IT managers have a way of evaluating prospective employees. They e-mail the finalists an in-depth question, then decide who to hire after assessing their written responses. As candidates turn to professional resume writers, customized software programs and online templates to create their resumes and cover letters, the practice is becoming more prevalent. In fact, written communication skills are so important, they’re often considered when employees vie for a promotion.
Of course, you don’t have to write like Shakespeare to score a job or snag a promotion, but you need to be competent and clear. Here’s a few helpful resources in case your writing skills are holding you back.
- Purdue Online Writing Lab (Owl): Information, business writing samples, online exercises and a forum for submitting questions.
- Business Writer’s Free Library: Free library of articles, blogs and training materials for individuals and groups.
- Open Courseware: Listing of free online writing courses offered by colleges and universities.
Experts contend that a writing sample provides insight into a candidate’s personality, behaviors and thought processes because drafting coherent correspondence requires a blend of analytical, cognitive and emotional talents. Managers want to hire or promote people who can express their thoughts, convey ideas and even persuade teammates and stakeholders in memos and e-mails without being brash or abrasive.
A lot of IT professionals don’t like this approach, but like it or not, it’s happening more and more.