Poor spelling puts off employers, according to a Hertfordshire University study reported by the BBC. Work experience and a good work ethic were the factors most highly rated in job applicants.
As someone who hires PR professionals, I can verify that spelling AND grammar mistakes are the fastest way to my garbage can.
Spell check and edit! If you don’t care enough about me, I won’t be returning the favor….
I certainly reject candidates whose CVs are riddled with errors.
I’ve one piece of advice for anyone submitting a CV (or a news release for that matter): get someone else to read it carefully before you send it off. Preferably someone who can spell!
Please can I add a cautionary tale about work experience?
A couple of years ago, a graduate came to work with my company on a two-week placement. She seemed lovely – very bright, confident and keen.
Unfortunately, one of her very first tasks ended in tears – and all because of her spelling.
I briefed her fully on what was needed but she just couldn’t handle the feedback, okay criticism, when I told her that she needed to get her spelling right after she presented me with a document riddled with mistakes.
I’m afraid I picked her up on her use of its/it’s and lots of stray capital letters. There was a mistake in each line.
I was shocked at how much of a surprise to her it was that I should be pointing this stuff out.
She said she had gained a 2:1 and that (and I’ll never forget this) her tutors had ‘never picked her up on her spelling.’
I was beside myself with worry that she took the (very gentle, I promise) criticism so badly. She went off sick for most days after that, before ringing to say she wouldn’t be coming back.
In particular, it seems that the use of apostrophes can cause all sorts of problems. I have always admired this website (The Apostrophe Protection Society!):
It was set up by a former journalist and appears to be still going strong.
Surely constructive criticism is part and parcel of the whole learning experience of a work placement? I know that on one of mine I was brought up on a few grammatical errors that I was unaware I was making – and I definitely appreciated being told!
I also wouldn’t dream of sending out my CV without a thorough proof-read from someone else first, and usually would apply the same philosophy to press releases!
AS someon who has recntly Been aplying for jobs’ I am extremly carfull abowt spellign and tyepos.
Before I started my first job I spent two-weeks working on The Times’ Public Agenda. It was a big bonus – after two failed attempts at getting a column right (it was style issue!) I was bawled out in front of the Agenda staff and Travel section (the ignominy!). My third attempt was spot on.
The person issuing the bawling warned me that if I was headed for a career in PR I needed to get it right first time.
I guess it was ‘gentle’ criticism by national paper standards but it taught me a valuable lesson which I have never forgotten.
Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:
You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. ( Log Out / Change )
You are commenting using your Twitter account. ( Log Out / Change )
You are commenting using your Facebook account. ( Log Out / Change )
You are commenting using your Google+ account. ( Log Out / Change )
Connecting to %s
Notify me of new comments via email.