Why Formal Writing Still Matters in Business
Whether you’re about to embark on a job hunt or you are already employed in a corporate gig, there is one rare skill that will put you miles ahead of the competition: formal communication. In this digital age, traditional writing and communication skills are falling by the wayside, but corporations are not as quick to change. You have to learn to play in their arena in order to succeed.
To Get the Job You Need to Write a Proper Resumé
I’ve worked with quite a few clients over this past year to help them craft a polished professional resumé to land them the job they want and deserve. The resumé and cover letter (or email) are your first impression. It’s all the HR Department or Hiring Manager sees of you before they decide whether or not to give you a shot.
How much effort you put into writing your resumé shows. As someone who has hired for corporate jobs, I can tell you three things that don’t get past my first round of consideration:
Lack of care in tailoring the resumé
Think about who is going to be hiring you. They’ve probably been working at that company for a few years in order to climb up to the level they are at, and so they’re a little older, and much more entrenched in formal communication tactics for business.
It could all change in 10 years, but right now, you need to cater to the old-school executive who values formal communication.
You have to show that you can survive on their turf. A carefully written, formally edited resumé that speaks their language is how you go about showing someone you respect the job and the company enough to put the effort into your writing.
There’s a fine line between trying too hard to be fancy in your writing and up-levelling your document to show effort. If you’re having trouble walking this line, consider hiring an editor or writer to help you get it right, and if that’s not in the budget, ask a friend to edit for you.
Productivity Requires Professional Communication
Attention to detail and careful writing don’t stop once you’ve landed your dream job with your resumé and cover letter. There’s a certain level of decorum and respect that has to be given to all your communications within a corporation. From emails to formal reports to department meeting presentations, how you communicate matters.
Think about it. When you get an email from Sally in accounting who misspells your name, forgets how to use proper sentences, and adds five emojis for good effect, what’s your first impression? It’s probably not respect and you aren’t likely to give her request the attention that you would something else.
On the other hand, if you receive an email from Rick in purchasing, who always clearly formats his requests, writes politely, but upholds a level of formality, you’re more likely to respond in kind. Because when people show a level of care and a desire to interact productively with others, they get the same treatment back.
Productive and proper communication result in better teamwork.
To Shine You Need To Stand Out From The Crowd
There are so many people with excellent technical skills, but so few with excellent English skills. By investing in your resumé, learning how to write formally, and communicate in a way that shows you respect the system, you are much more likely to have doors opened for you in business.