Professional writings: how to improve them?

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Professional writing can be intended for colleagues, clients, partners, or management. Suffice to say that they should not be taken lightly. However, 90% of emails sent to customers contain at least one error. The problem is considerable and is not only encountered in e-mails: according to an IPSOS survey carried out for the Voltaire Project , 76% of employers say they are confronted daily with shortcomings in their team in terms of spelling and expression.

Rules of agreement, turn of phrase, vocabulary… these are the most frequent sources of error. If you notice spelling and grammatical errors in your writing, be aware that these can prevent you from progressing in your work and even harm your career development.

Also according to the IPSOS survey , more than 80% of employers believe that misconduct is a major obstacle to promotion. So how do you write without mistakes and improve your written expression in a professional environment?

What is professional writing?

The answer is broad, as the world of work is vast and rapidly changing. Here are some examples of professional writing:

for a candidate: CV, cover letter, profile and messages on a professional social network (LinkedIn for example);

within a company: administrative mail, email, meeting minutes, activity report, summary, presentation, internal newsletter, but also exchanges on professional messaging applications (Slack, for example), or text messages ;

for customers or partners: postal mail, brochure, external newsletter, canvassing email, press release;

for the general public: content of a website (blog article, web page, etc.), communication documents (poster, billboard, prospectus, etc.) and other institutional, legal or political writings;

in a scientific or university context: dissertation, thesis, research article, etc.

These writings have one thing in common : they are produced in the context of work. They are a concrete presentation of activities, skills or useful information.

Companies are increasingly attentive to professional writing

Similarly, in the age of social networks, the slightest typo in corporate communication is scrutinized by the general public, who can then laugh at it and harm the image of the brand .

For these reasons, some companies train their employees to help them improve their professional writing. Professional written communication is increasingly important, regardless of the type of writing involved. People who do not master it can quickly lose self-confidence , and add to their usual workload the fear of making mistakes in the company

How to improve your professional writing?

Although spelling problems are still a taboo in France to a large extent, all is not lost! To improve your written expression in a professional environment, you must start by identifying your shortcomings.

“Among” or “Among” ? “Connection” or “Connection” ? These confusions can be simple errors of inattention, or come from gaps rooted for many years. These are often the ones that are the most pointed out, because they are not a priori linked to any trap of the French language: we know the correct way to write this word, or we do not know it. This type of error is common.

I use my CPF for spelling training

Spelling errors in the workplace can also be linked to homophones , that is to say two words that are pronounced the same way, which are both in the dictionary, but which are not written not the same way. They are also called semantic errors.

This is particularly the case of the “task” that one carries out, and which is not written in the same way as the “stain” that soils a garment.

Conjugation errors

“I will send you this” or “I will send you this” ? “Everything went well” or “Everything went well” ?… Here again, the trap of homophones can cause conjugation errors, in particular because of the frequent confusion between the infinitive (to send, to pass), the past participle (sent, past) and the second person plural (send, pass).

Grammar mistakes

Grammar refers to the many rules that exist to compose a sentence by giving it the desired meaning. It is this discipline that studies the rules around COD, COI, adverbs, auxiliaries, etc. Grammar errors can therefore vary enormously:

The errors mentioned above (spelling, grammar, conjugation, syntax, etc.) essentially relate to the form of your professional writings. The substance of your e-mail, your activity report or your summary can always be understood by its recipients (colleagues, customers, partners, management, etc.).

You can improve and fill these form gaps with targeted revisions and training , such as our tips for avoiding spelling mistakes , clear explanations of the most useful syntax or grammar rules in the workplace, and upgrade solutions.

Writing problem or expression problem?

Beyond spelling, grammar or agreement errors, you may encounter difficulties in formulating clear sentences that achieve their objective: giving or requesting information, meeting the needs of your interlocutor, explaining a rule, etc. It is then a problem of expression.

Choose the right words, structure your sentences clearly, adopt the right tone and the right vocabulary, use the appropriate forms of politeness … The professional world often has its own codes, which must be respected! This is all the more important since, depending on the context, you may have to be concise because your interlocutor will have little time to give you (management, customers, etc.), and will have to understand the substance of your writing in a few seconds. or a few minutes. Conversely, in some cases (activity report, meeting summary), it may be necessary to develop your remarks, to provide as much information as possible.

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