Business Communication: Writing Tips for ProfessionalsJuly 12, 2018
Are your writing skills up to par? Don’t risk losing business or credibility with your colleagues and clients by adopting bad habits. Learn how you can tailor your skills.
Writing is an essential skill to nurture throughout your professional career. It’s one of the few skills that can be applied to every area of your personal and professional life.
You are probably doing more writing than you think (how could we forget all of those emails?) Any practice is good practice if you're adopting the right habits.
Here are some tips to get you on track for success, whether you're putting together an email, or writing a more formal piece (i.e. blog, article, executive summary, etc.)
5 Benefits of Writing
Every career requires employees to write in some capacity, whether that’s solely email, or blogging, memos, letters etc.
- Gives you credibility- If you’re a person who consistently spells things wrong, or does not take the time to proofread for grammatical errors, you will lose respect and credibility. Good writing, even in a simple email, lets people know that you care and can be trusted.
- Helps you network- In this day and age, a lot of networking is done online. Build strong connections by proofreading everything you send out, and, when possible, have a colleague read through something you’ve put together.
- Positions you as a leader- Writing well allows you to communicate ideas clearly, connect with peers on a personal level, and establish credibility—skills all leaders need.
- Opens doors- Whether you’re seeking a promotion or seeking a new place of work, expressing yourself eloquently and professionally (in resumes and cover letters, for example) sets you apart from the crowd.
- Allows you to communicate efficiently- Good writing skills allow you to communicate a message with clarity and ease, similar to a face to face conversation.
Strengthen Your Writing
The most effective way to tailor your writing skills is to read! That doesn’t mean you have to crack open the Shakespeare, per say (unless you want to of course!), almost anything will do—business articles, biographies, pop fiction, blogs, travel guides. Reading sends good writing habits to your subconscious, and before you know it, you’ll have expanded your vocabulary and absorbed effective writing tactics!
- Keep your writing concise. Don’t make your reader work hard to understand what you’re trying to say. Aim for simple and direct sentences rather than overly flowery language. Make sure you get straight to the point!
- Always check your spelling and grammar. We are lucky to have autocorrect and spellcheck in the 21st century, but don’t rely too heavily on this. View some common “grammar hacks” here.
- PROOF READ! Always Always Always read through your writing to make sure it makes sense, and does not have any errors.
Don’t Forget to Check Your Work
When you don’t take the time to tailor your writing and review what you have written, you run the risk of…
- Offending someone- If you send something out that is riddled with errors, overly casual language, etc, you will likely send the message that you don’t care.
- Losing business- A poorly written email could project a lack of commitment and attention to detail.
- Missing deadlines- If you don’t clearly state what you need, when you need it, you run the risk of confusing someone and perhaps missing a deadline. Don’t bury your main point in a sea of flowery language!
- Losing growth opportunities- Be professional in all emails, memos, etc. You never know when something might be forwarded to management. You don’t want to lose out on a promotion for one poorly written email.
In an age where a lot of our communication involves emojis, acronyms, and maybe even a 140 character limit, it is important to remember your audience. Business communication, while concise, should always be professional.
Questions on professional writing? Reach out to us.