Companies are paying more attention to writing
It is no secret that when it comes to choosing a candidate for a job, communication skills play a very important role for recruiters. The writing factor is even neglected in many of these cases. However, in recent years in the business, marketing, law and customer service sectors, the quality of the employees’ writing is being considered. This is because employers have realized that having an employee who handles their writing well ensures quality communications with customers, prospects, and other external interests that ultimately will benefit their company.
What makes it different from the writing we used to do at school/college?
Many features or characteristics we know about writing in general are more focused in the school/college field. All of us must have written various types of texts. Essays or papers, whether descriptive, analytical, persuasive, expository, narrative, among others. Which helped us in the learning process to analyze and sort out opinions and data. Also, to analyze source material and to develop critical thinking. Nevertheless, writing in the workplace is a different story. Here the approach is directed toward specific results, communicating in ways that are clear, direct, and brief.
What types of text are used in the work environment?
Let’s start by showing the most common types of written texts we tend to use at work. First, the letter which, although it is the oldest form of writing, is still widely used even today. Here we can find some kinds such as:
- Letters of application.
- Thank-you letters.
- Letters of complaint.
- Letters of request.
- Informative letters.
- Letters promoting something.
On the other hand, the category of emails and memos, where we could find, for instance:
- Brief reminders.
- Information exchanges.
- Thank-you notes.
Trying to define all these subtypes of writings is something that does not concern us in this opportunity, so we will only focus on one of each categoryFor “letter” we will focus on “application letter” (or cover letter), and for “email” we will only do an overview of it.
What is a cover letter?
A cover letter or an Application letter is probably the most written type of letter in recent years. With this globalized world and the tough competition at the academic and job level, many of us know how important it is to write this document well to get what we want, whether it is a university place, a scholarship, or the job of our dreams. But how do we write a good application letter? There you should detail the most powerful reasons on why you are a qualified candidate for that job. Also, you have to explain why you want to join the company or institution.
You should never forget to mention the position for which you are applying as it is a common mistake to simply focus the application letter on your skills, experience, and studies. Leaving out details about the position and how you see yourself in it in the future.
How do we structure it?
In the same way, as with all letters, an application letter should be divided into sections in order to maintain the order of our writings and not leave out relevant information. The heading is the first thing to do because it contains your name and contact information as well as the information of the company to which you are sending the letter followed by the greeting which shows courtesy. Afterwards, the text will be divided like any other, with an introduction, body, and closing. In the introduction what we do is to explain the reason for the letter, in the body we name our most relevant achievements, and, in the closing, we thank the reader and provide other pertinent information that you have not mentioned before.
What about emails?
Subsequently, moving to the next category, emails, we will focus on these at a general level. On what they are and tips on how to structure them properly. It is widely known that most jobs would not be able to continue many of their tasks without the help of emails. They provide efficiency and productivity, while being free and extremely fast. Still, many of us do not get the most out of it.
Customize every email you send
To begin, the subject matter is paramount. Leaving it blank is the worst mistake we can make. In this order of ideas, here we must write something clear, direct and at the same time describe the real content of our email.
Thereafter, just like in a letter there is a greeting section which has two parts: salutation and opening sentence. The salutation is where we write, for example, “Dear” and the name of the person to whom the email is addressed, and the other part is the opening sentence. Immediately, we write our email starting with an attention grabber that helps us, at the same time, to build rapport with the recipient. Only in the case that our recipient is a specific person and we can know about what he/she is interested in. For these purposes LinkedIn is our best ally. The goal here is to avoid writing something generic. The person has to feel that it is an email written just for them.
Keep it short
Further, the email has to be as short, brief and concise as we can. No one is willing to read a text that has very long paragraphs. Therefore, these must be short and one of these must have the bullet points of our email that are basically the most important part of the email where we condense the key points of our information or request. It is also worth mentioning that we should use a professional font such as Arial or Times New Roman. Also, avoid using multiple fonts in the same email. Likewise, conclude with a closing line. Try not to be exaggerated in these, do not use several at the same time so you would sound too dramatic. Some good examples are, “Sincerely”, “Kind regards” and “Respectfully”.
Never stop practicing
In summary, writing is a form of communication that facilitates many processes in almost all work environments. A well reinforced skill in this field will open many doors for us. My biggest advice in this regard is to continue practicing our grammar, spelling, punctuation and cohesion, practicing whenever we can with our emails and letters. On top of that, always be concise with what we want to communicate in our writings. If we try to cover too many topics in our writings, attention will be diverted from what is really important.
Finally, if we put everything mentioned in this article into practice, we will always get the desired outcomes with our writings which will have a positive impact on our job performance, which is what we want after all!