Your communication skills are one of the most important attributes that are on trial every time you apply for a job.
Whether it’s written or verbal communication, you need to get your point across clearly, concisely and in a manner that is appropriate for the audience.
Let me highlight the biggest mistakes I’ve seen job searchers make with regards to their ability to communicate.
Written Communication Skills
A big turnoff is having to read written work – emails, cover letters, resumes for example – that are poorly written, generic and full of various errors. When I see that a person has subpar written communication skills, I immediately become worried about my chances of helping them with their job search because it is a skill that is very noticeable to hiring managers very quickly.
It should go without saying that a resume and cover letter should have no spelling or grammatical errors whatsoever but what about email?
With emails dominating much of the written work that people do these days, it is important to understand how to effectively write emails. When it comes to emails that you send related to your job search, ensure you get your message across as briefly as possible while still maintaining a professional tone.
Before you send an email always ensure there are no typos, run-on sentences and other grammatical errors that make your correspondence look unprofessional. Always use a subject line that indicates the specific purpose of the email. If you are applying for a job and have already included a cover letter and resume, you don’t need to rewrite your cover letter again in the body of the email. Simply state the reason for the email and refer to the attached cover letter and resume.
Always treat your business emails as professional business correspondence that is just as important as your cover letter and resume.
Verbal Communication Skills
The most effective verbal communicators are those who can get their point across professionally, succinctly, and clearly. When I say ”clearly” I am referring both to speaking clearly and getting your message across clearly.
When speaking verbally, some people speak quickly when nervous so try to pay attention to ensure you speak slowly to avoid being unintelligible. Also ensure you don’t ramble on. Answer questions as briefly and succinctly as possible. Practice does make perfect.
Also, always ensure you actually get your message across clearly. The best way to ensure this happens is to plan ahead. Don’t try to “wing it” when doing interviews, presentations or other forms of public speaking. Careful preparation will help you ensure you know what you’re talking about and will make you more likely to be able to speak comfortably without trying to memorize everything.
How Can You Improve Your Communication Skills?
Look for opportunities to communicate verbally and in written form that will help you improve your business communication skills.
Some people can improve their communication skills with practice. Certainly, I’ve found that I’ve gotten better at public speaking as I’ve gotten older and I quite like doing it now.
In cases where practice isn’t making perfect, consider looking for help. Toastmasters organizations can help you improve your public speaking and professional writing courses can really help to improve your ability to write effectively.
Carl Mueller is an Internet entrepreneur and professional recruiter. Carl has helped many job searchers find their dream career and would like to help clear up some of the job search myths that exist while helping job searchers avoid common job search mistakes that cost them jobs.
Visit Carl's website to find your dream career: http://www.find-your-dream-career.com
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