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Goodman School of Business
Communications Guide for Successful Business Writing
There are many keys to success in business today. Knowledge of best practices in accounting, finance, information systems, marketing, operations, planning, and organizational behaviour are among them. However, knowledge of these disciplines is not enough. The fundamental key to success in business‒and in university‒is the ability to communicate well. In business, writing well is not a deviation from what is really important: it is a critical success differentiator.
English is the language of business because of globalization. 90% of international bodies carry on proceedings in English. To become a global leader, the acquisition of strong written English skills is paramount. While Business English has its unique nuances and style differences, it is based on the grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure of English language writing best practices.
English language business writing is much different from the language of social media. The language of social media provides an important level of immediacy. However, it also has levels of informality, shortcuts, abbreviations, and acronyms; they are not considered part of English language business writing best practices.
Employers are increasingly using grammar tests as part of their pre-employment process. Kyle Wiens, CEO of iFixit and founder of Dozuki, says that all job applicants say they are detail-oriented; he wants proof. He argues that applicants who have not learned to pay attention to detail when writing are unlikely to pay attention to detail in other areas of their work, even if that involves only stocking shelves or labelling parts. Good grammar, according to Wiens, is credibility, particularly on the Web. He says, “In blog posts, on Facebook statuses, in e-mails, and on company websites, your words are all you have. They are a projection of you in your physical absence.” The good news is that as a Brock University student you are developing a wide range of occupational and employability skills that will allow you to successfully transition from the academic community to the workplace.
Every recruiter is assessing how you communicate and this includes proper grammar, correct spelling, appropriate tone, and effectively demonstrating your relevant skills and experience. This is the point at which most candidates eliminate themselves. Your cover letter and resume must be well organized, showcase relevant skills, be succinct yet specific, engaging to the reader, free of careless mistakes, and easy to read.
Employers are looking for people who can communicate effectively both orally and in writing. The employee who can captivate an audience, write a compelling business case or define a brand identity is the one who will succeed in the workplace. The ability to communicate is of prime concern to business managers and let there be no doubt, a business manager will hire someone with less experience in favour of someone with more communications savvy.
The Goodman School of Business focuses on educating tomorrow’s business leaders. Leaders, by their very nature, give purpose to collective effort while inspiring willing effort to support that purpose. Business leaders need to communicate well to inspire. Business writing is a fundamental building block of a leader’s communication skill set.