Do you have a fear of writing that’s holding you back? I chose a career in recruitment for three reasons. First, I liked the straight forward nature of getting rewards for being successful. Second, I enjoy helping people get what they want. Last I am a closet dyslexic, so I am good at listening and talking, but struggle with writing.
I know there are many other recruiters who this fear of writing. But today, the need to write well is just as important as the ability to listen and talk.
Think about the number of emails, or adverts, you and your team send in a day or week. Most leaders take for granted that everyone in their team can write. But how many managers take the time to review the job adverts that consultants post online?
Writing well is not just about grammar. It is also about readability and influence. It’s hard to do all three well. If you want to know more about readability then check out the Flesch Reading Test
I know I need to work on my writing. If I don’t write clearly, it doesn’t matter how good my ideas are. People won’t understand or buy-in to them. This is also true for recruiters who write adverts or emails, where the grammar is poor, or are hard to read.
How to Beat Fear of Writing
It helps to know that others, who are good at talking, also struggle with writing well. Fear of writing can be beaten with some smart tools. Here are some approaches that can help.
This is the my latest and greatest writing support tool – check it out here. All you have to do is write your text in the space provided and as you type it will let you know when you have made mistakes. It will let you know when sentences are good, hard or very hard to read. Also it will suggest simpler words to use, check your use of adverbs and of the passive voice. Yes I had to look the last two up in wikipedia!!
It is free to use through your browser or just £6 if you want to use on your computer. As a starter, copy in an email you have sent, or job advert you have written and see the screen light up!
Grammarly is a chrome extension <click here> that checks everything you write online. Like the HemmingwayApp it checks grammar, highlights poor use of adverbs and the passive voice. What I liked most is that you can insert suggested words as you go rather than have to use a separate app.
This is a great tool if you use gmail or spend lots of time commenting on social media.
It is a free plug-in on Chrome, with premium options you can pay for which connect with Word and Outlook.
3. Find Help
Finding someone to help with editing your writing will help you lots, just as it has helped me. The editing process can slow the process of posting a blog or job advert. But for important documents, proposals or blogs it is a must.
To make more of this support, ask your editor to talk through the changes they make. This way you can begin to rely less on external support and get it right first time.
4. Go on a course
I have not taken this option myself yet, but is on my list of things to do. I can see a time though where writing skills will be trained with equal intensity to sales skills. Some companies have already caught on to this. They are now training writing skills in the first few weeks of employment.
There are lots of online courses you can take on sites such as Udemy or Coursera. Face to face courses will likely be taking place near you. An example of a course you could look at is the one run by Mitch Sullivan (Recruiter) and Jackie Barrie (Copywriter).
It’s title is, “writing compelling job adverts – a practical course for ambitious recruiters.”
If you are one of those that struggle with writing, I hope that you have found this blog useful. And maybe it’s some comfort to know there are others that find writing hard too.
I am coming to writing a little too late in life to master the art. But in a world more dominated by the written word than ever, it is a skill I must work to master.
Best of luck to everyone out there who is great at speaking, but finds writing hard.