How To Improve Professional Writing Skills For Career Success
Writing skills are in huge demand nowadays. So, how do you improve professionally?
Nowadays, writing skills are developed on an academic level, that's how important they are. According to sources, 73% of hirers look for writing skills in any professional before they make their decision. This should also define the importance of writing skills.
But, speaking of definition, what exactly are writing skills? Is it just about putting words on paper? Or is there more to it? Let's find that out and more as we dive in deeper.
What Defines Writing Skills
Writing skills is a vast term to define the ability of a writer. If you can formulate cohesive sentences, then that means you have one writing skill. However, to be a skillful writer, one needs to have thousands of other minor and major skills like those.
A majority of writers agree that they spend more time contemplating, researching, and understanding than they spend writing. That's why a writer's skill set is a combination of communication, creativity, and knowledge. So, if you were to sum it up in a few words, they'd be:
- Communication skills are the ability to write in a clear and concise manner
- Creativity is the ability to generate ideas and come up with new ways of looking at things
- Knowledge is the ability to understand how different pieces of information relate to one another
- Writing is the skill that allows one to formulate sentences, paragraphs, etc.
So, the first skill is the ability to generate and develop ideas. The second skill is structuring these ideas into a coherent and organized manuscript. The third and most important skill is to develop the power of expression.
What Includes Pertinent Writing Skills
The writing skill of a professional is a sum of various elements. These elements help them prepare outstanding articles, blogs, research papers, etc. So, to help you understand, here are the four key elements of writing skills:
Research is one of the first parts of any writing process. So, a writer must learn how to research properly. This includes using data on the internet, such as search engines. Or taking interviews, researching books, asking for quotations, etc.
The notes are a writer's best friend and help them keep track of their progress. Thus, it's important for a writer to take notes as they move forward in the writing process.
This is the part that earns one the right to call themselves "a writer," as it requires one to be able to formulate good sentences, paragraphs, etc. And, make sure you're all caught up on grammar and punctuation elements too.
In other words, to be able to write well, with fine distinction and a complete command of the language. Therefore, good writers use verbs that are versatile in meaning. And they employ verbs that have more than one definition, so they can be used in different contexts.
Proofreading is the last part before a writer passes their work along. This means checking for grammatical issues, finding any structural errors, and removing anything that doesn't belong. Subsequently, adding anything that does belong.
5 Ways To Improve Your Professional Writing Skills For Career Success
Improving writing skills in a professional setting requires understanding a few things. So, to help you get there, here are 5 ways you can elevate your writing skills for a successful career;
Create An Outline Every Time
Writing good content is every writer's goal, but getting there with a plan is an entirely different debate. That's why it's important for writers to ensure that they understand where they want to go with their content.
So, how exactly should they do that? The help of content outlines directs them in the right direction. To keep it simple, here's how you should create an outline below and you can see what it looks like in MS Word's navigation pane in the image;
- The Topic Headline (H1)
- The Topic Definition (first H2)
- The Topic's Importance (optional, but also H2)
- The topic's bulk (H2 followed by H3)
- Additional elements relevant to the topic (H2 followed by H3)
Creating an outline like this one would help you keep a definite objective throughout your writing process.
Learn Various Content Tones
Content tones are a writer's way of connecting with multiple audiences. However, understanding how to write in different content tones requires some doing. But, let's help you understand which content tone is ideal for which situation:
Formal is ideal for academic or business writing;
Causal or conversational is ideal for content marketing, social media, etc.;
Now, creative or other sorts of content tones are ideal in fictional writing. But, you can try them in any writing, as long as it's within the guidelines. But, to elaborate further, here's a demonstration:
What you see here is the paraphrased text by an AI paraphrase online tool. On the left side, you see original text; on the right, you see paraphrased text. What's the difference? The rewritten content is done so in a fluent content tone.
So, the content is much easier to read and flowy—so it's casual in a way. But, if we kept it standard, here's what we'd get:
As you can see, the changes aren't much, but they do change content somewhat. But, the idea is kept in a formal/professional tone. So, using a paraphrasing tool like Paraphraser.io can help you understand various content tones too.
Ensure Grammatical Quality
Grammatical quality is one of the key aspects of any writing. You cannot advance in any sort of career without understanding the importance and the nooks & crannies of grammatical quality. Therefore, you must be able to;
- Write grammatically apt content
- Avoid any punctuation errors
- Ensure thorough structural integrity
- Avoid spelling errors
You can try using a grammar checker or add Grammarly to your MS Word. The idea is to ensure your content isn't lacking because of silly grammatical issues.
The readability of your text depends on two things: the words you use and the length of your content. Now, long-form content doesn't mean it has to be difficult to read. So, what should you do to elevate your writing skills, so you can write readable content? Here's what:
- Avoid writing sentences over 15 words
- Keep paragraphs to 3-4 lines max
- Write easier words, and avoid industry/niche jargon
- Avoid complicated words, terms, and phrases
This will help you ensure that your content is readable and easy to understand. Granted, some research papers or academic essays might require you to be a bit more complicated. But, you can still ensure readability by writing content with adequate white space on the paper.
Understand SEO Methods
SEO methods are important for writers working in the content marketing sector. This requires them to add SEO elements to their content. So, learning SEO methods can naturally elevate their writing skills. To keep it simple, you should focus on:
- Learning keyword placement,
- Understanding on-page SEO elements
- Using headings, subheadings, etc.
- Adding outbound links and interlinks
This will elevate your value in SEO, enabling you to write outstanding SEO content professionally.
These factors can help you elevate your professional writing skills. Therefore, regardless of the career you choose, these five methods will be useful to help you elevate your writing skills.
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