Most of your communication at work is done via writing, whether by email, SMS, online chats, or other methods. Your writing can say a lot about you, so ensure that you’re doing your best when it comes to writing at work. Here are 9 ways you can improve your skills.
1. Get to the point
Like you, many of your recipients will have limited time when they’re at work. If they open an email from you, they need to know what you’re trying to say right away. If you can’t get to the point, they’re going to click away, or worse, ignore you entirely. Try writing your main point into the first sentence of your message. You can use the rest of the message to elaborate on it. This makes it clear want you want to say right away.
2. Avoid padding your messages
When you write, brevity should be key. Each word should work hard in your message, and the less you use, the better. Go through your messages once you’ve written them, and take out any filler words you find. The simpler your language, the better. If you’re especially verbose, it can give the impression you’re trying to appear more intelligent or important than you actually are.
3. Leave jargon out
This is especially important if you’re writing to people outside of your industry. Jargon may make sense in your workplace, but to outsiders it’s going to make no sense at all. It’s much better to leave it out, or find words that make more sense.
4. Use online tools
Online tools are constantly being developed to help improve your writing. Here are some tools you can use to improve your writing:
- Mail Mentor: Paste your message into this tool, and it’ll suggest ways you can improve it before sending.
- Via Writing: This grammar resource will help you with common grammatical errors you come across.
- Word Count: Use this word counting tool to keep your messages short and to the point.
- Essay Writer: This tool will help you proofread your messages before you send them.
- Citeitin: This website creates perfect citations.
- Markdown Here: This tool helps you format your emails without the fuss.
5. Pay attention to your grammar
Talk of grammar may take you back to school, but remember that it really is as important as your teachers claimed. Even if a reader can’t recite any grammar rules, they can still spot poor grammar a mile off. It can make you look unprofessional, so be sure to pay attention to it.
6. Get feedback on your writing
“It’s hard to improve if you don’t know where you need to improve. Find a trusted friend or colleague, and show them your writing,” says professional writer Adrian Philips from Assignment Help. “They can see where you’re going wrong, and start making suggestions as to where you can improve.”
7. Watch your tone
The tone you take in your writing is important. If you write with a slightly wrong tone, it can give off a completely different impression. For example, a slightly too formal tone can make a colleague feel as though they’re being ‘told off’, rather than you offering them helpful advice. Pay attention to the tone you use, and ensure there is no room for misunderstandings.
8. Keep it short
As well as ensuring you get to the point quickly, it’s a good idea to keep your writing brief in general. No one wants to read a message that seems to go on forever. Instead, work to keep your messages short.
9. Always proofread and edit
No matter how short your message is, always go over it beforehand. It’s amazing how many mistakes you can make in your writing without even realizing it, so it’s always better to check before you hit ‘send’. Proper proofreading and editing can make you appear much more professional, to colleagues and customers alike.