Published on January 18, 2013

Misplace a comma or misuse “their,” and this guy will misplace your resume!

Kyle Wiens, writing in the Harvard Business Review, has offered important observations about what your errors in writing may say to a prospective employer.  In a blog post entitled “I Won’t Hire People Who Use Poor Grammar.  Here’s Why,” Wiens explains that when he reads an applicant’s resume or job letter and sees grammar, spelling, punctuation, or mechanical errors, he tosses those documents into the recycle bin.  Specifically, he writes:

[G]rammar is relevant for all companies. Yes, language is constantly changing, but that doesn’t make grammar unimportant. Good grammar is credibility, especially on the internet. In blog posts, on Facebook statuses, in e-mails, and on company websites, your words are all you have. They are a projection of you in your physical absence. And, for better or worse, people judge you if you can’t tell the difference between their, there, and they’re.

A message like this from an industry leader makes my job in the classroom easier; students sometimes need to be convinced by  individuals with more business credibility than me that their poor writing reflects on them professionally.  So this article went directly to the top of my course webpages.  Thanks Kyle!