The ability to write well is one of the most important skills you will ever learn. Whether it’s professionally or creatively, the ability to compose a thoughtful and understandable document or story is a must. Writing is often the first step in communication – the first impression on introductions, sales calls or job inquiries – and that first step is a good reflection of how the writer will ultimately present themselves.

Writing skills are critical no matter the profession. Even scientists and mathematicians must write emails, reports and presentations. Good writing is essential to successful communication.

When you write well, you rely on choosing the perfect words easily and expressing them in a way that’s clear and convincing. If you write well, your topics are more easily understood and more likely to be shared.

Conversely, bad writing can really interfere with professional development and career building. For example, a friend was tasked with hiring her replacement as an administrative assistant to a vice president of business development. For all his business acumen, this VP was not a great writer, so his administrative assistant had to be strong in that area. As my friend sifted through the resumes, those with so much as one minor typo were discarded – no matter how strong the background. She said, “If these applicants miss a typo on something as important as their resume, how can I trust them to ensure our VP’s communications are error-free?”

It’s not just your professional communications that benefit when you write well. Can you articulate a passionate Tweet in 280 characters? Do you need to write a convincing Craigslist post to find a roommate? Writing skills are essential every day.

Another associate works for a local creative agency and often is asked by students, “What’s the one skill she recommends to get an agency’s attention?” The students expect to hear “digital experience” or a “great portfolio.” Her advice? Become a great writer.

 

The American Marketing Association (AMA) is the essential community for marketers. For more information or resources, visit ama.org.

 

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