I Can’t Write

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QUESTION OF THE DAY: Maria, I see a lot of advice (including yours) asking us to participate in groups. Well, I am not a great writer. I am good at what I do, but I don’t like to write and I am not good at it. So my fear is this, I start participating in groups and then when a recruiter googles me, they will find my poorly written comments and lose interest. I think I am better off keeping quiet. Agree?

ANSWER: You are not alone – it’s a common concern! I have three points I would like to make.

First, you have much more to gain than to lose by participating in groups. You say you are good at what you do – but by not participating in groups, you are limiting your exposure and losing a valuable opportunity to build your brand and establish yourself as an expert. You are missing out on quality networking opportunities and missing out on an ability to send a connection request and customized message to a person who would otherwise be out of reach without InMail.

Second, expectations and requirements vary by industry and function. If I am hiring a technical editor, yes, I will be looking for stellar writing. If I am hiring a developer, I am much more interested in the quality of your code.

Third, and I am sorry if I sound preachy, my recommendation is to invest a little bit time and effort in learning how to write. Take an inexpensive online class, read a book on writing, etc Not being able to write and speak well is a liability. It’s like cooking a delicious dish and serving it on an old, broken plate.

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