Like it or not, people judge you by how you write. Strong writing skills will help you get noticed, earn your colleagues’ trust and move you up in your career, says author and writing coach Roger C. Parker.
If your writing could use some work, he has five suggestions to help you improve it.
- Understand your audience. The best writers tailor their work to the people who will be reading it. Think about your audience and figure out their frustrations, problems and goals, and then tailor your writing specifically for them.
- Pick your topics off deadline. Adrenaline may get you moving at the last minute, but it won’t help you do your best writing. Instead, set up a schedule where you write out the topics well in advance. When you select topics for months into the future, you have plenty of time to think about them, both consciously and unconsciously, and when you sit down to write, you’ll have more fully formed ideas.
- Leave time for editing. You don’t want to immediately send your work the minute you finish writing it. Leave at least 10 minutes, but preferably overnight, for it to sit while you clear your mind. When you come back, read it out loud to help you identify any glaring errors, run-on sentences or awkward phrasing, so you can fix it before sending it.
- Read a wide range of writing. The more you read, the more you learn, and the more you will discover the differences between good writing and bad. Don’t limit yourself to writing by people in your field. Broaden your horizons to take in a wide variety of topics and writing styles.
- Develop a personalized process. Strong writing is a habit, not something you do once or from time to time. Set a time and a place to write so you will become consistent and efficient.
— Adapted from “5 Writing Tips for Personal Branding Success,” Roger C. Parker, Business 2 Community.