5 business writing skills to accelerate your career

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In today's business world, writing skills are more important than ever.

Most of our work is done digitally (or at least has a digital component).

More workforces are now remote.

And more work is happening asynchronously, meaning it needs to be well-documented.

Effective written communication is critical.

Today, I want to share the 5 most important business writing skills (in my opinion). Master these and they will accelerate your career.

Here we go:

1. Clarity

Business writing must be clear.

If your writing isn’t easy to understand, it will not be effective.

The best way to make your writing clear is to simplify it.

Replace long sentences with short ones.

Swap complex terms for simple ones (especially if you’re writing about a technical subject).

Here’s an example of clear business writing:

Marketing will launch a new social media campaign next week to promote our latest product.

Boom. Easy to understand.

Unclear writing is vague and abstract. The reader has to work to understand what’s being said.

Lesson: Make your writing easy to understand. Don’t make us work.

2. Conciseness

Business writing must be concise.

If your writing isn’t concise, you will lose people.

Remember: the average adult reads at the 7th-8th grade level.

The longer your writing is, the harder it will be to comprehend.

Here’s an example of concise business writing:

The project deadline is next Friday. Team members should submit their final reports by 4pm.

Clear and concise.

Concise writing is powerful. It saves time for your reader (and you), and helps ensure your message lands clearly.

Avoid using unnecessary words, filler language (”I think that the main thing is …”) and too many descriptors.

Lesson: Get to the point, then get out of the way.

3. Specificity

Business writing must be specific.

Specificity eliminates ambiguity and makes your writing more impactful.

It demonstrates authority and mastery.

Here’s an example of specific business writing:

The new software program has reduced time spent on data entry by 35% in the first four weeks.

Here’s a non-specific example of the same message:

The new software program has drastically reduced time spent on data entry since we launched it.

Which of those sounds more credible?

Who would you have more confidence in?

It’s obvious. The person who communicates specifically.

Lesson: Be specific. It builds credibility and authority.

4. Accuracy

Business writing must be accurate.

Accurate means:

  • Your facts are correct

  • Your grammar is correct

  • Your writing is free of errors

Will you sometimes have a typo or make a mistake?

Yes. It happens and isn’t the end of the world.

That said, consistent inaccuracies in your writing IS a problem.

It shows a lack of detail, professionalism and care for your work.

Two tips to help you be more accurate:

(1) Write a draft and come back later to review it with fresh eyes

(2) Use AI tools like Grammarly to proof-read your writing

Lesson: Be accurate. It matters.

5. Organization

Business writing must be organized.

Well-organized writing has a clear structure and uses formatting to make it easier to consume.

  • Headings

  • Subheadings

  • Bullet points

  • Numbers and titles

  • Bold and italics

Those are a few formatting options you can use to help with organization.

Organization helps the reader quickly understand the main topics, make connections and get the “gist” of your writing while skimming it (important in a world when a lot of reading is done on phones).

Lesson: Organized writing gets read. Unorganized writing gets dismissed.

Action Item

Start putting these 5 skills into practice.

Which one(s) do you need the most support with?

I’d love to know.

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