Written Communication Skills at Work

What is Written Communication and Why is it Important in the Workplace?

At work, written communication can include anything from emails to contracts. It is a central part of the workplace across many industries and is the professional pathway to keeping in touch, solidifying business agreements, and collaborating. You can demonstrate proficiency in written communication by composing clear, concise, and error-free messages. Employers value this skill just as much as oral communication and are increasingly seeking candidates with superior written communication skills.

How Can I Improve My Written Communication Skills?

Improving your written communication skills may be one class away. Taking one or more writing classes can help you to practice your writing while earning good grades or even a certification. You can get started by inquiring with a local community college or university about taking a writing class. You can also explore free online offerings through resources such as MIT OpenCourseWare or Stanford University’s Adventures in Writing, both of which allow you to benefit from the course content of an esteemed institution in a more casual and cost-effective format.

5 Tips to Improve Written Communication Skills

Writing classes are a great way to improve your writing, but there are opportunities for improvement in your daily activities as well. By employing 5 basic tips, you can improve your written communication to create professional writings that are readable, coherent, and polished.

  1. Read.

You have likely heard that reading can help you to become a better writer. There is a great deal of truth to this as reading helps you to expand your vocabulary. The more you read, the more you are introduced to terms that you can use to compose professional communications. The goal is to incorporate diverse content into your readings to become acquainted with expansive language that can help you to communicate with words more efficiently. You can even read what ZipRecruiter has to say about other communication skills.

  1. Proofread.

Proofreading after you have completed the first draft of an email, proposal, or letter ensures that your message is clear and correct. Also, remember to use the spellcheck feature. Your written communications reflect you and your work, so it is important to review them before they are sent or submitted. The OWL Purdue Online Writing Lab is a helpful resource that can be used to determine what to check for while proofreading and how to correct errors.

  1. Know Your Audience.

You can improve your writing by tailoring your communications to the person that will be reading it. For example, if you are sending an email to a manager, it may be wise to steer clear of “text talk”, such as ‘LOL’, ‘BRB’, or ‘SMH’. Similarly, sending a very formal email to a work friend you have known for many years may not translate correctly. The same is true for sending a message laden with technical jargon to someone who is not familiar with such terms. Express yourself clearly while keeping in mind the communication style of the recipient.

  1. Exercise!

Physical activity certainly cannot hurt your writing skills, but in this case, we are referring to writing exercises. These are constructive activities that help you to practice written communication through different themes. Writing Exercises offers free prompts that can help you to work on your skills and explore different writing types and terms. Setting aside about one to two hours per week to complete writing exercises can help you to significantly improve your skills in the long run.

  1. Get a Second Opinion.

Having a trusted colleague, friend, or family member review your words can assist you with improving your writing skills. This will not only help you to catch any errors or typos that went unnoticed during the initial proofread, but allow you to note feedback that your trusted reviewer has about your writing style or structure.

Written communication skills are indispensable in the workplace. Improving these skills is helpful in your current job and vital to your future career endeavors as well. Making time to continue your education in writing via classes and heeding the 5 tips listed above are key investments in your long-term career success.

Written By Kaila Kea

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