Check out the following link recommended by Peggy Schuyler, if the article is not there see the text below:

Do You Have the Write Stuff? Four Keys to Better Business Writing

By Robert Half International

Recent research shows that half of hiring managers take a certain qualification into account when making hiring and promotion decisions. What is it? Experience? Technical aptitude? Business acumen? Actually, the mystery attribute is writing ability. This statistic from a survey conducted by the National Commission on Writing affirms that no matter your field or position, your ability to communicate using the written word plays a major role in career success.

Consider these additional findings:

  • In a survey of executives by Robert Half International, more than one-third cited typos and grammatical mistakes as the most common résumé errors.

  • Strong writing skills are even more important for higher-level positions: In a poll by The Wall Street Journal and Harris Interactive, the top complaint about MBA students among recruiters was inferior communication skills.

  • In a separate Robert Half International survey, 71 percent of executives said they use e-mail as their primary mode of interaction, underscoring that more people are communicating via the keyboard than ever before.

Don't forget, though, if your writing skills could use a refresh. The following tips can help you improve:

    • Know what you want to say. Before sitting down to write, make sure you know what you want to convey. It seems like an obvious step, but many people rush headlong into a document and discover halfway through that they've barely touched upon the topic they set out to discuss.

    • Formulate a one-sentence statement that describes the purpose of your piece and jot it down. For example, your goal may be to "suggest a new system for generating monthly reports" or "convince a client that our product is the best in the market." Refer back to this statement as you write, and use it as a way to remain focused on your message.

    • Keep it simple. A common problem among business documents is that they are difficult to decipher. That's because the writers are so concerned with sounding sophisticated that their points get lost among convoluted sentences, unnecessary words and confusing phrases.

    • Consider the following sentence: "In order to ascertain the appropriate course of action regarding the company's proposed initiative concerning an expansion of current operations into the Asian market, committee members debated the various merits and drawbacks." It may sound lofty to the untrained ear, but most readers won't have the time or patience to make sense of this statement. A better sentence would read: "Committee members met to discuss the company's Asian expansion."

    • To be clear and concise, keep these tips in mind: Cut unnecessary words and phrases. That means changing statements such as "it would appear that" to "apparently" and "in addition to" to "also."
Topic revision: r1 - 13 Apr 2006, SvetlanaEden

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