and work around it.

    Just recently, I was so fired up by a certain idea that – even if I’m back home tired from work – I took out my netbook, wrote and published a 600-word blog post by 11 p.m. This is a bit extreme and one of my rare outbursts of energy, but it works for me.

    3. Block those high-energy hours

    Once you have a sense of that high-energy time, you can then mold your schedule so that your other less important tasks will be scheduled either before or after this designated productive time.

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    Block them out in your calendar and use the high-energy hours for your high priority tasks – especially those that require more of your mental energy and focus. You also need to use these hours to any task that will bring you closer to you life’s goal.

    If you are a morning person, you might want to schedule most business meetings before lunch time as it’s important to keep your mind sharp and focused. But nothing is set in stone. Sometimes you have to sacrifice those productive hours to attend to other personal stuff – like if you or your family members are sick or if you have to attend your son’s graduation.

    That said, just remember to keep those productive times on your calendar. You may allow for some exemptions but stick to that schedule as much as possible.

    There’s no right or wrong way of using this energy management technique because everything depends on your own personal circumstances. What you need to remember is that you have to accept what works for you – and not what other productivity gurus say you should do.

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    Understanding your own body clock is the key to time management. Without it, you end up exhausted chasing a never-ending cycle of tasks and frustrations.

    Featured photo credit: Collin Hardy via unsplash.com

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