At Phoenix Staff we spend a lot of time here talking about how you can present yourself in the most favorable light, about putting your best foot forward when networking, writing your resume and interviewing. Maybe we should spend some time to discuss the importance of your communication skills in other areas that are directly related to your job search.
I recently searched on LinkedIn for people with profiles containing the word “independant,” and it was shocking how many results the search returned. It just so happens that this is one of the most frequently misspelled words in the English language, according to the information I found at http://grammar.yourdictionary.com/spelling-and-word-lists/misspelled.html. (I Googled it, so it must be a reputable and authoritative source of information.)
Wouldn’t it be nice to believe that people who see your profile and notice the misspelled word would suggest that you correct it? I’d like to think that was not only plausible, but probable. Maybe I’m a bit of an idealist, but I believe we need to help each other with things like this. I know that I would want to know if I have an incorrect word on my website, in my profile — in fact, on anything, anywhere. Maybe it’s just that I’m getting older, but I know I can use some outside help occasionally. Even if I didn’t ask for help, I welcome it whenever someone thinks that I can do better.
Realistically, however, I know that most people are too timid or too busy to bother letting someone know that they’ve made an error. This means that you’re going to have to take full responsibility for the accuracy of every word you type. Whether it’s in your resume, cover letter, thank you note or online profile, you need to get it right.
If you’re unsure about a spelling, ask someone. Check it in an online dictionary, or blow the dust off the one on your bookshelf. Type it in your word-processing program and run spell check. Take that extra step. It’s worth it.
Misspelled words don’t prove your creativity — or your independence, for that matter. Putting your best foot forward means doing everything within your power to prove that you’re a professional who is willing to expend the effort that the task requires. Maybe a misspelled word is a bit of a triviality, but all of the seemingly trivial things can combine to paint an unflattering picture. Make the picture you present to prospective employers a masterpiece by taking care of the little things that are under your control. Quality matters.