Effective Tips to Improve Your Business Writing Skills

business writing skillsTaking the time to improve your writing can boost your hireability

Whether you run a small business or multinational corporation, odds are that much of your work consists of communicating with others. Business people are called on to write emails, thank you letters, proposals, presentations, memos, training materials, grant proposals, promotional copy and a host of other documents. The problem is that many business people lack experience with writing. The skill is rarely stressed in business programs, but poor writing is a serious handicap. Taking the time to improve your writing can lead to promotional prospects and boost your hireability. Nothing can substitute for practice, but these tips will push you in the right direction.

?

Write Once, Check Twice

A brilliant document can turn into an embarrassment with just one stupid typo. Sure, typos happen, but your readers will judge you harshly for them. It is a sign of unprofessionalism and carelessness ? not exactly the vibe you want to give off. Finish your final lines, then set your work aside to review a few hours or days later when your head is clear.

Get to the Point

Concision matters, and in business writing, less is more. Although written information is essential to businesses, people do not want to read a 2,000 word thesis when a 500-word briefing can accomplish the same goal. Lose the fluffy phrases, use words sparingly and banish run-on sentences. Say what you want to say, and be done with it.

Use Templates

Pre-written documents are the saviors of many business writers. If you write a particularly noteworthy email, letter, memo or other document, save it for future use. Templates will save you time and stop you from rushing through writing. Just make sure you delete specific information like company names or titles before resending it.

Include a Call to Action

Nearly everything you write for business purposes should end with a call to action, something you want the reader to do. Don’t leave it up to them to choose what to do with the information you have given; instead, be clear in your request and make a strong call for action.

Be Professional, but Not Stuffy

Formal language is great for job applications and legal documents, but it comes off as stuffy in memos, letters and emails. Remember that informal writing does not mean unprofessional. There is no place for off-color jokes, personal opinions or office gossip in your business writing, but you can inject a bit of personality.

Have you improved your business writing skills? Let us know how you did it in the comments below.