There are many times in your life when you will be asked to write something very specific. Whether this is to take notes of a conversation, write the minutes of a formal meeting, or prepare a report, all these types of writing require specific skills, and usually a particular style.
Many people would say that the art of letter-writing is dying out. However, there are still many times when you need to put pen (or word processor) to paper. See our page on How to Write a Letter for more.
At one time or another, most of us need to write a job application.
Nowadays, job applications usually require a CV or résumé, together with a really strong covering letter. A good LinkedIn profile will also help your application to stand out from the rest, as will managing your online presence effectively.
Apart from the workplace, you are most likely to need writing skills as part of a course of study, whether at college or university.
You may, for example, need to write essays, a report, a research proposal or even a dissertation or thesis. These pieces of work are often very long, and need careful structuring and writing.
Being able to write well is a skill which will get you a long way in the workplace, partly because it is fairly rare in many places.
One skill that many people lack, especially in management and other professional environments is the ability to write in plain English. That is avoiding unnecessary jargon, industry specific buzzwords and clichés and keeping sentences short and concise. See our page Writing in Plain English for more.
Taking the time to polish your writing skills is likely to pay off in the longer term, and learning how to write specific types of documents will also be useful.
See our pages on How to write a report, a business case, an executive summary and a press release for some specific examples that may also have wider applications. For example, being able to prepare a strong summary is a skill that is extremely useful for briefing senior managers.
You may also find our pages on note taking for reading, note taking for verbal exchanges and taking minutes: the role of the secretary useful if your job or a voluntary role includes recording formal meetings.