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Importance of Written Communication Skills

In today’s workplace, email is the most widely used form of communication with most people reading and writing an average of 123 emails per day according to Forbes. It’s clear that non-verbal communication such as emails, online tools like Slack, and texts are only going to become even more prevalent as future technology driven generations move in to the workforce.  The outcome of this is that our written communication skills are becoming increasingly impactful and how well or how poorly you communicate in this manner can have a profound impact on your career.  So it’s imperative to consider factors such as relevance, length of communication, tone, language, and response time when communicating non-verbally.

As the age-old saying goes: “It’s not what you say, but how you say it.” One of the major disadvantages of non-verbal communication is that the person on the receiving end can’t hear the tone of your voice, read your body language or see what your facial expressions are.   Remember too that sarcasm or a dry sense of humor are not as easily conveyed non-verbally so be careful trying to interject that in to your professional communications.   Miscommunication in some cases can upset or offend the recipient unintentionally. Make sure your work communication conveys a professional tone and steer away from being too casual unless you know the recipient very well and what their sense of humor and personality is like. Another key to effective communication is to keep you emails clear and concise.  Especially in the world we live in today, people’s attention span is more limited than ever and you can almost always assume that 75% of the time the recipient will be reading the message on their phone. Lengthy communications have a tendency to be discarded or over looked when the recipient is reading on the go. Simply put, keep your emails concise and to the point. If you have a lot of really important information to share, this is the time to pick up the phone or set an in person meeting instead of writing it out in an email.

One tip to being a strong writer is to write for the reader. Always have your spelling/grammar check on and proof your email before hitting send.  I’m sure everyone reading this has sent something without proofing it and then realized that there was a word in the message that although it was spelled correctly it was not used in the context they intended.  Being a strong writer with the ability to communicate your ideas effectively, make counter-points without offending and relay information in a concise and professional manner will undoubtedly position you for accelerated career growth.

If you feel like you could use some help in this area there are a lot of resources available. Many are even free and online such as LinkedIn’s business writing course below.

Learn to Communicate - in Writing, in Person, in Interviews, & More

Importance of Written Communication Skills

Pete's Mother's Day Special Episode

Pete begins his weekly episode of “Hard work-ah with Pete the Job Guy” by expressing a heart-felt message to some very special moms. Later, producer Josh McCarthy joins Pete and goes into the ‘mail bag’ to read listener questions about challenging workforce issues that were sent into Pete.

This week’s “Mother’s Day Special Edition” of the show starts with Pete thanking the mothers of recent young heroes who put their own lives in peril to save others. The first mother is of Kendrick Castillo who was a member of the Highlands Ranch robotics club and recently died rushing a shooter at his STEM school in Colorado. The second mother is of Riley Howell who was a U.N.C. student that was shot while tackling the active shooter saving countless lives with his selfless act. The mothers of these heroes raised incredible children and on this day deserve all of the love and support of their community. Pete also thanks the women in his life: his mother and his wife. These women are mothers who have shaped his life and helped make Pete the man he is today.

The first question in Pete’s ‘mail bag’ is from a listener who wants to know if she should send a ‘thank you’ email or hand written letter following a job interview. Pete suggests sending an email. This is because an email will open up a channel of communication with the hiring manager. If you send a thank you note via snail mail, while they may appreciate the thought, it will likely take too long to receive it in the mail and will only be a way one communication method (the hiring manager is not going to hand write a letter back to you). Email begs a reply and is a fast way to let the hiring manager you appreciate their time and are interested in the role.

The second question comes from a listener who want to know what questions from candidates let hiring managers and recruiters know they will be a good fit in the workplace and a ‘Hard Work-ah’?
Pete thinks a sense of urgency is a key indicator in how serious someone is in their job search. He wants to know what they are specifically doing to find a job. Are they tailoring their resume to each job description to highlight their skill-set? Is their LinkedIn profile summary and photo professional? When looking for a new role, candidates need to set themselves apart and remain focused on why they are looking for a new job.

The final question comes from a stay at home mom who is ready to get back into the workforce and wants to know what she needs to do to land her first role back.
Pete recommends quantifying the experience stay at home mothers have been doing. Have they stayed current with networking groups, been volunteering, or managing the household? Use action verbs on your resume to describe what you have been doing while out of the workforce. You can also google tips for mom’s rejoining the workforce and what has worked for others. Another tip is to think about what experience you had prior to being a stay at home mom and highlight that on your resume. Finally, another tip is to update your LinkedIn profile. A great LinkedIn profile cannot be underestimated and having an up to date headshot and professional summary are key.

We hope all of the mothers out there had a great Mother’s Day and were shown the love and appreciation they deserve not only on this day, but every day. Pete also hopes that his answers to your questions were helpful and if you’d like to ask Pete a question for him to address in a future episode submit your questions to pete@petethejobguy.com

Pete's Mother's Day Special Episode