By Gerry Corbett
What you say and how you say it matter significantly. Your words and the choice of the words you employ say much about you, your character, your integrity, your brand and the very essence of who you are and what you represent. So as you write your resume, your cover letters, your social-platform profiles, your blog, your twits and other prose, pay critical attention to your words and how you use them. Here are some thoughts to keep in mind to help you stay true to your character and resonate with your personal brand.
1. Write like you speak. Use words that are natural to your inner voice. Do not use vocabulary that does not fit your personality.
2. Use simple declarative sentences -- a subject, verb and object. Keep it simple and succinct.
3. Tell a story. From our infancy, we are read stories that entertain, engage and educate. It is a form of communications to which we all have become accustomed. Use words that tell a story and paint a picture of the point of view that you hold, the achievements you have made, the opinions you have and the knowledge you possess.
4. Say what you know and believe. Speak from your experience, your knowledge, your research, your understanding, your premise. Forget invention unless fiction is your intention.
5. Be honest. Tell what is true. Do not lie, obfuscate, hide or distort. Human nature is savvy. People can often sense insincerity. Even if, in some cases, the insincerity is not obvious, the truth will out.
6. Use active voice. People often respond better to language that is energetic. So in simple terms make the subject the actor and the object the recipient of the action. An example: “The company benefitted greatly from my focus on return on invested capital” is passive. Instead use: “My strong focus on return on invested capital significantly improved the company’s financial position.”
7. Edit yourself. It is human nature that we can be our own worst critic. Yet, we can also be great editors if we give enough time and space in between writing and editing. So after you have written your latest blog or cover letter, sleep on it, then edit.
8. Get other opinions. Sometimes the people who best know us can be authentic editors. They can tell us if our voice is stretched, out of tune or not in sync. Objective critics can sometimes be that final tuning fork that makes our words and word strings harmonize.