“How will I need this in the real world?” high school students often ask. Everyone knows that journalists and authors write for a living. But are effective writing skills necessary for other careers? You will be surprised; some professions use writing more than you think!
Sales and Marketing
Writing can influence people to try a new product or remain loyal to a brand. Effective sales copy should be concise, credible, and relevant to the customer. Sales associates often rely on emails to answer client’s questions about the service or product they are selling. When they do, they must strike the right balance between persuasion and coercion to make the customer want to buy. Persuasive writing is also an essential component of marketing. It’s no coincidence that the jingles featured in television and radio get stuck in your mind. Marketing executives have to determine who will use products to produce compelling advertisements in order. Then, they carefully craft sales copy, ads, and jingles to appeal to their target audience.
One of the primary functions of the human resources department is to fill open positions. The job description is a crucial element in attracting suitable applicants. HR has to represent the goals and working environment of the company accurately, or disillusioned employees might quit soon after they’re hired. Second, the job description has to identify job tasks so that applicants know whether they qualify or not. Finally, HR usually documents the results of interviews for consideration in the hiring process.
Every day, doctors give written instructions to patients about diet, exercise, or medication. Needless to say, directions should be unambiguous because health care writing can be a life or death matter. For example, emergency room patients are often disoriented, medicated, or in pain. What a worthy challenge it is for busy doctors to write simple, understandable discharge instructions in such an environment! Physicians also share information with each other and the public. They use SOAP notes to document notes on a patient’s chart. SOAP is an acronym that stands for the four parts of the message—subjective, objective, assessment, and plan. Doctors might publish the findings of a case study or research project in a medical journal. To do so successfully, they will have to support their research with in-text citations and references using one of the style guides recognized by medical institutions, such as the American Psychological Association (APA).
What’s the difference between a disgruntled and a satisfied customer? For customer service representatives, it may be how well they handle and email or chat exchange. Customer support technicians have to ask probing questions to find out what the issue is. They have to show empathy while offering practical advice. You may notice that some reps used “canned” responses in live chat. They must be experts at answering quickly and juggling multiple clients at the same time! For simple issues, they might cut-and-paste a response, perhaps tweaking it a little to adjust for the specific details of your case.
Students aren’t the only ones doing homework. Educators write lesson plans each week, describing the objectives of the class, the activities, and the expected outcomes. Many of them write their assessments, such as worksheets, quizzes, and tests. At the university level, professors frequently publish research studies, essays, or other writing in academic journals. Don’t forget that teachers are learners too. Professional development is mandatory, and it frequently involves a writing requirement, especially if it is graduate-level study.
After catching the bad guys, police officers generate written reports that become a part of the case record. They must be meticulous, ensuring that all the documented facts are accurate. A police report may become evidence in a trial or the basis of a news report. If the report is faulty, a perpetrator could escape justice. Similarly, forensic science technicians are also responsible for reporting evidence in written reports. The record may include a conclusion of how a victim died based on their analyses. Criminologists are sociologists who study the causes, effects, and social impact of criminal behavior. With a goal of predicting and discouraging crime, they analyze data and present it in proposals which may be used to develop laws and policies.
Construction bids are proposals from contractors or companies for a particular job. Because the contractors are competing against each other, they attempt to sell themselves as the most qualified builder at the best budget. They estimate the timeframe and budget based on drawings and specifications provided by the project’s coordinator. A successful proposal results in a job, but contractors must use sound judgment. If the final expenses significantly exceed the budget, the contractor damages his reputation and risks legal charges if managers suspect him of intentionally underestimating the cost of materials or the time necessary to complete the project.
When applying for social services or funding on behalf of a client, social workers must justify their recommendations with notes from observations and relevant research. Thus, case notes and reports from the field influence weighty decisions, such as whether a family qualifies to adopt a child. Social work students begin honing writing skills before they enter the profession. They write term papers explaining an issue and often support their opinions using published research. Literature reviews summarize, classify, and evaluate theories and published research available about a topic.
The next time a high school student asks whether writing matters in the real world, ask what career she wants to pursue. From law enforcement officer to customer service rep, most professions will require effective writing skills.
How do you use writing in your occupation? Let us know in the comments section of this post.