At a recent alumni networking event in Chicago, discussion focused the ideal skills sought in a new hire, with solid writing and communication skills emerging as an absolute must. With that in mind, here are some tips to help you polish your professional writing and communication skills.
Know your purpose and audience.
Be clear on your audience and your reason for communicating. Carefully consider and choose the appropriate tone, including vocabulary and style, for your purpose and your audience.
Be aware of your organization’s brand.
As an employee, you are a representative or brand ambassador of that organization, so communicate in ways that positively reflect your workplace. Also, model your communication style on the styles used by leaders within your organization.
Be courteous and concise.
Be respectful of others in your professional communications. Give credit where credit is due, spell names correctly and use non-offensive language. Give top priority to the most important information in your messages and edit out unnecessary words so that vital content can be easily understood by the reader.
With all the online resources available, it has never been easier to present work by others as your own writing. Your discredit yourself and your organization if you use another communicator’s words as your own. In cases where you must present information from another source, be sure to give proper attribution.
Find a mentor.
Consult a communication expert, especially if you find yourself in a situation where proper communication protocol is unclear. Connecting to someone who is respected in your industry can provide insight to help avoid any communication faux pas.
Need help finding an expert? Visit Millikin’s mentoring network (accessible through collegecentral.com/millikin) or the Millikin group in LinkedIn to connect to some Big Blue assistance.
By Kristin Nisbet-White, assistant director of the Millikin Career Center