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1-Minute Strategies: May ’10

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in Hiring,Human Resources

Elevate the clarity of your writing by using the inverted pyramid style that journalists use: Put conclusions first, followed by background. Tell readers within the first two sentences why they should continue reading. Otherwise, they may skip to something else.

Go ahead, give someone a high five or a supportive pat on the back. Moments of human touch carry more weight than you’d think, say researchers. Physical contact can lead to immediate changes in how people think and behave. Example: In one study, students who received a supportive touch on the back or arm from a teacher were nearly twice as likely to volunteer in class as those who did not.

Send large files fast by using a free service such as YouSendIt Lite (www.yousendit.com). You upload a file, and YouSendIt sends a notification to the recipient, who then picks it up. Tip: To keep files secure, consider upgrading to the Business version.

Gain credibility by stripping “marketese” from your writing geared toward customers. Words like “superior” or “excellent” will only make readers wonder whether you’re telling the truth. Better to keep your writing objective. Leave the bragging to outside sources who can offer praise for your company’s work.

Double-check e-mail messages where the stakes are high by taking this extra proofreading step: Print it out. It’s often easier to spy misspellings.

Learn as much as you can along the way, “even though what you’re learning may not seem relevant at the time,” says Blaine Loomer, author of Corporate Bullsh*t: A Survival Guide. Too many people don’t understand the basics about the operation of their company, he says, or how financial data drives decisions.

Put this on your recruiting checklist: You can tell a lot about potential hires by the way they treat the receptionist. So says Jana Eggers, chief executive of Spreadshirt, a maker of personalized clothing. “I always get feedback from [our receptionist],” she tells The New York Times. “I’ll want to know if they weren’t polite, if they didn’t say, ‘Hello,’ or ask them how they were. It’s important to me.”

Get more from a flexible schedule than the ability to sleep in occasionally. Dr. Clare Bambra of Durham University in the U.K. tells MedPage Today that flex schedules improve physical and mental health. “Control at work is good for health,” she says. Studies by Bambra and her colleagues revealed decreases in blood pressure and heart rate, as well as a better night’s sleep.

Take care to get your eight hours in every night. Between work, family and everything else you do, a good night’s sleep may be elusive. But women, especially, need eight hours of sleep nightly. A recent study by the University of Warwick and University College London found that women who get less than the recommended eight hours of sleep at night are at higher risk of heart-related problems.

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