As millennials, incorporating user-centered design and rhetorical awareness in our everyday writing at work is crucial if we want to reach our target audience in the correct tone and manner. Making sure we know the audience, stakeholders, and context we are writing in and trying to reach helps make sure we are using effective workplace writing. Also being persuasive can increase the effectiveness in business writing. Whether you are writing a resume, cover letter, or business report, not knowing those key factors can limit your success in any of those business situations.
To be effective in workplace writing, first you have to be user-focused on who your audience is. In this BogieLand article, being user-focused means having “detailed knowledge of the target audience, as this provides information about the user constraints and references on which the design must be based.” Not knowing the facts and context about the person you are writing too can put that certain piece of writing in jeopardy and may lead to the goal not being reached. For example, when writing a cover letter for a job, not including important information or specifications about that job or company and how you fit those qualifications can lead to no interview or job offer. Being user-focused in your writing when using user-centered design can help lead to an increase in your personal or organizations reputation, and also allows for advancement in business functions.
As millennials, we should strive to stress on acknowledging why our audience is so important. The whole point of the assignment we may be assigned to is to reach our audience effectively. This UMUC article brings up great questions to consider when customizing your paper to the audiences needs. How much does the reader know? What will the reader do with the information? These two questions are ones that are great ones to ask when seeing if you are on the right track. Thinking about how much does the reader know in the situation can help you write the information that the audience may not know or understand completely. Having all the critical and important information about yourself on your resume will help a possible employer know a lot about you and lead to them asking you to evaluate more on a certain job or experience you have had in the past. Also thinking about what the reader will do with the information can help decide what facts need to be included or not. When writing a business report for a project you may be working on, including the information that will help someone make a decision based on the information is key so that the job can be done in the most effective and efficient way.
The last major key when applying user-centered design is considering the tone you are using in your writing. The tone you use in a project or such can be a factor that makes or breaks that project. This Purdue OWL article Tone in Business Writing has some helpful ideas on how to write in the correct tone. Being confident, being courteous and sincere, using non-discriminatory language, and writing at and appropriate level of difficulty are some of the main points from that article that I think are crucial ones for millennials to understand. Being confident in a cover letter explaining that you have the skills and requirements to be successful is an example of how to be confident. Also using non-discriminatory language such as when addressing a cover letter using “To whom it may concern” instead of “Dear Gentlemen” can take the cover letter a far way and shows you are courteous to all people who may be looking at the cover letter.
Understanding the audience to who you are writing to, being persuasive in your work or being persuasive if it concerns a skill or qualification about yourself, and writing in the correct tone are ways to help ensure effective workplace writing. If millennials can take these ideas into their own writings, it can help them complete a job assignment successfully or be a factor that separates them from others when applying for a job. Being able to use user-centered design is a great skill to have and is something millennials should strive to be proficient at.