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Business Writing 101


It really does not matter what industry you are in. One of the most valuable skills to an employer is the ability to write well.{{more}} No, this is not a call for companies to round up award-winning writers or those who feel “blessed with the gift of writing.” Excellent business writing skills, like any other skill, take time to develop, and anyone can learn.

Whether it is an email, memo, proposal, report, brochure or formal letter, the key to effective business writing is to develop copy that is clear, concise and results oriented. Consider the following when writing your next piece of business material:

1. What is the purpose of this project? Is it to inform, persuade, or move people to action? Knowing the purpose of your communication will help you choose the proper language and tone to accomplish your goal.

2. Outline your project. Take the time to organize your thoughts, even if you are just writing a simple email. This method will ensure that you cover the most important topics and will save time and reduce wordiness.

3. Write with the reader in mind. It is easy to get caught up in a writing project and feel overwhelmed. Put your personal feelings aside and picture the reader. You want the reader to actually read what you have written and take it seriously. Research your reader, know what they like and dislike, and then construct the material accordingly.

4. Double-check your work. Ask a colleague to review your work or let it sit for a while and then revisit it. This will cut down on common errors such as grammar and misspellings.

Again, writing is a skill that can be developed. It is in your best interest to take the time to develop this skill as it is invaluable to your career development.

Karen Hinds is “The Workplace Success Expert.” For a FREE SPECIAL REPORT on Avoiding Career Killers in the Workplace, send an email to [email protected]

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