April, 2009

This Month's Issue

Get Started by Freewriting

Use Writing to Get the Job

Links of Interest

Get Started by Freewriting

Freewriting is a technique that allows you to get words on paper without your inner editor nagging at you.

Try to start this process in a relaxed state of mind. You might want to put on relaxing music to help.

If you know what you want to write about and are having trouble getting started, use this technique:

  • Write your topic at the top of a blank page or screen.
  • Set a timer. Usually 5-15 minutes is a good range.
  • Start writing and don't stop until the time is up.
  • Write whatever comes into your mind. Don’t worry about grammar, spelling or punctuation. Don’t even worry too much about staying on topic. And if you can’t think of anything to write, jot down, “I can’t think of anything to write” and tell how that makes you feel. You’ll be surprised the doors that simple trick can open in your imagination.
  • When the timer goes off, if you are on a roll, keep going. If not, stop and look at what you wrote.
  • Are there any ideas that might work for your project? Highlight ideas and phrases you can use later.
  • Even if you didn’t keep anything from the first freewriting you did, keep trying it. As you become more comfortable with the process, you will produce more useable material.
For additional techniques and tips, check out my new Freewriting page.

Use Writing to Get the Job

In today's economy, we all know that our skills must be honed to perfection if we want to get or keep a job. Our last issue discussed how employers value writing skills. Now, it's time to use those skills to get the job you want.

Start with your resume

This may sound obvious, but it is incredible how many prospects send in resumes that have spelling errors, horrible grammar or no discernible structure.

When you send out a resume, make sure you have made it the best it can be. If you aren't sure what that entails, find someone to help you.

Make your cover letter sing Not literally, of course, but it will be the first example your prospective employer sees of your writing skills. In that case, shouldn't it be nothing short of amazing?

Give your best writing sample Not all employers will request a writing sample, but it is good to have one handy, anyway. Send a short sample, such as a memo, with your resume. Have another, long sample with you for the interview.

The more you can do to demonstrate your superior writing abilities to an employer, in conjunction with your other skills, the better your chances of getting the job.

Links of Interest

Newspaper Reporting

Write the Five Paragraph Essay

Write a Business Letter

See you next time!


Mary Klaebel