Summary: What is the one skill that will set you apart from a sea of applicants? Find out in this article.
Question: What level and type of writing skills are required to be a doctor, real-estate agent, or lawyer?
Ashley: Communication skills, both oral and written, trump just about any other set of qualifications sought by employers. Each of the professions you mentioned requires proficiency in writing. Physicians, for example, must be able to communicate observations of their patients accurately and effectively. It is all about documentation, and an accurate recording of symptoms and diagnosis is required of doctors on a daily basis.
While the level of training is less rigorous for real-estate agents than physicians, writing does play a role in the process. Because real-estate transactions have become more legally complex, many firms now expect a college degree. Realtors spend much of their time researching and obtaining listings, showing properties and meeting with prospective clients. All of this requires a paper trail, some of which the agent would be responsible for. While considered valuable, writing skills in real estate would take a back seat to ambition and strong selling abilities.
Regarding the legal profession, writing plays a significant role in the work-life of attorneys, even with administrative support. The type of writing varies from daily correspondence to detailed analysis and persuasive writing. Paul. A. Marasco, a prominent civil-trial attorney, says, “Written legal briefs and pleadings can range from a page to several hundred pages. Style, content and persuasiveness are of critical importance.” The amount of writing depends on the specialty, but most lawyers write every day whether preparing for trial, working on briefs, handling contracts or corresponding with clients.
So whichever path you choose to pursue, writing is an essential skill to develop.
- See How to Excel in Communication at Work for more information.