Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Some neat business writing tips

In my last year at school many of my friends wanted to be secretaries. My best friend’s sister worked in London and was earning a very good salary as a secretary. My friend talked me into doing some night classes in shorthand and typing. I hated it and was dreadful at both. Instead of turning up at the classes I would sneak into the art classes. Alas my parents found out and my evening classes were abruptly stopped.

It amazes me now to think of those long ago days. If only I had learnt those skills I would have saved myself a lot of trouble. I never did learn to type as my Mum would say ‘the proper way’ In spite of the lack of professional skill I can type at a moderate speed. I did after all learn (asdf space ;lkj space) the first line and I am not a one finger typist.

These days there are very few secretaries around and many professionals need to write business letters. Over the years I have tried to develop my writing skills. I have completed many courses of study and been complemented on my writing. But I can still feel a wee bit inadequate and wish I had finished those classes many years ago.

I am always looking for ways to improve my writing so keep an eye out for informative books and websites. It is an ongoing process. I have also worked with others to help them improve their business letters and resumes. There has been a move away from the strict rules of yesteryear with the advent of advances in technology. However it is important to present a professional image and learn some tips and tricks for writing business letters.

Letters today need to be well crafted and concise. Job applicants are often advised to keep the covering letter of their resume to one page if possible. It is also a goal to aim at when writing bussiness letters. However the writer can often find they need to flow on to another page for the last few sentences.

Shaun from Writing Help Central has a few suggestions to help writers overcome this dilemma. He suggests moving the left and right margins by 0.25cm (1/4 inch) closer to the edge of the page. You could also move the top and bottom margins closer to the edge by 0.25cm (1/4 inch). The spacing between lines can also be adjusted. Instead of the usual single 12 points try 11 points.

Changing the font from 12 points to 11 points can also be a way of getting extra space. Often you will find you can get extra space by going back and doing some tough editing. Sentences with one or two words flowing over onto another line can often be reworked to eliminate the offending words.

Sometimes two page letters are the best option. If this is the case create a well spaced easy to read professional document and you will be forgiven for breaking what is now considered by many to be the cardinal rule ‘one page business letters please’.

For the full article on this topic and many other tips on writing business letters you can visit Shaun’s website

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