It’s Not All Talk

Show College Success Through Written Communication Skills

 

Almost anyone pursuing a career will tell you that communication skills are important. No problem. You can talk to anyone. You can talk all day and all night and never get tired. So you’re all set, right?

Yes, the ability to communicate by talking is extremely important. It’s hard to conceive of a job where one never speaks. Many jobs are very talk-intensive, of course. To be sure, Communication Skills are one of the Winning Characteristics that all employers look for in job candidates.

But communication is not all talk. The ability to convey information, persuade, and impress via other formats is also important, and in some cases much more important than talking. The importance of strong writing skills, for instance, is often underestimated. Many jobs that would seem to have little need for writing actually require a lot of it.

Let’s say you’re hired as a salesperson. You travel throughout the country selling your line of oil drilling machinery to independent drillers. You definitely do a lot of talking in this job, but you also find yourself doing a lot of writing, some of it very important. You write letters to clients, before and after meetings. You write reports to your boss about your account prospects. You exchange e-mail with clients and people in your manufacturing and shipping groups. Maybe most importantly, you write detailed proposals that describe your product, pricing, and service.

All of this written material helps you get your job done. But it also tells people a great deal about you. Clear, compelling writing tells people that you are well educated, organized, and capable. Likewise, weak, convoluted writing can send a very negative signal.

College is a great place to build your writing skills. If this is a weak spot, make it a priority. Take composition classes until you get a B or better. If you’re struggling and want to utilize your pass/fail option to salvage your GPA, that’s fine too.

Someday when you’re writing a report for your boss’s boss’s boss, you’ll be glad you did. Show off your college success with great written communication skills and he or she is sure to be impressed!

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