Your words are powerful. And that is especially true for the written words. They can tell a story about you, even if you don’t write anything about yourself. You might be able to deny that you said something, but once you write it down, it’s there as evidence for all to see.
Think about the importance of grammar in your job search. Cover letters, applications and resumes can reveal a lot about your education, skills and experience, but a hiring manager will also be looking at the way you wrote them, and all those grammar errors will be jumping off the page to a trained eye.
You might not have thought of your writing as being all that important, especially if you’re not applying for a standard office job, but it can be the difference between getting an interview and having your resume ending up in a shredder. Here are just some of the reasons it matters so much.
Your writing is part of your first impression.
Since the first contact you have with a prospective employer is through your writing, poor grammar is as bad for your image as coming to the interview in oil-stained blue jeans. It might even be worse since you won’t be present to make up for the bad grammar. You’re stuck with your writing, so make sure you have taken the time to check it for glaring mistakes.
You will need to write if you’re hired.
Hiring managers are looking for employees who reflect well on their company. And since most jobs require a lot of writing – emails, proposals, reports, communications with customers, etc.—your poor writing will have them looking for a candidate with a better grasp on grammar.
It shows you don’t care.
If you’re stumbling over the basics of grammar in your cover letter, you’re not giving the impression that you’re serious about your career or your success. So it’s reasonable for a prospective employer to assume you wouldn’t be serious about their success, either. If you want a fighting chance at being hired, take the time to clean up all written communication before you send it.
The hiring manager may assume your other skills are lacking.
There is a phenomenon known as the Horns Effect, which causes people (a hiring manager, for example) to believe that because you lack in one trait (poor writing), you must also be lacking in other traits, even if those other traits are not related. In other words, an applicant’s soft skills could be called into question based on a poorly written cover letter.
It could be the factor that eliminates you.
Most job postings are attracting a slew of applicants, and your bad grammar might place you behind many of the others. You could be eliminated before the process is properly underway.
Let us help you put your best foot forward!
When you work with our local Georgia recruiting company, you’ll find many more suggestions for navigating the job market. With these tips and the support of a hiring expert, your job search will be a much less stressful process. Contact Focus of Georgia to assist you in landing your next job.