Essentials of Business Communication, 9 edition
Communication Skills: Your Ticket to Success
Workplace surveys and studies confirm that recruiters rank communication skills at the top of the list of qualities they most desire in job seekers. Such skills are crucial in a tight employment market when jobs are few and competition is fierce. In a recession, superior communication skills will give you an edge over other job applicants. A powerful career filter, your ability to communicate will make you marketable and continue to be your ticket to success regardless of the economic climate. Perhaps you are already working or will soon apply for your first job. How do your skills measure up? The good news is that effective communication can be learned. This textbook and this course can immediately improve your communication skills. Because the skills you are learning will make a huge difference in your ability to find a job and to be promoted, this will be one of the most important courses you will ever take.
Why Writing Skills Matter More Than Ever
Today’s workplace revolves around communication. Workers communicate more, not less, since information technology and the Internet have transformed the world of work in the last two decades. The modern office is mobile and fast paced. Technology enables us to transmit messages faster, farther, to potentially larger audiences, and more easily than in the past. Many people work together but are physically apart. They stay connected through spoken and written messages. Writing skills, which were always a career advantage, are now a necessity.1 A survey of American corporations revealed that two thirds of salaried employees have some writing responsibility. About one third of them, however, do not meet the writing requirements for their positions.2
“Businesses are crying out—they need to have people who write better,” said Gaston Caperton, business executive and College Board president.3 The ability to write opens doors to professional employment. People who cannot write and communicate clearly will not be hired. If already working, they are unlikely to last long enough to be considered for promotion. Writing is a marker of high-skill, high-wage, professional work, according to Bob Kerrey, president of The New School university in New York and chair of the National Commission on Writing. If you can’t express yourself clearly, he says, you limit your opportunities for many positions.4
Not surprisingly, many job listings explicitly ask for excellent oral and written communication skills. In a poll of recruiters, oral and written communication skills were by a large margin the top skill set sought.5 Employers consistently state that communication skills are critical to effective job placement, performance, career advancement, and organizational success.6 Among the top choices in two other polls were teamwork, critical thinking, analytical reasoning, and oral and written communication skills.7
If you believe that you will not need strong communication skills in a technical field such as accounting or information technology, think again. A recent poll of 1,400 chief financial officers sponsored by Accountemps revealed that 75 percent said that verbal, written, and interpersonal skills are more important today than they were in the past.8 Even technical specialists must be able to communicate with others and explain their work clearly. A survey of Web professionals showed that those with writing and copyediting skills were far less likely to have their jobs sent offshore.9 Another survey conducted by the Society for Information Management revealed that network professionals ranked written and oral communication skills among the top five most desired skills for new-hires
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