Writing is the most important skill any job seeker can have. From writing emails to business letters, job seekers need to be able to write well.
Whether it’s been a while since you had to write a professional email or you are looking to perfect your cover letter, here are five tips for people looking to polish up their writing skills:
1. Proofread everything out loud. Is your grammar in check? Do you find that your writing is vague or repetitive? Once you finish an email, read it out loud. This will help you catch errors and fix your mistakes. By proofreading your work, you can strengthen your writing and learn how to pay attention to detail.
Keep in mind the first thing employers will notice in an email or resume are the writing errors. Even if it’s a simple punctuation mistake or missing letter, make sure you are proofreading everything you write to prevent mistakes.
2. Be concise. As you write, remember to keep your audience in mind. If you’re going to write an email, understand your reader doesn’t have time to read through multiple paragraphs. Unless you are writing a letter to your Aunt Mary, make sure your writing is short and sweet. Your boss and co-workers only want the important details, not everything else in between.
3. Ask others to read your writing. Feedback is crucial during the writing process. It’s important to have an understanding of how your audience perceives your message. You will be able to learn your strengths and weaknesses and discover how to improve this skill.
4. Practice, practice, practice! The writing process is an ongoing process that always needs attention. Keep in mind your writing won’t improve overnight, and realize you can only strengthen your writing skills by doing it often. By having patience and a positive attitude, you will be able to become a better writer.
If you’re not a writer, you can gain practice by sending emails or hand-written letters. You can also start a blog or write in a journal. Even if it’s as simple as writing an email to a friend or relative, use this as an opportunity to improve your skills. Not only can you focus on the technical aspects of your writing, like grammar and spelling, but you can develop your style.
5. Use what works. As you continue to develop your writing skills, take note of the different techniques that work for you. Do you write best when you create an outline? Or do you write better when you can type your thoughts freely into a Word document? Discover what techniques work best for you and use them.
Always remember: Strong written communication skills are developed over time. Although these techniques appear like common sense, they are often forgotten by many job seekers. With practice, precision, and attention to detail, your writing skills will improve and become polished.
What tips do you have for people wanting to improve their writing skills?