Improve Your Writing Skills

Written by Helen Glenn Court
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Given what CEOs think about first-rate communications, you haven't got much choice but to knuckle down and improve your writing skills. Chances are moderately good that you're not averse to the idea or you wouldn't be reading this. That said, it's amazing what good writers so many people think they are. The situation's akin to what good drivers we think we are--see Dave Barry in the Miami Herald on that subject, which ties in nicely with writing abilities.

"In fact, a whopping 93 percent of all drivers are below average. And if you believe this is statistically impossible, you have not spent much time watching motorists whopping around on our nation's highways." I do not digress. Most of us tend to assume that we can write fairly well. We put our apostrophes in the right place. Lynn Truss is not talking about us in Eats, Stems & Leaves.

Let's return to the incentive to improve your writing skills and the mention of executives. Executives make, well, executive decisions. These include stock options, corporate buyouts, budget decisions, hiring decisions, and promotions--that sort of thing. Remember that and read on. A survey taken among Fortune 1000 executives recently indicated several persuasive numbers.

Check Your Arithmetic and Improve Your Writing Skills

On the lower end, we have 80 percent of those CEOs eloquent and emphatic on the subject of job candidate applications. A misspelled word is ugly. "My spelling is Wobbly," A.A. Milne protests. "It's good spelling but it Wobbles, and the letters get in the wrong places." A misplaced modifier, poor punctuation, poor grammar, or a single misspelling puts your cover letter and resumé in the trash can. They said so. And 99 percent of them--that's 19 more than 80--said writing skills were even more important in promotions. You who protest might want to reconsider and improve your writing skills through a workshop or tutorial, the most immediate of which can be found online.

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