As trainees gaining experience in the business world, your days are filled with emails, reports and memos. You will also have noticed the difference a well put together document makes in enabling you to do your job better.

Being able to communicate in an easily understandable and clear way is critical. While it may seem like the least important aspect of your workday, it can in fact trip you up if you aren’t aware of what comprises good written etiquette. In fact, it can even make you seem unprofessional.

Use these tips to master how to write effectively in the business environment

Below we’ve provided you with a few guidelines to hone your written communication skills:

Avoid acronyms and jargon in your writing:

Business jargon varies from industry to industry, but one thing that all jargon has in common – particularly the use of acronyms and business shorthand – is that it serves as a way of excluding people from the conversation. While acronyms may serve their purpose as a time-saving mechanism, they also run the risk of back-firing for anyone who doesn’t understand what they mean. The person who doesn’t understand the acronym will probably feel a little ignorant and will have to take time out of their day to go and Google what the acronym stands for – both wasting their time and making it a negative engagement. If you must use an acronym make sure you spell it out in brackets printed immediately after you use it. This also directly leads to the next point:

 Keep it simple and know your audience:

People distrust what they don’t understand, what they perceive as doublespeak, or things made unnecessarily complex. Effective communication requires trust in you, your message and your delivery, so don’t over complicate matters – rather write it in plain English. Make sure you know who you are writing for. The first key to successful business writing is knowing your audience: it not only affects the actual words you use, but also the tone of what you write. 

 Don’t underestimate the importance of proper grammar and punctuation:

Imagine getting an email with little to no punctuation and/or text speak - ‘C u l8r’ is not an appropriate way to address people you work with, and makes it look like you don’t care, so rather stick to more formal English. It’s also extremely unprofessional to send a business email or document that contains mistakes, so use spell check and proofread it yourself to make sure it doesn’t contain spelling or grammatical errors. 

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