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Business writing: What it is and Tips to Help You
Business writing is much more precise and less detail oriented than other styles of writing. In writing for a business there are a few elements you must know. Your knowledge or lack there of these elements can make or break your business writing career. Your goal for business writing is to strive for clarity and precision, yet not be too vague or elaborate. Examples of business writing would be emails, business plans, brochures, and many more. Virtually anything writings that pertain to a business are classified as business writing.
When people read business writings they are not only looking for what happened and why, but how you are handling the situation at hand. A person reading a business writing that has an organized and concise style with an active tone is going to heed a much better result and give confidence that any matters will be taken care of.
Organize your thoughts. The more organized you are the quicker and easier it will be for you to put your words in a decisive and orderly style. Your writing should be grammatically correct along with the proper usage of capitalization and punctuation. These errors can cause misinterpretations amongst the readers of your business writings. An example of correct and incorrect punctuations would be “We are missing the actress Jane.” Or “We are missing the actress, Jane.” While both are correct, they mean two entirely different things.
Business writing is backwards or upside down from other writings. You start with the ending and then give a brief synopsis on how you got to that point. You may include other avenues that were considered and why they were not chosen.
Have a positive attitude. Even if you are conveying a message that has on outcome other than optimal a positive tone will bring a much better response. Tell your readers what good came about from the outcome. Tell them what you can do with these results. For example a non-profit agency held a fundraiser. They were hoping to bring in $25,000 for building repairs and play ground equipment. Unfortunately, they only got $15,000. Positive tone writing would be “Our fundraiser was successful. We can now begin building repairs.” Or “The new playground equipment will be delivered tomorrow due to our successful fundraiser.” Even though it was not as much of a success as you would have liked, by keeping a positive attitude and showing people what can be done will promote a positive attitude in the future. A negative tone might be something like “Since our fundraiser was not as successful as we had hoped, we will have to choose between playground equipment and builder repairs.” This approach could be unfavorable to future fundraisers because it seems as though you are unthankful for what you did get. Being positive shows your appreciation for the hard work or donations that you have received.
Don’t play the blame game. Even if you know whose fault it is a deal fell through there is no need to start a mud-flinging contest. Surely, the person responsible is already aware of the situation and chances are so is everyone else. Down the line they are not going to remember whose fault it was, but they will remember who was naming names. This is not only very unprofessional, it is malicious and that is not how you would like to be talked about.
Finally using an active voice will promote a better reception to your business writing than a passive one. An active voice shows that you are in control and are aware of how or why things are going to happen.
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Preparing Questions to Ask in your Upcoming Job Interview When you get ready for a job interview, chances are you have spent a lot of time trying to guess the questions you will be asked and prepare your answers to them. How will you explain that gap in your work history? What will you say when they ask you why you left your last job? In the rush to make sure that you have all of your answers perfectly prepared and ready, don’t forget to prepare a few questions of your own to ask the person who is interviewing you. Asking questions is an important part of your interview. When you get asked the old “do you have any questions for us” one, it pays to actually be able to come back with a few questions instead of a, “no, I don’t think so.” Asking questions will show that you are engaged in the interview and have done some thinking about the position, plus, the questions you ask will help you elicit valuable information you need when you have to decide whether or not to actually take the job, should it be offered to you. The first thing you should want to find out is why the job is open in the first place. Is the job you are applying for a new position? That means you can expect to have a lot of transitional bumps along the way as you are integrated into the company. If the job is not new, and the person before you was fired, then you can expect things to be in a state of disarray when you take over and that you will have to spend a lot of time up front cleaning up spilled milk. If the job is open because the person who had it before you moved up in the company, then you will know that this is a job with a lot of future potential. Next, find out a little bit about the person who will actually be your boss if you get the job. Sometimes, this person will be involved in the interview, but often they will not. Finding out how high up in the company chain you will be reporting will help you gauge how important the position for which you are applying is to the company. Also, it helps to know a little bit about the personality type of the boss to be. If you like to keep your head down and do your work, and your potential new boss is one of those “wacky” types, then you may want to look elsewhere. From there, ask about the kinds of responsibilities you will need to take on board right out of the gate. When companies are hiring for a new position, they usually have a few ideas about what that person will need to start working on right away. Getting a clue about your first project will help you decide if this job is right for you. This is also a good time to ask the interviewer about their job and why they like working the company. You may find out that this really could be your dream job, or you may end up sensing from your interviewer that you should run away, fast. Last but not least, ask your interview when you should follow-up on your interview. Don’t open the door for a “don’t call us, we’ll call you” kind of interview closing. Let the interviewer know to their face that will be making the effort to contact them again. You may get the vibe from your interviewer that the job probably will be going to someone else, so you can move on quickly, or you may end up being offered the job on the spot. Either way, you will have opened the lines of communication to take the next step.
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