Writing Professionally: A Forgotten Art in the Technological Age?

Even if you’re not a professional “writer,” writing professionally is an important skill to develop in order to effectively communicate your ideas to others. As a career practitioner, you should know that writing is an Essential Skill; a skill used in a variety of ways across all professions (e.g., an administrative assistant takes phone messages, a doctor writes prescriptions, and a career counsellor takes case notes and may provide feedback on resumes).

typeTechnology is changing the way we communicate with others including the way we write (e.g., we text, email, or instant message colleagues with our smart phones). Although, spell check and autocorrect help us avoid errors, it’s important to consider if our reliance on these systems has hindered our ability to express ideas in the written form. Do we really need to know how to compose a sentence or spell a word if our programs will just identify issues and suggest solutions?

The fact is, language is complicated and systems aren’t perfect. Furthermore, professional writing is more than just error-free writing; it’s about clearly and concisely expressing your ideas to the reader. On the Life Strategies team, we often use the term “fat-free” to refer to writing without wordiness and redundancy. Check out Andrus’ Fat-Free Writing: Write for the Information Age for more information.

Helping professionals (e.g., career development practitioners), should also demonstrate cultural sensitivity / critical thinking and provide adequate references to back up conclusions/observations. Check out Collin’s Professional Writing in the Health Disciplines e-book at http://epub-fhd.athabascau.ca/professionalwriting/front-matter/quick-links/ for a great overview.

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