How to Write Better Introductions

Lauren Krause
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Writing skills are essential for any administrative professional, but many people find it difficult to write introductions in cover letters and other types of business correspondence. Writing introductions well is one of the most important things you can do to capture attention and make an impact on readers. Strong introductions also make it more likely recipients will read your entire letter. If you want to make a great impression, use these tips for writing introductions that get noticed.

Take some time to organize your thoughts and prepare a rough draft of your letter before sending the final copy. Writing introductions takes practice, so you should not send a first draft unless you are confident in your writing skills. Before you start writing, define your target audience. If just one person will be reading your letter, you can tailor your introduction accordingly. If many people will be reading the letter, you may have to adopt a more general approach.

One of the most important things you can do when writing any type of business letter is focus on the reader's needs. When writing introductions, you should get to the point quickly. People don't want to spend a lot of time reading long letters, so you have to write a concise opening that explains who you are and what action you want the reader to take. This applies to any type of business letter, even if you are asking the recipient for assistance. Explain how readers will benefit from helping you, or you run the risk of losing their attention. This is especially important for administrative professionals who write letters on behalf of executives or managers.

Writing introductions via email is now commonplace, so you should also practice writing professional email messages. William Ellet, a former Harvard Business School teacher, says the increased use of email and other technology makes good writing especially important in the workplace. If you use email to communicate with colleagues, vendors, and customers, you must understand the differences between writing for email and writing a traditional business letter. Email messages are typically much shorter than letters, so keep your introduction to one or two sentences. Make your point in the first paragraph to prevent people from deleting your messages and missing out on important information.

Writing business letters and email messages is one of the most common tasks performed by secretaries, administrative assistants, and other administrative professionals. Focusing on the needs of your reader will help you convince people to take a desired action, whether you want them to sign up for a training session or volunteer for a special event. Writing introductions that get noticed takes practice, but it is a skill you will use throughout your career.



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