Being able to write in a professional manner is an important part of any career or job. Clearly communicating your thoughts, opinions, and even concerns to your co-workers or boss can help you be successful on your own but also have success within your team. Professional writing is a skill that may even help you advance your career. Need help making your writing more professional? Here are some of our best tips.

1. Be Focused and Relevant

When writing anything, whether it be for a client or a coworker, it is important to first decide the main point and important details you want to communicate. Once you have this decided, keep the rest of your writing focused on that topic and try to weed out any irrelevant information. Useless information can create distractions for the reader, allowing the important parts to get lost. By staying focused and relevant, your writing will be concise and easy to read.

2. Use the Right Tool

Writing by hand requires the right tools—and by those of course we mean pens! Use a professional pen that won’t smear and gives an excellent writing experience, all while matching your personal style. For a fashionable pen, try the Sarasa Grand Gel Retractable Pen. It has Rapid Drying Gel Ink and a sleek, stylish brass barrel that comes in a variety of colors. If your job requires something more durable, Choose Different with the STEEL F-701 ALL METAL Ballpoint Retractable Pen. It is made completely of stainless steel (including the refill) and designed for even the toughest work environment.

3. Use Active Voice

Using active voice in your writing, where the subject performs the action stated by the verb, helps portray confidence and authority in your writing. It also helps the reader better understand exactly what actions need to be taken and who needs to perform them. This can eliminate confusion for your coworkers or clients and help you stay in control of the situation all while sounding incredibly professional.

4. Proofread

Simple mistakes like misspelled words or using the wrong tense can make you appear unprofessional. Make sure to take a few extra minutes to proofread your work before sending it. If possible, take a 5- to10-minute break away from it before reviewing to come back with fresh eyes. This can help you uncover those little mistakes that you may have quickly glossed over earlier.

5. Read it Aloud

Before sending off a report or presentation, find a quiet spot and read your writing out loud. This will allow you to make sure the sentence structure and wording makes sense and flows together well. Reading out loud can help you find mistakes that may not be noticeable before. No matter your job, writing—either digitally or by hand—is a daily occurrence. Use these tips to add a professional touch to your writing to show your confidence.