Last week, I spoke to student leaders participating in Leadership Triangle: College Edition about writing resumes and cover letters.* There were a lot of questions about revising. They don't know much about revising, and neither do a lot of us "older" folks. But revision is a mission-critical part of the content development process.
Why we aren't good at revising
In school, most of us are taught a lot about writing, but almost nothing about revision. And once we're out? Well, how much writing instruction do you think the average adult receives at work? But that's another post entirely!
How to make your content better
Effective writers know that revision is where the action is**. Getting the words on the page in the first place is step one. Working that text to make it better -- revising -- is where the real writing happens. Revision is the magic bullet for making any content more effective and engaging.
Here, then, are a series of posts about various ways to revise any text -- from resumes to reports, from letters to your Linkedin profile):
- Make sure you have the right details with the Idea-Details revision strategy, including the 3 Es.
- Erase common problems with your content with these easy revisions.
- Try the easy What-Why-How Strategy© to quickly revise content like reports or analyses.
- Create reader-friendly content by focusing on showing.
- Ask the 5 Big Questions to help you revise your own -- or someone else's work -- more effectively by writing like a reader.
- Revise your Linkedin profile -- it could help you get more from your network.
Give any one of these strategies a try and your writing will improve. And if you've got other tips for revision, please share them!
*Thanks to my protegee, Faith Inman, for helping me with the workshop!
**Anyone else remember this show featuring Paul Revere and the Raiders? Limited run, but I loved it!