I know. I harp on this all the time. My Curry College students in particular, as well as now my University of Tampa students, know the drill all too well. A TON of red ink circling various words and phrases in the written work that they turned in rapidly becomes a part of the agony.
I get it. This old-fashioned written stuff is annoying…everyone is doing everything online these days. I actually had a store clerk remark in amazement the other day, “You still write checks!”
Behold, earthlings…dinosaurs DO still roam! And many of us are still participating in the hiring process for companies or clients…reviewing resumes and cover letters in the hopes of finding a candidate who actually pays attention to what he or she is putting on paper.
“Close enough” doesn’t count. Not to get morbid about it, but we have witnessed in the news more times than we should accounts of an airplane suddenly malfunctioning and crashing, resulting in an entire product line being sidelined for “inspection.” Someone, somewhere, skipped a step in the process.
Now, I’m not suggesting that misspelled words and incorrect grammar rank at the same level as this example. But I am suggesting that the way in which you present yourself or your organization in writing can determine whether or not you get that job interview.
What brought this to mind was a quick glance I gave at the LinkedIn profile of a fairly experienced communications “pro” recently. I was intrigued to see that his last professional position was as “Communications MANGER.”
Fascinating! The last time I checked Webster’s Dictionary, a “manger” is “an open box in which food for farm animals is placed.” While I know that, as communicators, we “feed” information to the media and other key publics, in all my years AS a communicator, I’ve never been required to hold a bale of hay.
The bottom line is that, in my eyes as your potential employer or recommender for employment, if you aren’t willing to take a few extra minutes to double-check your work in your application FOR a job, what can I expect from you once you’re hired?!?
And please don’t try the excuse that a student years ago fired back at me when I asked her what she thought would happen if she turned in a work assignment to her supervisor with all the mistakes that were in her PR writing assignment…and I quote: “Someone else would have corrected the mistakes for me.” Wow!!
As the old saying goes, “You only get one chance to make a first impression.” And you’re wondering why they never called you back?!?