Regardless of what you’re writing, always pay attention to your tone. Your graduate school thesis is a much different piece of writing than the short story you wrote in third grade about the bunny that lost his way and the tone of each piece of writing should reflect the audience for which it is intended. Finding that voice can sometimes be difficult but when you do, your writing will become much more effective and engaging to your readers.
As you begin to write, make sure you are keeping your audience in mind. The more you do this at the beginning of your project, the easier it will be down the road to make sure your tone remains consistent. If you feel like getting into the numbers of it, take a few minutes to review my post a few weeks back about Writing in Plain English. Regardless of your comfort level with numbers and analytics, this handy tool can help give you a rough idea how understandable your writing is for your intended audience.
One more test that may work even better to judge the tone of your writing is to find someone in your target audience (and whose judgment you can trust) and simply give them the piece to read. They should be able to clearly understand the writing but also not feel like they are reading well below their comprehension level.
Find the perfect voice and tone for your writing and stick with it. As long as you maintain your consistency, people will begin to trust what you have to say.
I have mentioned in at least one previous post that the days of cookie cutter résumés are gone. With most big companies doing their initial hiring online, computers are doing much of the initial grunt work sorting through résumés submitted online, the use of keywords is becoming increasingly important. But what about when your résumé gets in front of a human?
Once you've passed the computers, it ultimately comes down to another human reading your résumé and feeling like you would be a good fit for the job they are trying to fill before evening meeting you. How can you do that? Be unique!
Having something unique to pique someone’s interest is key to getting noticed, but you also have to make sure that you’re qualified for the job and can contribute something to the position. That means making your résumé fit the job. A teacher applying for a position as a team manager could focus on her experience training people and working with very diverse groups. A former police officer applying for a position as a quality control operator on an assembly line could point to experience making split second decisions.
It simply comes down to two things:
Promote your unique abilities
Focus each résumé submission on the specific job you are applying for
With both of these in place, you will not be wasting the recruiter’s time looking at résumés that may not fit the position.
I am curious to hear from you what kinds of tweaks you make to your résumé when you are applying for jobs. Post in the comments below.
I have been working for the last few weeks trying to get the word out about Best Word Forward and I came across something that astounded me. I found a website called ProfileTree which allows people or business to post their services. I quickly took advantage of this opportunity to get some more exposure for Best Word Forward.
Once I had posted my information, I browsed around the site for a bit to see where my postings landed when someone searched for them. I found a few people posting writing services where they would write articles for a small fee. The only problem with these posts that offered writing services was that each one had misspelled words and absolutely terrible grammar. Granted, when you’re working with 30-70 characters, grammar can tend to take a back seat to simply getting your point across. However, if you’re advertising writing services, you probably want to make sure the writing in your advertisement, follows the basic norms of the language you’re writing in.
Now, if I am to believe the images that went along with these pictures, the people posting these ads were likely from foreign countries and not native English speakers. This does not excuse them from having to use the English language correctly if they are advertising to do so. I would compare this to a graphic designer advertising her services with something drawn in crayon on the back of a napkin or a company that makes fine stationary advertising on a piece of ripped up cardboard.
With all of the noise in the world today, it’s hard to get noticed and I’m worried that these people might get noticed simply because of their silly mix-ups and I might get skipped over because I seem to know what I’m talking about. I hope that’s not the case, but the fact that these advertisements are allowed to remain on the sight with their glaring errors, frustrates me to no end. Perhaps I should offer my services to these people and help them become better writers and in turn spread that around the world.
Please let me know if you would hire these people to write for you. Maybe I’ll have to rethink my advertising strategy.
It is that time again. The Winter Olympics have arrived. By the time you read this, there will have already been one full day of competition in Sochi and the Opening Ceremonies will be in full swing.
Most athletes competing in the Olympic Games this month would consider just getting to that stage to be the crowning achievement in their sport. They have worked the better part of the past four years (if not more) to get to this point. Many have put other life goals on hold just to have the opportunity to walk into the Olympic Stadium representing their country.
Now imagine if you will that you are a recruiter for your company. Several résumés come across your desk for a new position that has opened up. As you are sifting through the stack, you notice one of the applicants has “Participated in Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia” listed among their achievements. I don’t know about you, but this would immediately pique my interest and at the very least make me consider bringing the applicant in for an interview.
My question to you today is simple. When you’re thinking about your résumé and how to make it stand out from the crowd, think about what would grab someone’s attention like the example I gave above? Most of us can’t legitimately put “Olympian” on our résumés, at least I know I can’t, but there likely is something that we can put on there that makes us unique and has the potential to grab the attention of the recruiter or HR director looking at our résumé.
Remember that the point of the résumé is to get your foot in the door and get an interview. If you can get someone interested in you before they even meet you, then you are one step ahead of other applicants from the beginning.
Jonathan Ytreberg is the owner of Best Word Forward, committed to providing the best resume advice and services to clients around the globe.