Guest post: Written by Brittney Mayer on June 19, 2017
Although the growth of digital communication — and its rabid love of acronyms and emoji — may be contributing to the erosion of the niceties of English spelling and grammar, they ain’t dead yet. Proper punctuation and correct spelling are still encouraged, if not downright expected, in a variety of areas, and is particularly important in the world of business.
Indeed, whether you work for a multimillion-dollar conglomerate or hundred-dollar startup, quality communication skills are key — and that includes more than the ability to make your point in 140 characters or less. Knowing where to place your commas, whether you mean “to,” “too,” or “two,” and when to “i” before “e,” can go a long way toward making a professional impression.
On the flip side, even simple spelling and grammar errors can be instant warning signs to everyone from your managers and employers to clients and customers. At worst, small errors can turn into expensive mistakes. Even at best, poor spelling and grammar can cause you to appear sloppy or unorganized, leading customers to lose trust in your brand and employers to second-guess your potential success in their company .
1. Spelling Errors Can Stand Between You and Your Dream Job
In addition to making you look bad on the job, spelling and grammar errors can prevent you from even getting a job in the first place. One study found that 50% of hiring managers consider spelling and grammar mistakes to be the biggest red flag on a résumé or CV — more than unexplained gaps or even job hopping.
This is especially true in the modern era, where you can use a comprehensive spell-checker, like Ginger Page, to do a thorough check of your résumé in minutes. Platforms like Ginger can find not only basic spelling errors but many of the more complex spelling and grammar issues that can stop your résumé from shining, meaning there’s no excuse for careless errors.
And checking over your materials includes going through your digital assets, such as your personal website, online portfolio, or LinkedIn page, as well. That’s right, only a scant 4% of recruiters don’t use social media as a resource when evaluating and engaging potential talent.
Thankfully, as easily as you can put together a killer digital résumé with the drag-and-drop functionality of many of the best free website builders, you can just as easily check your content with the Ginger browser extension. Ginger can find everything from missing punctuation to misused homophones to ensure your résumé makes the right impression.
2.Poor Communication Skills Can Put the Brakes on Your Promotion
Of course, those who already have their dream jobs aren’t past the point of spelling and grammar expectations. No matter what your occupation, chances are it involves at least some communication with your bosses and co-workers — communication that may have more of an impact on your bottom line than you realize.
In fact, one study of the LinkedIn profiles of 100 professionals showed a direct tie between communication skills and job advancement. Not only did the study find that those with fewer grammatical mistakes on their profiles tended to have more promotions but also tended to obtain higher positions. If you consider each promotion to come with a modest 5% salary raise, your writing errors could be costing you thousands.
So, even if you struggle with when and how to use a semicolon, or whether something is “affected” or “effected,” you can (and should) still make the effort to produce clean correspondence. While this could mean spending a little quality time with your old English textbook, you’ll likely be better off spending some time with Ginger.
With Ginger as a part of your web browser, you can check for spelling and grammar mistakes in every email and report you send out. This will ensure you never accidentally tell your boss to “meat” a client at the airport.
3. Bad Grammar Can Give a Poor Brand Impression
Furthermore, spelling and grammar mistakes won’t just prevent you from excelling in someone else’s business — they can cost your own business a good deal of money, as well. Whether on your company’s website, marketing materials, or in-store signage, incorrect grammar leaves customers with a bad impression.
For instance, a typo on your company’s latest coupon may not prevent visitors from using it, but that mistake can certainly detract from your overall message — and, of course, be mocked on social media forever. Imagine if the latest Kohl’s ad offered a discount on “sweeters” or “skarfs” — the resulting tweets and posts would likely be about the embarrassing typo, not the discount.
Those mistakes can even drive customers away entirely. A study of over 1,000 UK consumers found that many people consider spelling and grammar errors to be the biggest brand turn-off. The results revealed that 59% of respondents said they would not use a company with obvious spelling or grammar mistakes on its website. And a whopping 82% would not trust a company that had not translated its content correctly into English.
Even your search engine rankings can be affected by the lack of proper editing, as today’s algorithm-powered search engines use content quality as a ranking factor. Both Google and Bing have made statements suggesting that pages full of typos and grammatical mistakes will fall lower in the rankings than their spell-checked competitors, so it will likely behoove you to let Ginger take a look before you publish.
Improve Your English to Improve Your Bottom Line:
Although many of us ar prone to using acronyms and casual language in our daily texts and emails, the lack of quality proofing in our business correspondence can have bigger impacts on our bottom lines than most people realize. Everything from getting your dream job to landing your dream customer can be influenced by the quality of your spelling and grammar, so always be sure to check — and double check — your writing.
Brittney is a Contributing Editor for Digital Brands, Inc., where she uses her extensive research background to develop comprehensive guides and in-depth company profiles for BadCredit.org and CardRates.com. Brittney specializes in translating complex ideas into readable, engaging content for B2C and B2B audiences.
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