Sunday, January 4, 2009

Getting the writing right

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.

14 comments:

Katryn said...

You're so right! I once turned down an application for an editorial position because of the terrible cover letter attached. It turned out that a recruiter had written the cover letter and sent it without indicating that it was written by him, not the applicant.

Fortunately, our HR person got the same resume from another recruiter and called the applicant in for an interview. He turned out to be one of our best editors, but almost didn't get the job because of a sloppy recruiter.

Anonymous said...

rotator cuff training -
save my marriage today -
secrets book -
silent sales machine -
silver lotto -
spyware cease -
super affiliate handbook -
the 11 forgotten laws -
thebadbreathreport -
the bad breath report -
thedietsolutionprogram -
the diet solution program -
the power pause -
tmj help -
tonsil stones remedies -
top secret fat loss secret -
turbulence training -
twitter rockstar -
uncle sams money -
underground hypnosis -
vincedelmontefitness -
vince del monte fitness -
warcraft millionaire -
warcraft wealth -
warp speed fat loss -
webcomp analyst -
wedding speech 4u -
win back love -
your software website -
zox pro -
zygor guides -
500 love making tips -
acid alkaline diet -
acne no more -

Anonymous said...

advanced defrag -
adware alert -
adware bot -
affiliate elite -
anti spyware -
anti spyware bot -
article bully -
art of approaching -
auto pilot profits -
bbq book -
blogging in action -
body building revealed -
burnthefat -
burn the fat -
carb rotation diet -
chopper tattoo -
conversationalhypnosis -
conversational hypnosis -
cure for tinnitus -
debt free in three -
driver checker -
duplicate file cleaner -
earth4energy -
earth 4 energy -
easy member pro -
easy tv soft -
eatstopeat -
eat stop eat -
end your tinnitus -
fap winner -
fat burning furnace -
fatloss4idiots -
fat loss 4 idiots -
final sync -

Anonymous said...

final uninstaller -
firewall gold -
fitness model program -
fit yummy yummy -
flatten your abs -
forex auto money -
forex auto pilot -
forex confidante -
game tester guide -
governmentregistry -
government registry -
healthy urban kitchen -
higher faster sports -
homebrew installer -
homemadeenergy -
home made energy -
Auto Content Cash -
Banner Ad Blueprint -
Copy Paste Systems -
Every Other Day Diet -
Farm Ville Secrets -
Plugin To Green Profits -
Rapid Mass Traffic -
Tinnitus Miracle -
Tweetomatic Profiteer -
Woodworking 4 Home -
24 Hour Internet Business -
Blogging To The Bank -
Burn The Fat -
Earth 4 Energy -
Fap Turbo -
Fat Burning Furnace -
Fat Loss 4 Idiots -
Foex Auto Money -

Anonymous said...

Hemorrhoid Miracle -
Legit Online Jobs -
Magic Of Making Up -
Magni Work -
Micro Niche Finder -
Plr Article Software -
Pregnancy Miracle -
Software Submitter Pro -
The Affiliate Code -
The Diet Solution Program -
Truth About Abs -
Zygor Guides -
i am big brother -
instant profit machine -
i want a teaching job -
joyful tomato -
lose man boobs -
lower body make over -
macro virus -
magic of making up -
make money taking surveys -
malware bot -
maternityacupressure -
maternity acupressure -
meet your sweet -
moles warts removal -
money siphon system -
muscle gaining secrets -
my airfare secrets -
my miracle loans -
my out of control teen -
natural cancer treatments -
ovarian cyst cures -
pc optimizer pro -

Anonymous said...

piano for all -
prevent sweating -
privacy control -
publicrecordspro -
public records pro -
pvp bible -
quick article pro -
quit smoking today -
reg defense -
reg genie -
registry easy -
registry genius -
registry smart -
registry winner -
registry winner download -
reg tool -
relationship headquarters -
reverse mobile -
richard mackenzie direct -
rocket japanese -
rotator cuff training -
satellite tv pc master -
secrets book -
spy no more -
spyware cease -
survey scout -
the bad breath report -
thedietsolutionprogram -
the diet solution program -
the guru assassin -
the power pause -
tmj help -
tonsil stones remedies -
turbulence training -

Anonymous said...

