Want to develop job skills? Try writing, a skill employers find lacking today, according to an article by CNBC business journalist Kelley Holland.
“Despite stubbornly high unemployment, many employers complain that they can’t find qualified candidates for the jobs they do have.
Often, it turns out, the mismatch results from applicants’ inadequate communication skills. In survey after survey, employers are complaining about job candidates’ inability to speak and write clearly.”
Holland says some blame technology for Generation X and Y’s proclivity to shorthand and texting. Others blame colleges or even high schools for poor instruction:
“William Ellet, an adjunct professor teaching writing at Brandeis International Business School, says the problem starts even earlier [than college]. He points out that when the Department of Education in 2012 published what it called ‘The Nation’s Report Card: Writing 2011,’ just 24 percent of eighth and 12th graders were proficient in writing. From colleges on down, he said, ‘nobody takes responsibility for writing instruction.'”
Instead of blaming technology, Ellet says technology actually makes writing skills more critical because of the increased reliance on email communication in the business world.
Even though recruiters believe more practical experience is needed in business school training, they, along with employers, are voicing the desire for those who can communicate effectively. Some businesses are even addressing the deficiency by providing extra writing training to new employees.
According to one of Holland’s sources, it’s not a matter of being smart enough, because some of the smartest people may simply not have developed their writing skills sufficiently. However, writing is important enough that it can affect the ability of individuals to succeed, for example, at an investment job, no matter how smart they are.
Could this be a sign schools need more emphasis on the basic “Three Rs” for the sake of our future workers, as well?
>>Source: Holland, Kelley. “Why Johnny can’t write, and why employers are mad.” CNBC. 11 Nov. 2013.