Recruiters typically lead busy lives. This understatement encompasses wearing many hats, keeping track of a myriad of details, working the phones, searching databases, and most important, communicating with peers, candidates, and clients. With the time pressures that everyone works under it is all too easy to get distracted and even sloppy in our communications. Try to follow some simple guidelines to streamline your communications and thereby improve your overall organization, productivity, and professionalism.

When communicating in writing with other professionals it is important to slow down! Re-read your messages to look for egregious errors in spelling, grammar, or content. The adage of “haste makes waste” is as true today as it was yesterday. Most of us rely on auto-correct and spell checkers for help with spelling. For the good spellers out there, that is not a serious problem because they are likely to catch the odd misused or misapplied word. For all intents and purposes, a word might be spelled perfectly, but happens to be the wrong word, giving a whole new meaning or casting a cloud of confusion on your document! For the poor spellers, these “helpers” can be a real nuisance when they misapply or misuse a word. You are creating communications which potentially can cause embarrassment, lead to misunderstandings, and reduce your credibility as a professional.

Another detail often overlooked is too be sure to “sign your work.” Letting a document go out without proper authorship weakens your communication. Common practice is to assume the recipient knows that something is coming from you. Recruiters are rightfully proud of their accomplishments and skills and should be sure to take ownership of their documents. Always consider that if a message is important enough to put in writing, it is important for you to sign your name!

Faulty time management skills are also a big threat to good, professional communications and can be potentially damaging to your standing. If you have an appointment to meet in person, on-line, on the phone, or otherwise, that is set for a specific date and time… be there, and don’t be late. It is all too easy to think your time is more important than that of others, but if you are a serial laggard, your overall reputation will suffer. You are communicating to others that they don’t count. If you are going to be late, have the courtesy of letting everyone know. Respecting the time of others will contribute to your communication success.

Good communications should be focused and to the point. The first step is a good Subject Line. Be sure to avoid subject lines in emails like: You Gotta Read This, FYI, Good Morning, Sorry I Missed You, etc. Make your subject line suitable for searching and finding the true content of the message. Remember that you may be looking for a message a year or two after the “Good Morning” has worn off! Use boring sounding, but on-the-point subject lines such as: Acme Contract First Draft – For Review, XYZ Company Staffing Needs Summary, Bob Davis Corrected W-2 Form, etc. The body of your document should include the necessary details to effectively communicate your message, without leaving unknowns to be speculated about. Of course, you can include necessary attachments, links, images, and other devices to get the message across. A good, concise document should stand on its own.

Lastly, it is important to balance your response to a message to effectively close the loop on the communication, without cluttering up the airwaves with needless unnecessary affirmations. If you believe it is important to acknowledge receipt of a message, then do so. If it is not so critical that the sender needs to know that you got the message, then let it go unanswered. It is important as well to avoid assuming that someone agrees with your message when you do not receive a reply. In this case, you should specifically request a reply.

We rely on communications to function in today’s world. Work on improving your communication skills so you can ensure your continuing prosperity and professionalism. Having said all this, I hope I have spelled everything correctly and have not made any grammatical errors! Follow the simple tips above to KEEP YOUR COMMUNICATIONS ON TRACK!

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