two minute profits -
vincedelmontefitness -
vince del monte fitness -
warp speed fat loss -
web traffic machines -
wedding speech 4u -
wind plans -
xp repair pro -
your fun business -
zygor guides -
500 love making tips -
acid alkaline diet -
acne no more -
advanced defrag -
anti spyware bot -
art of approaching -
banish tinnitus -
beat eczema -
blood pressure normalized -
burnthefat -
burn the fat -
conversationalhypnosis -
conversational hypnosis -
cpa arbitrage -
creative date ideas -
debt free in three -
digital background -
dirty talking guide -
discus fish secrets -
duplicate file cleaner -
dw insider -
earth4energy -
earth 4 energy -
easy tv soft -

Anonymous said...

easy web video -
eatstopeat -
eat stop eat -
end your tinnitus -
error doctor -
evidence smart -
fap winner -
fat burning furnace -
fat loss 4 idiots -
final sync -
final uninstaller -
firewall gold -
fitness model program -
fit over 40 -
fit yummy yummy -
flatten your abs -
forex auto pilot -
gain opinion -
gold secrets -
government records -
governmentregistry -
government registry -
green diy energy -
healthy urban kitchen -
highest pay surveys -
holo think -
homemadeenergy -
home made energy -
i want a teaching job -
joyful tomato -
keyword elite -
learn photoshop videos -
lmt forex formula -
lower body make over -

Anonymous said...

macro virus -
malware bot -
maternityacupressure -
maternity acupressure -
meet your sweet -
microcap millionaires -
moles warts removal -
money siphon system -
muscle gaining secrets -
my list strategy -
my phone riches -
natural cancer treatments -
online tv pc -
panic away -
pdf creator -
peel away ads -
pips leader -
ppc web spy -
prevent sweating -
privacy control -
publicrecordspro -
public records pro -
questions for couples -
quick article pro -
quick paid surveys -
quit smoking today -
reg defense -
registry winner -
reg tool -
reverse mobile -
richard mackenzie direct -
rocket german -
rotator cuff training -
rss feeds submit -

Anonymous said...

satellite pc box -
save the marriage -
spy no more -
spyware stop -
super seduction power -
surefire trading challenge -
tattoo me now -
the bad breath report -
thedietsolutionprogram -
the diet solution program -
the dog food conspiracy -
the mini site formula -
tmj help -
tonsil stones remedies -
truth about abs -
twitter trick -
vincedelmontefitness -
vince del monte fitness -
warp speed fat loss -
wedding speech 4u -
win clear -
xbox 360 red light fix -
xp repair pro -
500 love making tips -
acid alkaline diet -
advanced defrag -
alpha male system -
amazing cover letters -
anti spyware -
anti spyware bot -
article rewriter -
art of approaching -
auto cash system -
burnthefat -

Anonymous said...

burn the fat -
bv cures -
calling men -
camera dollars -
carb rotation diet -
cash making power sites -
cb mall -
combat the fat -
conversationalhypnosis -
conversational hypnosis -
credit secrets bible -
destroy hemorrhoids -
dirty talking guide -
dotcom income secrets -
duplicate file cleaner -
dvd copy pro -
earth4energy -
earth 4 energy -
easy launcher -
easy system cleaner -
eatstopeat -
eat stop eat -
eczema free forever -
end your tinnitus -
error nuker -
fatburningfurnace -
fat burning furnace -
fat loss 4 idiots -
final sync -
firewall gold -
fitness model program -
fit over 40 -
fit yummy yummy -
flattenyourabs -

Anonymous said...

I love it whеn folκs get togеther and share opiniοns.
Great site, stіck ωіth it! garcinia cambogia - www.neppy.de - garcinia cambogia
sidе еffeсts dіaгrhea garcinia cambogia 1300 extract - garcinia cambogia gnc efectos secundarios - garcinia cambogia

Anonymous said...

If some one wants to be uрdated with most recent teсhnologіеs after that he must be ѵisit
this site and be up to date eveгy daу.



Αlso vіsit my site ... Life insurance quote

Anonymous said...

Getting rich is not the result of saving, or "thrift"; many very
penurious people are poor, while free spenders often get rich.
The intent was for PDF files to provide a way to distribute documents electronically
and have them display or print consistently regardless of the type of computer system.
Even so, the registry may be corrupted, destroyed, clogged up, or
infected causing Windows to be unable to
read the files effectively.

Here is my web page :: free pdf ebook download