In order to land a job, you will need to make the switch from academic writing styles and start using professional ones. You may have spent years of your life studying at college but now it’s time for that all-nighter one last time as you hand in those very same papers!
Along with changing up how we write, there are some other changes coming too—for instance: no more grading fellow students’ work or attending off-campus conferences once per semester.
Writing for a professional workplace will be different from writing an academic paper. For example, you’ll need to cut down your word count and write more concisely so that people can understand it easily. On top of all this, while you got used to formal language when talking with the professors in school, now you have to switch into a personably-professional tone that takes practice before feeling natural.
Writing for new audiences
As a writer, your job is about to change. You may no longer be writing in email and you might start using team messaging platforms like Slack or collaborative documents with colleagues.
Instead of just sending emails, you’ll soon be writing a lot more because these forms of communication are becoming increasingly common in the workplace. Even if not officially your job title or description, it’s likely that “writer” will become an unavoidable part of your day-to-day routine whether communicating with colleagues via messaging platforms like Slack or collaborating on documents alongside them. You may have to communicate about technical expertise and guidance from legal teams throughout this process
This means that your workplace writing will have to satisfy many people at a time, rather than just one professor. To do this you must keep things simple and straightforward wherever possible, which we discuss below.
You want to maximize readability, even at the level of each email you draft. To do this, keep things short when possible and put your main point in the beginning. Keep in mind that people are busy working too; therefore respect their time by making communication straightforward as much as possible.
Here are some tips for how to make your emails more readable:
- Use bullet lists like this one.
- Try breaking up long paragraphs or sentences into shorter ones. You can even put important items in bold!
Luckily, Grammarly’s writing suggestions will flag these issues and help you improve readability of your email messages.
Write emails that grab attention by using bullet lists, short paragraphs, and bolded words. Grammarly automatically checks for these issues to help you write better messages!
The dos and don’ts of tone
When writing in professional settings, it is important to err on the side of formality while also not seeming too stuffy. Though this can be a challenging balance, just enough that you come off as wanting respect but still being approachable and friendly.
It is important to write formally when you are trying to convey respect, but it can be awkward if this formality becomes too stuffy in a quick message.
Need a quick refresher on what good business writing looks like? Here are some tips to help you sound professional without being stuffy. First, aim for the tone of someone who is friendly but not overly familiar with their audience. Try reading your draft aloud – if it sounds too casual or contains an unusual number exclamation points, rework accordingly! If you’re having trouble breathing before finishing sentences or getting lost in paragraphs then that’s another sign something needs breaking up into smaller chunks.
If you want to make your writing engaging, try simplifying overly erudite diction. To keep things easy on the reader’s mind and avoid sounding bland, Grammarly can help with finding strong synonyms for words that are being used again and again in a document.
Getting it right
To prevent errors from being made in writing, save the “to” field for last when typing up emails. This way you can double check to make sure there are no typos before sending it off.
You can avoid a lot of errors in your writing by simply waiting to fill out the “to” field. Save this job for last so you have time to reread and catch any typos before sending it off!
The worst thing about mobile devices is that you’re often forced to use them for work. In school, if a paper’s due date was in November it would be on the syllabus as early as August, but at work deadlines can change quickly and sometimes from your phone!
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