Conversation requires more than just hearing; it demands active listening.

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Effective communication can be extremely difficult. It requires skill on the speaker’s part and depends on the listener to effectively “receive” the message. Conversation requires more than just hearing; it demands active listening. defines “communication”as:

1. The act or process of communicating; fact of being communicated.

2. The imparting or interchange of thoughts, opinions or information by speech, writing or signs.

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3. Something imparted, interchanged, or transmitted.

4. A document or message imparting news, views, information, etc.

5. Passage, or an opportunity or means of passage, between places.

In your job search, effective communication is critical to success. Any communication must be carefully planned to so its meaning is received correctly.

I get a lot of email messages from job seekers having problems. I try to help everyone.

But I need you to help me with specifics.

If you say, “I’m having trouble getting interviews,” I need to know what you’ve been doing in order to help. If you tell me you’ve looked for work for months with no success, tell me where, what kind of work, something about your background, and what you’ve done that is not working. Give me information and details. Don’t assume that I know where you live when you say you read the column in “the news.”Your location may be relevant to your search.

In addition to details, communicate truth. I can’t change history, but I may be able to help direct your future. I want to help people learn how to search and get jobs. Your effective communication may just be the skill to get you hired.

In every job-search communication, be honest, be brief but thorough, pay attention to details, and don’t leave anything to the imagination. Don’t assume.

Instead, do what others fail to do.

(Marvin Walberg is a job search coach. Contact him at or PO Box 43056, Birmingham, AL 35243.)

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