Communication Tips–Before the Hire & On the JobPosted: May 1, 2014
Communication. What a vague and potentially meaningless term! Note that this doesn’t mean it’s unimportant–far from it.
Communication comes in two forms, broadly described as written and oral (spoken). For greater success in landing a new position and doing well afterward, you need to have strong skills in both areas.
6 Tips for Effective Communication
Whether in a job search or after you’ve been hired, you need to ensure that what you put in writing reflects not only solid knowledge in your area of expertise but also the ability to communicate critical points clearly to the intended audience. If your purpose includes persuading people to adopt a certain point of view or to take a specific action, your written communications need to present a compelling reason for readers to do that.
3 Tips for Good Written Communication:
- Get to the point. Don’t ramble on and put your readers to sleep.
- Avoid ambiguity. Determine your intent, focus on it and then double-check to make sure you’ve expressed it clearly.
- Know your audience. Use wording and concepts that will speak strongly to them. Otherwise, you risk losing their attention.
3 Tips for Good Oral Communication:
Actually, the previously listed tips for written communication are good here as well! However, here are some that are specific to oral (spoken) communication:
- Watch for body language in your listener that tells you they’re tuning out.
- Maintain a moderate pace as you speak. Remember that people can listen faster than you can (or should) talk, but avoid the temptation to talk too quickly.
- Make sure your voice quality (tone, volume, pacing, etc.) is as “listenable” as possible. Have someone else listen to you speak if you’re not sure how you come across.
Communication Before the Hire vs. On the Job
Before you’re hired, your main concern probably is to convince the company that it should hire you rather than one of your competitors. You’ll be looking at every aspect you can reasonably include that will help you achieve that goal. This includes both written and oral communication methods. Among other things, you’ll want to emphasize the value you can bring to the company in the open position.
On the other hand, once you actually land the job, your focus shifts. Now you need to look at convincing the company that it made a wise decision by hiring you. What you say/write and how you do that will play a big part in the way you are viewed by your boss, his/her boss, your subordinates (if any), colleagues–everyone inside the company that has anything to do with you.
The same obviously applies to your external communications–with customers, vendors, regulatory authorities, whoever you have contact with as part of your job. They could be your valuable supporters or your detractors, depending on how you handle communications with them.
In other words, it’s still about value, but now it’s time to, as the saying goes, “put up or shut up.” In short, don’t just say or write it–prove it.
Final Communication Tip
If you lack confidence at all in your ability to communicate well before the hire or on the job, do something about it! Get help if necessary to identify your most critical “needs improvement” areas (written or oral) and take appropriate action to correct them ASAP. The last thing you want is to have weaknesses in this area hold back your professional growth and career success or to sabotage the new job you worked so hard to capture.