What Is Style?

The term style refers to a way of doing something, such as how a musician plays his violin or how an author writes her stories. A person’s style also reflects his or her personality and how he or she relates to others. A person’s sense of style is based on experiences, preferences and beliefs.

The meaning of style has shifted over time as social, economic and technological changes occur. For example, the long sentences and paragraphs characteristic of 19th-century writing have given way to short sentences, brief paragraphs, embedded hyperlinks, video and an increased reliance on visual language in electronic communication.

Although most people are familiar with the technical definition of style, which encompasses grammatical correctness, sentence fluency and conventions of style, less attention is given to how a writer’s style influences his or her audience. A person’s ability to write clearly and concisely is a crucial aspect of his or her style, but so is how an audience interprets this clarity in terms of emotion and intention.

An individual’s sense of style is shaped by the types of experiences he or she has had and how these have influenced his or her perspective on the world. For example, someone who has lived through a lot of tragedy may have developed an empathetic and understanding style of communicating with others in distress. In addition, a person’s style is impacted by his or her culture and the way that culture shapes the world in which he or she lives.

For example, a person who grew up in the United States may develop an American style of writing that includes colloquialisms and idioms. This is different from the British or European styles of writing that are more formal in nature. A person’s sense of style is also influenced by his or her beliefs about how style should be used in certain situations, such as whether it is appropriate to use grand manners for trivial subjects or if it is inappropriate to use colloquialisms in formal communications.

When interviewing, be careful about how you answer the question “What makes you unique?” Avoid lying because this can come back to haunt you. Instead, focus on describing the skills, personality traits and professional attributes that you believe will allow you to perform well in this employer’s company. Using your research from the company’s website and media articles can help you make this point. In addition, try to connect your unique qualities to how you can help the employer solve a problem or achieve a goal. If you are able to demonstrate how your distinctive style can be beneficial to the employer, it will give you an edge in this competition for employment.