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Pay Attention in English Comp: 10 Ways You'll Use Writing in Your Career

Dec 08, 2010

Just because you're not planning a career as a novelist or journalist doesn't mean you won't use writing every day in your work. If you're feeling checked out of English class, don't miss these ten ways that writing is essential to any profession.

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Resume Writing

1. Resume & C.V.

The first step to getting your foot in the door at any job is a great resume or curriculum vitae (C.V.). Even in a less competitive job market, a single spelling or grammar error will instantly get your application thrown out. But the importance of writing goes beyond the basics even for your resume - short, well-crafted phrases that convey a lot of information can make the difference between 'no thanks' and 'come in for an interview.'

2. Cover Letters

The next step toward securing that job is writing an effective cover letter. You have just a few short paragraphs to demonstrate the strengths that can't be conveyed on a resume and convince your future employer that you're the right person for the position. Learning to write well will help you use that space effectively.

3. Marketing Yourself

Promoting yourself to potential clients or employers can go beyond the resume and cover letter. Whether you're putting together an online portfolio or writing a pitch to a prospective freelance client, you'll need those writing skills to sell yourself well.

4. Company Communication

Now that you have the job, your writing work has just begun. Communicating effectively within your new company is essential to keep everything moving smoothly. You'll find yourself applying that writing class to emails, presentations, internal memos, meeting minutes, project strategies and so much more.

5. Proposals

Want to see your ideas turned into reality? You'll need to write a stellar proposal. Whether you're an art director with an idea for a new ad campaign or an administrator with a plan to make company logistics more effective, a clear and persuasive project proposal is essential to making it happen.

Business Writing

6. Business & Data Reports

Proposals get your project started, and reports show that your work was effective. From business professionals reporting sales figures to researchers sharing the results of a scientific experiment, clear writing can make your work shine.

7. Client Communication

For many professionals, external communication is just as important as internal communication. Whether you're an independent contractor or the external representative for your business, writing well can help you earn - and keep - a client's business.

8. Sales Materials

Companies often use regular employees rather than copy writers to craft sales brochures and other promotional materials. You'll need strong writing skills to grab potential customers' attention and get your company's message across.

9. Technical Writing

Many fields rely heavily on jargon (think engineering or computer science), and some careers require technical writing to convey ideas to clients and within the company. Use your writing chops to translate jargon clearly and accurately into plain language.

10. Professional Writing

Technical writing, business communication, sales and promotions - all of these things are integrated into almost any industry. But there are also careers that will surprise you with the amount of specialized professional writing they demand. For example, lawyers must write convincing briefs, doctors need to write thorough medical reports and accountants have to craft clear financial reports. Having a strong base in grammar and composition will prepare you for the fine details of these fields.

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