We live in an age where letters like LOL, TMI and OT stand in for real conversation. In this age of text speak, it’s easy to excel at getting your point across in the fewest number of characters, but in the professional arena what really counts is being able to speak succinctly using proper grammar.
Convey Instant Respect
If you feel good grammar is something people only need to apply in school, think again. Proper grammar is an important way to convey who you are, your attention to detail, and your desire to produce quality work free of errors. The words you choose to use, and use correctly, can speak volumes to a hiring manager or potential employer. The use of proper grammar is often one of the initial deciding factors in hiring.
When a staffing recruiter looks at a resume, they are looking for current skill sets and grammar and spelling skills. If a recruiter finds spelling and/or grammar mistakes this is a red flag that can often land a resume in the round file (trash can). Mistakes in these areas come across as careless, lazy and lacking in educational skills.
Good Grammar Counts
If you’re someone who doesn’t understand what all the grammar fuss is about, consider this quote from the Harvard Business Review. “Fewer grammar errors in a person’s writing correlate with more promotions in his or her career.” When put in terms of dollars and cents/sense considering potential salary and earnings over a work lifetime, the effort of good grammar makes a lot of sense!
Common Grammar Mistakes
Your versus You’re – Your is possessive, something is yours. You’re is a contraction of you and are. You’re better off using good grammar than bad.
It’s versus its – It’s is a contraction of it is or it has. Its is a possessive pronoun. When in doubt, say the words “it is” to determine if you should use its or it’s.
Their/There/They’re – There is a place. Their is talking about more than one person, and they’re is a contraction of they are.
Affect versus Effect – Affect is a verb, something that’s an action. Effect is often a noun (person, place, thing, event or idea).
Then versus Than – Than compares two things. If it’s not a comparison, it’s usually safe to use then.
Loose versus Lose – Loose means too big. Lose is the present tense of lost. copyblogger.com
Worth Taking the Time
Improving your grammar is a worthwhile endeavor that makes a difference in how you’re perceived by others, both on paper (an application or resume) and in person. Taking the time to proofread and ensure your writing is grammatically correct is an investment in your employment now and your promotion and growth in the future.