Whether its emails, office memos, or detailed business reports, modern business communication often happens via the written word. It’s important for anyone starting out in the business management field or hoping to advance it to have strong business writing skills.
If you’re ready to succeed as a business manager, you’ll need a strong foundation and educational background in writing for project management, human resource management, marketing and sales, customer service, and more. These four business writing tips can help you on your way.
1. Choose to Write in the Active Voice
How do successful business people in management and supervisory level positions write with authority? Using the active writing voice is one strategy these leaders use to clearly and confidently get their messages across.
Writers choose to use the active voice over the passive voice within scientific, academic, and professional contexts. A simple way to remember the difference is that inactive writing, subjects do actions; while in passive writing, actions are done by subjects. In the business world, the active tense is preferred for its quicker and more concise style.
For example, if you wanted to communicate a message about an employee’s progress, saying “this week, the task is being completed by my employee” is less effective than saying “my employee is completing the task this week.” This small tense change can polish your writing style and minimize potential ambiguity.
2. Be Conscious of Lingo You Learn in Your Business Management Program
In career college programs focused on business administration and management, you can develop familiarity with the precise vocabulary used in today’s business management and supervisory settings.
Technical business terms and acronyms like EQ (emotional intelligence/emotional quotient) and CAPM (Certified Associate in Project Management) should only be written to those with a proven understanding of what they mean, whether in casual memos between yourself and your coworkers or on major business reports.
“The business report that you’re writing will probably be read by other people with the same background knowledge as you, so they should know the technical terms you use,” explains professional proof-reader Jolyon Dodgson. “But too many technical terms can make a piece of writing disjointed and hard to read, so use them sparingly.”
3. Keep it Formal
In every top business management program, you’ll find training courses that help students hone their communication skills. The Academy of Learning Career College (AOLCC) offers an entire class called Grammar Essentials for Business Writing dedicated to mastering written communication skills. This class is designed to enhance the professionalism of its students’ writing.
A major aspect of professional writing is the use of a formal tone. Whether you choose to use your training to become an accounting records manager, administrative manager, office manager, supply manager, or otherwise, formal writing is a must. Avoid contractions, idioms, and slang whenever possible.
4. Never Underestimate the Power of Proofreading
Correct spelling and grammar can go a long way toward supporting any business manager’s professional reputation. Be sure to read over your writing with attention to grammar, spelling, and more before passing it along to any coworkers or clients.
“You only get one chance to make a first impression,” shares business blogger Tristan Anwyn. “When it comes to business writing—if your writing is incorrect, your first impression will be sullied.”
Anwyn advises business managers to pay special attention to important details like the spelling of contacts’ names as well as pertinent dates within their messages and documents.
With active, informed, formal, and perfectly proofread writing, you’re certain to make the most of every correspondence you encounter after college.