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Today's job market is competitive. While our increasingly digital society has placed a demand for technology skills, there's one skill that will never go out of fashion: communication. In fact, communication skills are the number-one quality that employers want, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

According to Your Executive Coach, a new e-guide from Walsh College, the ability to communicate one-to-one both verbally and in writing is a primary skill sought by hiring managers when filling positions. Not only is it important to getting the job, but effective communication skills are essential to moving up in a company to leadership positions.

"Almost every employment ad or job description, regardless of the position, will list 'strong written and verbal communication skills' as a minimum qualification,'' said Linda Hagan, Ph.D., a professor and the chair of the Business Communications Department at Walsh College. "As you move up in organizations, there is greater demand to be able to communicate clearly, confidently and persuasively; and effective verbal skills become even more important."

While technological advancements have changed the way we communicate, today's jobs still require employees to engage with people directly, whether through making a presentation, meetings, networking or even understanding the proper etiquette for writing a professional email. Additionally, communicating effectively is vital to maximizing productivity. Whether it be working in a team or speaking with a subordinate or supervisor, clear and concise communication is crucial to ensuring projects are done accurately and efficiently.

"Good business practices involve maintaining positive relationships with coworkers, customers and the community, and relationship maintenance takes communication," Hagan said. "Never underestimate the power of communication, both positively and negatively. Job opportunities arise, deals are made and organizational productivity improves because of communication. Being able to communicate with different audiences and through different channels is a must-have skill."

To succeed in today's business world, the e-guide recommends being able to achieve the following communications skills:

  • Creating and delivering digital presentations and webinars
  • Becoming proficient at writing articles and summary reports
  • Sharpening on-screen skills for presenting via Skype and FaceTime

As the world and technology continue to evolve, so should the communication skills of job seekers and workers who wish to advance in their careers. Those who are able to present their thoughts, plans and recommendations in a well-considered, coherent way are the most likely to attain and excel in their careers.

For additional career advancement tips, download Walsh College's free e-guide at www.walshcollege.edu/executivecoach.

This story is provided and presented by our sponsor Walsh College.

Members of the editorial and news staff of The Detroit News were not involved in the creation of this content.

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