Since I am a freelance editor, I have the opportunity to read many different styles of writing. I come across little blunders that are super easy to fix. Every once in awhile, I will blog about a way to improve your professional writing in a truly simple way.
Everyone has trouble writing professionally, which I categorize as resumes, cover letters, and emails. I can assure you that Sheryl Sandberg didn't write her resume without help. While I could write an extensive post about the do's and don'ts, no one has time for that.
If you have 5 minutes, you can do this!
1. Chances are you've already written a cover letter or email. You can start enhancing your career now and remember this for when you write more professional documents. So, open up the document you wish to edit.
2. Hit ctrl + f (or the old-fashioned "find" button on Microsoft Word). Search for two words:
3. Hit the DELETE button. Repeat as necessary.
Why, you ask? There are two reasons. First, the key to successful professional writing is to eliminate fluff. They say recruiters take 5-7 seconds to look at your resume and then move on to the next. I'll be generous and say maybe 1-5 minutes. Reading "just" and "helped" takes a few seconds away from the other important words in your resume or cover letter, like lead, generated, managed, and so on.
Second, it minimizes your accomplishments. Take these examples:
I am just writing to ask if you are available to discuss my interest in a promotion.
I am writing to ask if you are available to discuss my interest in a promotion.
I helped implement a strategic marketing campaign.
I implemented a strategic marketing campaign.
See the difference? Of course, you will need to re-read the sentence to see if it needs any grammatical adjustments (e.g., changing implement to implemented).
Now, wasn't that easy?!