Strong writing skills are something that can help you throughout your career, from the first resume you write to that final email you send before walking off into the career sunset.
This especially applies to professionals who on a day-to-day basis perform a high amount of communicative writing.
So don’t think you need to possess a degree in American literature or be a serious author to be an effective writer. But for professionals working across a wide variety of industries, the ability to write well is a serious advantage.
How Great Writing Skills Boost Your Career
Companies are willing to pay a premium for employees with stellar writing ability.
And if you consider that over 2/3 of salary type jobs involve a significant level of communication through writing, with companies spending nearly $3 billion annually in training to improve their employees writing skills, you can see why.
So with all this in mind, here are three things that having good writing skills will do for your career:
1. Get You Hired
Whether you’re looking to move forward on your current career path or looking to embark on a brand new one. Being an effective writer is a great way to rise above your competition.
Successful communication is vital for any company or business. And showing on your resume and cover letter that you possess the ability to write cleanly, clearly, and concisely will definitely impress a potential employer.
While, conversely, resumes/cover letters with spelling and grammatical errors often get tossed in the garbage immediately.
2. Help You Move Upwards
We all know about the corporate ladder. Effective writing skills can help climb that ladder farther and faster than you’d be able to without them.
A study by Grammarly cited that employees who write with few grammatical mistakes often receive a higher salary. They’re also promoted more rapidly than those with weaker, error-laden writing skills.
So while the ability to write well might not slingshot you to the top of your company, it most certainly gives you an edge on your corporate rivals.
3. Successful Communications
In a world where communication is often reduced to firing off text messages and emails, it’s essential that your words come across as professional, clear, and personable.
In fact, it’s becoming more and more common to maintain relationships with clients and colleagues without ever meeting them in person or even speaking with them on the phone.
And that’s why strong writing skills are so essential.
Even the briefest written communications have the power to either strengthen or damage a working relationship. A simple misunderstanding could cause a variety of issues between people or departments.
However, with solid writing skills you’ll be able to avoid many of the pitfalls that occur between those that don’t communicate effectively. Thus, making you that much more valuable to your department and company.
How to Develop Great Writing Skills
But what if you’re not already a good writer? How can you get develop top-notch writing skills without spending tons of time or taking classes for it?
Luckily, becoming a good writer is something that just takes some proper guidance and practice. And the more you use your “free time” to practice, the better you’ll get. So without further ado, let’s look at five tools to develop and hone your writing skills:
1. Get Reading
While reading books is clearly a great way to observe and learn proper writing techniques, the truth is that you can learn an immense amount from studying just about anything that’s well-written.
Biographies, pop fiction, business articles, blogs, sci-fi, magazines – you name it. Just find a format or genre that interests you and dig in.
The beauty of reading is that it’s direct subconscious training.
You can simply pick up something you enjoy, and as you read through it like you normally would, you subconscious will retain the various phrases and constructs that form well-structured writing.
This will make your ability to write well a less tedious and more instinctive process.
2. Hit the Writing Gym
Think of learning to write in the same way you’d train your muscles.
The more you write, the stronger your skills will become. And just like creating a workout schedule, you’ll have a lot more success getting your writing time in if you set a certain amount of time every day to practice.
Designating sessions to write; even if it’s just three or four days a week for 15 minutes per session. You’ll be able to develop your skills while only giving up a little bit of your time.
One extra tip to help you stick to your schedule is to set your session around something enjoyable; your morning coffee, a cup of hot chocolate in the afternoon or even a glass of wine at night. Whatever it is, if it helps motivate you to sit down and write then work it in.
3. Online Tools
Thanks to the wonders of the internet, there are a whole bunch of online tools to help you to not only become a stronger writer but to elevate your skills quickly.
Some of these online tools include:
An awesome app that teaches you to write in a clear, concise, bold way. Hemingway not only points out the sentences that need editing, it also helps you with your writing structure and eliminates passive voice.
On top of all that, the app provides a “readability meter” that assesses how easy or difficult it is to understand your work.
It’s pretty annoying when you want to look up a word but can’t actually remember what the word is. OneLook solves that issue by allowing you to search the idea or concept you have in mind and then comes up with a selection of phrases or words that best match it.
Not only will OneLook usually find the right word but a good amount of the time it actually offers you superior alternatives.
From emails to tweets to Facebook posts, Grammarly helps keep your writing nice and clean by showing you any errors before you hit the post.
Not only that but with Grammarly’s contextual spell-checker, you’ll be saved from the embarrassment of using often confused words in the wrong context. Which is the last thing you want the company’s higher-ups that you’re trying to impress to see.
4. Keep A Journal
From high-tech to as classically basic as it gets, keeping a journal is a great way to not only strengthen your writing but also has wonderful psychological benefits.
So just let your thoughts flow and as the days go on, you’ll discover it becomes easier and easier to tap into your inspirations and fill those pages up. You might be quite surprised when after a few months you look back at your earlier entries and see much your writing has improved.
Regardless of the industry, you’re in or what your end-goals are, being a strong writer is a powerful skill that can only help you throughout your career.
The best part being that becoming a better writer is something you can do at any age and you’ll feel great seeing the results.
Remember, by doing things that others are often unwilling to do, you give yourself a much better chance to elevate yourself and leave the rest of the corporate pack in the dust.