Don’t Be Vague

I do a lot of original writing, but a good share of my work is revamping other people’s material to make it more crisp, clear, and powerful.

Today I tackled this sentence: “After you complete your interview, it’s good practice to follow up with the hiring team to thank them and ask additional questions.”  Great advice, but the sentence demonstrates two problems I often run into when editing other people’s work.

1.  Too many unnecessary words. Why not say this? “After your interview, follow up with the hiring team to thank them and ask additional questions.”

2.  Vagueness. What is meant by “follow up with?” I’m not sure whether the author is telling people to call, send an email, or stop by. 

Use as few words as possible to make your point, and be specific so you don’t leave readers scratching their heads.

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