career Launch Nov 15, 2014

The Written Word – Your First Impression

Yesterday I received a self promo piece from a designer. It, sadly, included the following sentence:


“Time for trying to get the work done while your staff memebers take much needed breaks.”


“Memebers?” Really? It was a horrible sentence to begin with, but to also misspell members?


I’m sure most people did what I did upon reading the line – promptly trashed the mailer.


Avoid the wastebasket. Carefully write and proof your cover letter, resume, e-mail correspondence and thank you note. And for God’s sake, run spell check. It would have caught “memebers.” Let’s face it, if you’re careless on something important to you, should I expect you to do any better on client work? No. You move straight to the reject pile.


I’m not asking for beautiful prose (unless you’re a copywriter), just mistake-free text.


I know this advice seems obvious, or at least it should. Unfortunately I see way too many mistakes like the above and people don’t realize how quickly and completely it can kill their chances for a job. And the poor guy in our example mass-mailed his piece. He turned off loads of potential employers with just one mistake.


ONE mistake.