What is Your Writing Style?

Michele Warg
Posted by in Administrative & Clerical Services


Have you ever given any consideration to what your writing style reveals about your personality? Those who read your letters, emails and other correspondence make certain assumptions about you based on the way you express yourself in writing. Find out what your writing style may say about you, and discover ways to improve.

Abrupt

In a rushed society, many writers like to get straight to the point, but an abrupt communication can come across as rude or tactless. If you're constantly in a hurry and your writing style reflects this, consider the negative implications that can result from misunderstandings in written communication with colleagues or clients.

To improve an abrupt writing style, take the time to begin every correspondence with a greeting, such as "Good morning" for emails or "Dear" for letters, and always use the receiver's name. When closing an email communication, end with your first name, even if you already use an automatic email signature.

Use full sentences rather than short, cold phrases, and avoid canned, cliché language. "I would appreciate your thoughts on this report" sounds much friendlier than "Your cooperation on this matter is appreciated." Read your correspondence before sending it to ensure it doesn't come across as harsh or critical to the reader.

Pushy

Assertiveness is a good thing, but too much can make you seem bossy. If your writing style reflects a pushy personality, work on presenting a less domineering attitude through your correspondence.

When asking a client or colleague to follow up, always use "please" with your request. If you're asking your recipient to provide something to you by a certain date, avoid being blunt with the deadline. Rather than "Send me the invoice by Friday," try "If you could provide the invoice by Friday, we can move forward with payment."

If you have to reject a request or provide bad news in a correspondence, try to smooth the blow by incorporating your feelings. "I can't provide that information" sounds blunt; "I wish I could be of assistance, but that information is not available" makes a better option.

Boring

A boring writing style can be detrimental in certain situations, such as when sending a cover letter to a recruiter. Adding some personality to your correspondence helps to make it unique and memorable.

Start a cover letter with a meaningful quote or thoughtful story that relates to your career choice. Show enthusiasm for the company and industry when explaining why the job is a perfect fit for you.

Generic cover letters land you in the reject pile, so avoid boiler plated text. Tailor each document you send to the job description.

You may be conveying the wrong message to hiring managers, business partners, potential clients and other contacts without even realizing it. By analyzing what your writing style reveals about your personality, you can make any necessary changes to polish the image you're creating.


Photo courtesy of rakratchada torsap at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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