Your skill in business writing is one way you establish your credibility. Many readers, even if they themselves don't hold to a professional writing style, will look at non-professional styles and base their judgment of a business' level of professionalism on that metric! Whether you're writing for a long-time partner or making a first impression, professionalism is important . Here are five tips for when you want to present your best self.
- Be positive. Even in situations where you can't fulfill the reader's expectations or desires, focus on what you can do. For example, write "We can offer training beginning in February for certain positions," rather than "We cannot offer any training programs until the end of the fiscal year and cannot make these programs available to all positions."
- Focus on the reader. Your readers will be more engaged (and have a better opinion of your message) if you keep their needs at the forefront. Write "To offer you the best product possible, we will continue development through July," rather than "Our developers need until July to finish the product."
- Don't be too informal, but don't be too formal. There's a middle ground between "Hey, guys, don't be late or we're gonna getcha," and "Pursuant to the recommendations of the HR office, we are instituting more rigid disciplinary action for employees with a history of truancy." Try, "Starting next month, employees who are consistently late will be placed on probation."
- Avoid making assumptions. Rather than writing "Employees will be able to bring their wives to the benefit," or trying to cover every possibility in sentences like "Employees will be able to bring their wives, husbands, girlfriends, or boyfriends to the benefit," go for inclusive language such as "Employees will be able to bring one guest to the benefit."
- Use active voice. That is, focus on the doer, not the done-to . "Our HR department prepared a report," rather than "The report was prepared by the HR department."
To learn more about the professional writing style, contact Hurley Write, Inc .