Top 10 Skills in Business Writing for the Modern Workplace – USA

Bad writing is actually damaging. According to the Harvard Business Review, bad writing can destroy a company’s productivity.[i] In a survey of 547 businesspeople, 81% of them said that poorly written material wastes a lot of their time” and “what they read is frequently ineffective because it’s too long, poorly organized, unclear, filled with jargon, and imprecise.”[i]


Moreover, writing is trickier than ever with the Internet and smartphones making our attention spans short. Sam Leith, author of Write to the Point: How to Be Clear, Correct and Persuasive on the Page says, “You are not aiming to win an academic argument (with your writing), but to get your audience on side.”[ii] To gain mastery of good business writing, here are the top 10 skills to adopt:



1 Business Writing Essentials Know business writing forms and formats, understand the audience, and write clearly and concisely
2 Impactful Professional Writing  Use the correct sentence structure, grammar and spellings. Proofread and publish the proposal or report for more clarity and precision
3 Email Etiquette  Structure, format, proofread and broadcast official emails to get it right every time
4 Proposal Writing Know how to gather facts, write persuasively, and edit and proofread a proposal
5 Handle Inter-Cultural Exchanges Understand the recipient’s cultural differences. Position your company appropriately and be more clear in your communications
6 Minute-Taking  Learn how to take formal and informal minutes, and make important preparations beforehand
7 Business Ethics Know how to recognise ethical and unethical behaviour, understand your company’s ethical standpoint and develop your personal code of ethics
8 Solve Problems & Make Decisions  Sieve facts from information, and learn to use SWOT analysis and problem-solving models
9 Develop Critical Thinking Identify issues, understand assumptions, probe and evaluate
10 Set Goals                Learn to manage your writing better by using SMART goals, work management tools and time management methods