Four core competencies – #4 Communication Skills

Competencies Candidates Should Have – Communication.

A blog series from Mitchell Langbert

We recently came across a series of blogs by Mitchell Langbert that very clearly highlights 4 core competencies that college graduates should have to ensure a more successful job search. We feel that while of course these skills are a requirement for graduates, they also extend to anyone looking to expand their horizons and careers.

We liked these articles so much we had to share them.

The four skills that are covered are:

Four skills that when mastered ensure career growth and progression. These are skills that critical in getting yourself noticed and getting to the front of the queue.

In this article, we cover Communication.

Writing: A Basic Skill All Graduates Need

This is the fourth and last in a series of blogs that I have written in response to a request from Bob Clary, Webucator’s community manager. The series concerns professional and business competencies that recent grads need. The competencies that I am covering are ethics, job search, interpersonal skills, and writing. This blog concerns writing.

It is important to write well, and it is not too late to learn how. In 2013 CNBC reported that one of the chief reasons that firms reject job applicants is poor writing. CNBC adds: “In survey after survey, employers are complaining about job candidates’ inability to speak and write clearly.” With many top Fortune 500 companies emphasising the requirement to be able to show good communication skills through writing, is is essential for a jobseeker to be on top of their writing skills.

With many of the new generations of graduates having grown into the online world, it is important to leave that communication where it is and not bring it into the written word in business communications. Emails, letters and official copy should always be grammatically correct and with fully formed words and sentances. Failure to transition from the texting world to the written world will severly affect your changes of career progression.

With many roles in Asia requiring people to use English as the communication language to many colleagues, clients and potential customers it is important to ensure that local usage is not submitted into international communication. What we should remember is that while for many English is the business language of choice, the recipient will often have English as their secondary language. For this reason it is important to follow correct practices.

A suggested approach to improve these skills is to follow the folling 3 steps.

  1. Practice
  2. Learning
  3. Observation

The steps do not need to be followed in any order rather they should be integrated with as part of continued learning.

Practice can be done through posting comments on blogs and forums or even by maintaining a personal blog yourself. Having your own blog is a great discipline and a great place for practice.

For the Learning aspect, one of the key areas to continue to improve is always with grammar. Try to perfect your grammar and syntax by referring to grammar books, websites and tutorials. Learn further by reading a few pages about grammar each week. One good source for learning grammar is the The Chicago Manual of Style, but of course there are many good online dictionaries with grammar capabilities. Think also about the difference between American English and British English, if you want to learn further, understanding the differences can be worthwhile.

For Observation, this is all about reading. Choose good quality sites from respected publications, often these are news and journal sites, so the content is always informative and relevant. Take a paragraph and look at how it is written, think about how you would rewrite it, often this is a great self-study process.

This has opened up another topic for future discussion “Common mistakes and things to remember”. Bookmark us and be sure to come back to read this one.