There are writers in the workplace who never earn a living for their writing skills. Yet their daily communications impact the business significantly. How often have you seen a job posting that requires strong written and verbal skills? It’s a common requirement. This is one of the main reasons that you need to strengthen your writing skills for any job.
Writing skills enhance promotion in every type of job from auto mechanic to Wall Street financial analyst, especially in today’s world that depends so heavily on email communication. Those who can write well, find it easier to climb the ladder of success.
Amazingly enough, one of the most common faults in writing is one of the easiest to overcome. It’s not difficult. It just takes time. To look like a good writer, you have to pay attention to details.
Here are seven mistakes that commonly trip people up in their resumes and other written communication with potential employers.
- Forgetting to capitalize the first letter of each sentence.
- Forgetting to put periods at the end of each complete thought. (The British call the period a “full stop.” That’s what it does. It stops the reader so the information is easier to process.)
- Forgetting to put commas where you would pause if you were talking to the person your message is for.
- Forgetting to insert paragraphs when the subject changes (even if only slightly).
- Forgetting to read what you have written before you send it. (I recommend reading out loud. If you are in an office with others around you, read just loud enough that you can hear yourself, yet quietly enough that anyone else will only hear a mumble.)
- Forgetting to check your spelling.
- Forgetting to be professional.
Of course grammar is another important component. This is a more difficult obstacle to overcome as the English we heard around us growing up has an impact on what “sounds” right to our ears. It’s a lot more difficult to memorize all the details related to when you are supposed to use we versus us and he versus him, etc. For some of us it’s just natural because we heard it spoken correctly. For others, it may always require a conscious effort.
If you are serious about improving your job writing skills, keep an English writing handbook in your desk. Even though I’ve been a writer for many years, I still turn to my handbook occasionally to check whether my grammar is correct. You can also turn to respected internet sites such as http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/ for assistance.
No matter how challenged you may be, grammar is one detail you can ultimately improve on if you make the effort. Toss out the idea, I’m just not any good at this. You can do it if you are willing to focus on one detail at a time. As you master each detail, stretch yourself to master another one. It’s never too late to improve your job writing skills.