Imagine sitting down to work at the start of the day, opening your email, and finding something that looks like spam: it's full of typos; uses poor grammar; and includes long, rambling tangents. And worse, maybe it's meant for someone else and it was just sent to the entire department. You could have started the day out productively, but now you've wasted a few minutes and gotten off on the wrong foot.
Writing well is part of being a professional. Whether you're working for a small start-up or a multinational company, creating writing that comes across like a spam email can waste time, breed resentment, and ruin your credibility. If you're looking for ways to improve workplace writing and get ahead in your job role, try these tips:
- Know your "why." Simon Sinek, a well-known author with the RAND Corporation, speaks extensively on the value of knowing why you do what you do. Knowing why you're writing can help shape the finished product. Take some time before you start writing to establish why you're writing this document at this time; who will read it; and what you want them to learn, consider, or do as a result of reading.
- Get in your readers' shoes. You know what you want, but what about your audience ? What do they hope your document will provide them and can you deliver that? What do they not care about? What do they already know, and what do they want to discover?
- Craft your document. How you put information down on the page matters. Lead your reader through a logical structure and help them connect and remember the material; there are various organizational strategies you can use to do this.
- Be comfortable with the idea of revision. Most people, regardless of what they may believe about their own writing, can't produce a perfect document on the first try (and shouldn't expect to). Editing and revision are part of the writing process, not extra tasks to take on because you've failed.
If you want to improve workplace writing and brush up on your professionalism, contact us at Hurley Write, Inc.
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