As I mentioned yesterday, proofreading and fact checking are as much a part of the writing process as getting the words down in the first place. And if you don't believe that, it can cost you dearly.
Several years ago, I struggled through a stack of résumés and writing samples from people who were applying for a communications job with my small company. I wouldn't have hired a one of them because of the many careless mistakes I found throughout the documents. Remember, I'd asked for these samples because I wanted to hire someone, that is, give him or her a job. For money. If those who applied were serious about wanting the position, the work products they submitted should have been the best of which they were capable. The results made me fear for the entire state of business communication.
One mentioned her great success in pubic relations. Public is a word you should check and re-check because omission of the letter "L" is common, never caught by spell check, and always embarrassing. I was advertising for a writer, after all, not a lap dancer.
Another discussed how enthusiastic he was about the possibility of working for my company—The Stevens/St. John Company—but unfortunately he called it the John Stevens Company.
The third misspelled her own name. I'm not making this up.
Unfortunately, these aren't isolated cases. Business writing in general continues to be atrocious. Writing is a precise business. Nuance matters. Style matters. Usage and grammar matter. Ditto for facts and data. But when I see what comes from independent communications professionals, communications departments, and even executive suites, I shudder.
However, now we're in a tight labor market. There are many, many communicators on the street. A minority of them are talented, skilled, and willing to pay attention to doing it right. They will get the few jobs that are available. Those who don't want to be bothered will be pounding the pavement until the economy picks up again. If you want to be in the first group, get down to business.
How to get to the hiring manager
6 days ago