As I stared at the recently drafted email on the screen in front of me, I thought, “Do I dare look at the clock again?”. I glanced over my shoulder to discover that time had not slowed down as I had hoped. I only had a couple more minutes to submit my heavily reviewed resume to an inquiring employer. I racked my brain for every professional phrase I had ever picked up around my parents and quickly sent over the information that was either going to make or break my career next summer. I sat quietly at my desk and sighed as a weight was lifted off of my shoulders. Why was it so difficult for me to compose an email to a family friend I had known my entire life, yet so easy to relay hundreds of words describing my thoughts on recent episodes of my favorite TV show to my best friends?
As Millennials, we have been encoding and decoding textual messages since we created our first screen names. Sharing our thoughts among peers has never seemed to daunt our opinionated generation. But when it comes to the workplace, some of us may not understand the linguistics just yet.
So how would even go about researching how to write a memo to your future employer? These aren’t the things that our society has deemed important enough to relay through extensive education.The work force we dream about entering seems like a small step away, but many people doubt that us Millennials will make it. Through recent investigation into this language barrier, I have discovered a few ways that we Millennials might be able to relay our thoughts in a more professional manner.
Just like the marketing used on the latest smartphone in your pocket, accessibility is key to attracting your potential audience. Your writing is supposed to persuade your reader to continue while the physical appearance should inclement the chances that they will. If you can combing these visual tools with the tone in your voice you are sure to perk the ears of coworkers. When you are structuring the outline of your document you should consider a few things.
The basic outline of your document should include a clear table of contents. The easier this is to navigate, the greater the chance it will be used as a reference point, therefore more making it more memorable. For smaller documents that do not require a table of contents, be sure to include easy to read section headers. These should distinguish each paragraph and serve as an aid in scanning eyes. Also, make sure each paragraph is concise and straight to your point. Another attention grabbing device is images. These could include anything from charts to graphs to potential locations.
As you find yourself sifting through all of the wonderful ideas you want to put into your latest email to your coworkers, you might find it helpful to think about your thoughts like rocks in a jar. When you are filling a jar with rocks of all shapes and sizes, it is easiest to put in the largest rocks first and then fill the empty spaces with the smaller ones. You should identify these different sizes of rocks as the thoughts that are going into your document. The larger rocks are the general ideas that your document is going to cover, while the smaller ones are the specific details that support your argument .
First you should identify the most vague and general ideas that you are trying to get across within your document Use these ideas in your introduction, thesis, or executive summary to grab your reader’s attention. After stating these, you should be able to use your each idea to generate smaller points for support. Using this method will help your readers to easily follow your idea generation, therefore supporting your argument.
Just like the text lingo we have grown accustom to using, it is important to be efficient in relay your thoughts. Our world is full of people who are too busy to read you ramble on for five page, so it would be best to comb through your ideas before presentation. Don’t let a word go to waste because each is valuable to your argument. Many employees these days expect you to forget professionalism in your efficiency, however.
A couple of ways to avoid crossing this delicate line is to familiarize yourself with the language of the industry you are entering. Analyze everything from the vocabulary to the acronyms. Each part is key to impressing your employers and coworkers. Just like a clear cut tweet that conveys a long thought in 140 characters, ensure you are maximizing your character count in your professional documents. There is too much data flooding our everyday lives, make your shared amount worth every kilobyte.