If you’re reading this, you enjoy reading interesting or helpful content. You probably visit other sites with solid writing that meet a variety of your needs. Have you ever considered what the sites (and books) you read can teach you about the job search without talking about it directly? Here are five lessons I’ve learned from good writing…and I ain’t even know it…until now.
The ability to tell stories increases your ability to find work.
Storytelling is the essence of what writers do. Even if it’s an informational article, there’s a story to it. At the very least, you’ll notice the format: an engaging intro, a hook, a body, and a conclusion. When you walk into interviews, you should be armed with engaging success stories and lessons learned.
Stories that exhibit your thought process, self awareness, resilience, and ability to follow through will intrigue interviewers and have them thinking about you long after you leave their office. Just like you think about a good article or book long after you’ve read it.
Eliminating unnecessary words eases the reader’s burden.
Good writing is succinct. Devoid of unnecessary words. When you read tutorials and hear writing advice from the gurus, they always talk about making every word count. You need to do the same with your résumé and cover letter. Excessive prepositions, adverbs, and gargantuan words or phrases when a simple word will suffice can disrupt the reader experience. If you’ve ever found yourself rereading a sentence in a story or blog post a couple times to understand it, that’s what I’m talking about. The more filler you cut out, the easier it is for the recruiter or hiring manager to see who you are.
If you don’t promote, you don’t get
Whether it’s your blog or your book, people can’t read what they haven’t seen or heard about. And with word of mouth being the best marketing you can get, you’ll get none if nobody knows about your awesomeness.
The job search is no different. People can’t refer you for a job if they don’t know you’re looking. They won’t think of you for that perfect project if they don’t know it’s your passion. Make use of social media and your email contacts to let folks know your interests and your plans.
Know your audience and give them what they want.
Every serious writer has a specialty or niche. It could be fiction, journalism, personal finance, career development, fashion, or food. When these authors put pen to pad — or fingers to keyboard — they have their audience in mind. They know what their audience wants and expects, so they meet or exceed those expectations.
Your résumé and cover letter should be targeted to the job you’re applying to. The hiring manager is looking at your application because it’s gotten his or her attention. Deliver on their expectations, which are made very clear in the job description. If you want them to keep coming back — or in this case, call you for an interview — you have no choice but to give them what they want.
The more you read, the better you write…or perform.
I don’t think anyone will dispute that some of the greatest writers are also prolific readers. They’re also thieves. No plagiarism. Instead, they’ll see something they like in another author’s work and adapt it to fit their own writing. You can do the same.
Spend time looking at LinkedIn profiles of people in the companies you wanna work for, and the jobs you’d love to be in. Ask your friends who always seem to find a new gig if you can see their résumé and cover letter. Regularly visit career sites to stay up on what’s happening and what trends are emerging. Staying in the know ain’t never hurt nobody!
There are other lessons you can learn from good writing and writers, but these are five that came to mind for me. I hope you find them useful. Now go forth and make ish happen!