Leaving school? Improve Your Business Writing For Increased Employment Potential

Leaving school to face life as a working, productive member of society can be a scary and difficult process. To help ease the transition and give school leavers the best chances of success, it’s wise to remember that when applying for a role, an applicant instantly provides prospective employers with a first critical glimpse into themselves as a potential employee, via their written ability.
As the written form of an interview suit, a CV sits proudly in its best professional black and white, instantaneously creating an all-important first impression. But much like that suit, as a first encounter with a company, appearance is everything. And just as stains on a jacket, sloppy attire and untidy trainers can harm an applicant’s chances in an interview, so a poorly written application full of grammar, syntax and spelling mistakes could have a huge and immediately detrimental impact.
Avoiding this by taking a business writing training course however, could help school leavers’ to make that all-important positive first impression – vital in today’s economic climate where poor written abilities signify a lack of productivity, regardless of qualification – though unfortunately they won’t help with the equally important (and often concerning) issue of interview fashion!
Your writing is your professional signature
When considering business writing, though a school leaver may previously have only written for study purposes, they should keep in mind that companies are entirely dependent on their customers, clients and business partners; and usually communicate via one form of writing or another (letters, emails etc). As such a company will be constantly striving to provide its own good written impressions to gain and maintain further business; much the same as an applicant’s CV.
Because of this and in a world of text speak, slang and autocorrect; having flawless, professional written language is increasingly important, yet worryingly rarer than ever, as it reflects attitudes, capability and skills.
So can’t I just use a language/ spell checker?”
While it’s arguably true that in today’s society proper spelling and grammar are becoming less important due to word processors, spell checkers and automatic translation programmes, they cannot always account for all errors and mistakes – something businesses will be looking out for prospective employees to know and improve upon.
Despite being incredibly useful tools to assist and improve written work, more often than not spell checkers are no substitute for a strong foundation of human written ability, as only writers themselves can judge exactly what’s suitable to say, and in what context.
When putting together a business letter for example, consistency, meaning and eloquence are crucial, and though a spell checker can help correct occasional mistakes, it cannot always detect errors in grammar or tone – if you wrote ‘affect’ rather than ‘effect’ say. Equally, though it’s easy to translate, copy and paste a foreign language text from a translation programme into written work, despite receiving a correct word-by-word translation, crucial syntax and grammar would be incorrect, resulting in not only a loss of meaning, but a gained impression of incompetence in the eyes of a client!
Business writing courses will enhance any CV, no matter what the application
Aside from instantly bettering the initial appearance of any CV and providing many of the skills necessary for a professional career, listing a business writing course at the top of an ‘abilities/achievements’ section can say mountains about a candidate’s employment potential without them having to write a sentence more.
Providing linguistic skills such as basic spelling, grammar and syntax, a writing course can also include tuition on the basic rules of business letter or email composition, alongside instruction on keeping things short and concise yet interesting, and can help course students know exactly which words to use and when.
Include all this, and not only will a school leaver have impeccable CV’s fit to grace any desk or inbox, but may even have improved their chances of showcasing those skills and their interview suit in person – fully completing that crucial first impression!
Alastair is a freelance writer and supplied this article for a communications skills consultancy, which provides business writing courses