Why Everything You Write is Too Long
In today’s high-speed culture, that’s all we need to be effective.
Let me explain. The “335 words” refers to a 2007 college graduation speech by Nobel economist Thomas Sargent.
Yes, the entire speech is 335 words. It’s a compact list of 12 economic principles. Read it here.
— Then check out 17 Hard Truths Every College Grad Must Understand —
Sargent understands to be memorable, you must value a person’s time and attention. Unless you’re prepared to spill your guts and bring people to tears — like Kevin Durant as he recently accepted the NBA’s MVP award — brevity is your best friend and closest ally.
Cover letter, presentation, speech, formal work document — you should cut down EVERYTHING you write. If you’re too wordy, you’re boring. Before you consider a document “finalized,” be tough on yourself and chop it down.
No one will ever say, “This person’s document is way too short. Now what am I supposed to do with all my free time?”
Thus, I created a chart to help us tighten our writing. Are the rules hard and fast? No. They are a reminder to give people exactly what they need and not a word more.
What’s the “right” length for a cover letter? 400 words? 500?
Featured: worldwaterweek (Flickr)
May 28, 2017
Is it “Between You and I” or “Between You and Me”?
The answer can save your reputation in the office.
September 12, 2017
How Every Leader Should Write a Handwritten Thank-You Note
Details define leaders.
July 12, 2016
Why Your LinkedIn Profile Summary Should be in the 1st Person
Don’t act like someone is writing about you.