Friday, 27 May 2016

Dear Graduates: Your Communication Skills Will Determine Your Worth

I'd make this quick because I know how short your attention spans are and how little patience you have with long, 'boring' content.

So here it is:

Despite your qualifications from Ivy-league/top-rated institutions; your professional networks and your raw intellectual prowess; your communication skills will either get your feet through those coveted corridors of your dream employers, or will cost you opportunities.

Yes, good, relevant degrees, hard work and whom you know, may get you noticed, but unless you display competent communication skills, you will not progress in your careers.

This is because mastering the three types of communication skills—public speaking; business writing; and nonverbal/body language cues—ensures that you exude value and that's what matters to savvy organisations.

Note however, that your communication skills must be attuned to the business environment and not birthed in your social media space.

For example, for your conversations online, the lazy, casual style you use on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. is unacceptable in any professional platform whereby your information is stored, such as on LinkedIn. Also remember that this is the information age. You will be 'googled' and your LinkedIn profiles will be scrutinised. So don't take any chances by coming across as infantile and unreliable. Moreover, your social media lingo could easily induce the scorn of prospective employers.

Now you're probably thinking that you know better than to communicate that way during interviews, at work meetings or during networking events. But here's something you may not realise - prolonged usage of informal language will dull your writing, causing this inappropriate style to seep into your communication in the business setting.

Case in point, the examples below sent as text messages:

"Howz it going?"

"Pls call me la8tr".

"Dunno wot d problem is".

"Emailed d proposal abt 4.30. Wld follow up 2moro".

The mistake often made is regarding text messages as an informal medium of communication and that sending such messages to your clients/bosses/colleagues or other professionals is acceptable.


It is not of course.

It's always better to err on the side of caution and remain in the professional mode in all work, or business-related issues, when communicating via whatever channels. You don't know who will access your musings or when your messages will be forwarded to decision makers. Therefore completely eliminate slang and avoid using informal language in professional circles, if you wish to be viewed as the educated, talented professionals that you are.


Note that public speaking skills are increasingly more relevant to how you are rated, either as desirable candidates or as new staff. I concede that you may not be required to mount podiums to give inspiring speeches as newbies. Nevertheless, you will be expected to string together coherent, intelligent sentences to effortlessly communicate a thought----or to refute, engage or persuade----without resorting to the use of filler phonemes or phrases such as the  "ums", "ers", "that's to says", etc.

Good communication really matters

I stumbled across interesting data which lists the main reasons why you as graduates, don't get those desirable jobs. The list is not exhaustive, yet it sheds light on the issue of graduate unemployment.
Most of the blunders are avoidable and relate to how you comport yourselves on social media, (mostly inappropriately). However, the last point clearly lists poor communication skills as a factor for being disqualified by hiring managers.

Enough said.



So here's my stance on how updating your communication skills will be beneficial to your careers:

Great communication skills increase the perception of your worth.

Therefore, hone your communication skills and your chances at being chosen by reputable employers or being considered for advancement in your jobs, will increase significantly. 

Read more good content to be able to improve your writingspeak up more in meetings, even if doubt yourselves, and learn how to discern nonverbal cues.

You are a tech-savvy generation so you know there are numerous resources online to help you in all three types of communication: from writing resources such as Hemingway and Grammarly apps; to TED speeches for public speaking and nonverbal communication.

  Simply become more proactive and persevere in the quest to become more effective communicators. Your efforts will pay off when you move swiftly along the path to rewarding careers.

Good luck!


If you enjoyed this post, don't rush off just yet. Please remember to:

-  Share this article in your social networks by clicking on the icons at the top or below.

- Sign up for updates in the blog's right sidebar so that you are immediately notified via email when a new blog post is published. Don’t miss any more articles!

Recommended reading

How To Advance Your Career With Superior Communications Skills

 Need help improving your skills? Hire me for:

Communications training sessions for  your staff and executives;

-Writing assignments (content creation, executive speeches, etc);

Speeches and keynote presentations at your corporate events.

  Let me help you get results.
  Contact me:

A) Send an email to:

B) Call for a free consultation:

Nigeria:              0704 631 0592
   International:    +234 704 631 0592    


First and second images courtesy of Stuart Miles; via Embedded tweet courtesy of Twitter. Last image courtesy of Ratch0013; via


  1. Kolarele Sonaike28 May 2016 at 16:23

    Excellent. These skills are so often under appreciated. Thx for sharing.

    1. Thanks Kolarele for reading and for the kind words.

  2. Lynn Matheson, MBA2 June 2016 at 18:11

    Recent graduate or not, this is a good reminder to not be sloppy in written and verbal communications.


We know you have opinions. Kindly post your comments.