Sooner or later, all of us get acquainted with business writing. Even if you are not a business student, you will have to write a resume or a salary advance request letter, which are excellent examples of business writing. Thus, the following 4 secrets would be of much interest to nearly everyone.
Business Writing: Consider Format
Even though various business formats share a number of common characteristics, different types of writing have different requirements. Business report is not the same as a resume, and a business letter has nothing to do with a business proposal. That's why you should consider peculiarities of the following genres, for example:
Business Writing: Improve Language
The following principles are common to business language in various formats:
- Avoid wordiness. Always choose succinct expressions: make an effort = try, no later than = by, give some thought = think, the exact same = the same. Don't hesitate to delete the following from your papers: sort of, there is, it is.
- Avoid archaisms and jargon. You'd better not use the following in your business essays: should it come about that (if), with regard to your request = as you requested.
- Make your sentences active. Avoid using passive voice whenever it is possible.
- Be specific. Always replace unclear words and to long phrase with more reasonable ones: certificates of company ownership = stocks, on the premise that = because.
- Sound natural. Use formal language, but be sure not to confuse your readers with vague language. Avoid words, like 'plethora', 'climb the ladder of success'.
- Be polite and friendly. Always write ‘hello’ and ‘thank you’ if appropriate.
Business Writing: Take Care of Numerals
Another important peculiarity of business documents is proper use of numerals:
- Spell small numbers out – whole numbers smaller than ten need to be spelled out in full.
- Don't start a sentence with a numeral.
- Percentage should be spelled out: 12 percent instead of 12%.
- Two numbers close to each other – spell one of them out: five 6-year-olds instead of 5 6-year-olds.
- Be consistent within 1 sentence – use either all numerals or all words in one sentence.