This is part of the series of blog articles called “A Writer’s Guide…”, check out this article by writer Holly Millward on being a writer for business.
Writer for Business
by Holly Millward
Qualifications Needed to Become a Writer for a Business
A university degree in writing, communications, or another similar field will likely be required in order to be considered for a writing position at a corporation or business.
Potential employers may also request a writing sample, usually geared toward the area of writing the position would entail.
For example, if you are applying for a position writing responses to regulatory consumer complaints, the business may give you a scenario and ask you to submit a response to the complaint as an examination of your skillset.
Excellent typing skills and a good working knowledge of word processing systems are also a must.
What Other Qualifications or Resources may be Needed?
Companies sometimes hire within their already existing pool of employees when seeking to fill a writing or other position.
Because a writer will likely need to possess a good understanding of the business and how it operates, it makes sense the business would seek to utilize the expertise of people already familiar with the internal systems and policies of the business.
For this reason, a writer may be asked to “serve in the trenches” (or do tasks outside of writing only) in order to gain experience within the company.
Or, employees with a background in writing or communications may seek a different position first, and later, move into the writing position.
When ghostwriting for an executive’s blog or communications, it may be necessary for a writer to extensively study the executive’s prior communications or spend time with the executive. This will help the writer be able to accurately mimic the executive’s “voice”.
Writers with knowledge of other languages may also be highly valued, particularly for writing positions dealing with consumers or for businesses who compete in the global marketplace.
What Equipment is Used for Writing
Most employers will provide a work station with a computer or laptop and access to internal company resources and writing software, such as Microsoft Word.
Depending on the type of writing you do, you may also be provided access to internal company systems and/or logins to external sites where your writing will be posted.
Access to specific contacts within the company (legal, heads of department, etc.) may also be provided as resource tools.
Writers may work inside an office with other employees of the company, remotely at home with access to communicate with leaders or some combination of the two.
A Day in the Life of a Business Writer
- Arrive at work. (This may be in an office or on the couch.)
- Identify the assignments that must be completed. See if there is any urgent work and form an idea for how the day will likely play out.
- Pull up the day’s schedule and take note of any meetings or special projects that are due. Answer any outstanding emails, etc.
- Begin work. The work may entail:
- Research and investigation of policies and situations. Communications with other employees to clarify or understand what is needed (or to learn more about a policy or an issue).
- The writer will need a working knowledge of the audience, whether it be internal or external, and if there any special legal or internal company rules or regulations that may impact the piece of writing.
- Once the writer has completed the full “investigation” of what is needed and fully understands all aspects of the task at hand, the writing may commence.
- From there, additional resources may be utilized to support the piece of writing or to craft the writing in such a way that it remains consistent with the company’s other communications.
- Once the piece of writing has been drafted, cross-checked, and proofread, it must be submitted to the appropriate party for review or for final response or posting.
- In addition to the primary duties of the writing position, a writer may be tasked with other special project work. This may include mentoring other writers or employees, writing and design layout for internal human interest/employee recognition communications and newsletters, helping to draft updates or new written policy and procedure documents, or helping to draft communications on behalf of executives. Etc.
Other Miscellaneous Information
Hours of Work
Writing for a business is usually done within normal business hours (8am to 5pm-ish). However, there usually isn’t a need for a rigid schedule as writers aren’t generally tied to a phone like a customer service representative or administrative assistants.
Standard of Dress
When in the office, the writer will be asked to abide by the company dress code.
Particularly if attending an in-person meeting with executives or other upper-level management, a writer will likely use standard professional business attire.
On work from home days, there’s no need to dress up (unless attending a virtual meeting with a video feed).
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About Holly Millward
Holly Millward is a professional writer and author who lives in the Pacific Northwest (USA) with her husband, her mischievous daughter, and a cat named after a Norse goddess.
She can be found online at the following locations.
I hope you enjoyed this article and if you have any questions for Holly, drop them in the comments below. Check out all the current “A Writer’s Guide” articles on their new page for easy access.
Do you have knowledge of a skill or occupation you could write about?
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