In the Age of the Internet Shorthand, Do Employers Still Care About Spelling?

In the age of Twitter character limitations and short and sweet text messages, social media seems to be having an effect on everything from language learning to the evolution of spelling. In fact, many have claimed that the age of grammatical perfection and precise spelling has become a thing of the past, rapidly and mercilessly replaced by Internet shorthand.

William Rasberry said: “Good English, well spoken and well written, will open more doors than a college degree. Bad English will slam doors you didn’t even know existed.”

Although this statement does hold truth, how applicable is it today when it seems people are drifting towards becoming more relaxed when it comes to strictly enforcing spelling? Can these mistakes be overlooked or excused as just a spelling transformation that’s an inevitable part of the internet age?

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Let’s take a moment to check out the spelling debate and see exactly what potential employers think about it.

Proper spelling makes you hirable.

The reality is that a lot of employers see even the smallest digression in proper spelling as a lack of attention to detail and agree that a potential employee who submits a resume with the right grammar, spelling, and punctuation is already way ahead of the pack. Not taking the time to check your resume for these sort of mistakes are major red flags for the people looking to hire you and can cause potential bosses to assume that if you lack attention to detail on your CV, then you will lack attention to detail when it comes to the actual job. As a result, you’re much less likely to get an interview in the first place, much less a job offer.

Improper spelling is lazy.

Even if you do nail that job with your grammatically correct resume, you can’t relax on the spelling just yet. Managers and employers agree that improper spelling while on the job, especially in memos and emails, comes off as lazy. With spellcheck available, a universal consensus exists in the corporate world in which there is no excuse for using bad spelling, or even bad grammar on anything. With the internet at your fingertips, you should be more than able to take advantage of tools which can help you to avoid spelling mistakes, instead of risking coming across as lazy and unmotivated when it comes to work.

Proper spelling avoids miscommunication.

Text messages and emails are often looked upon as the perfect platform for using abbreviations and shortening words in order to create concise messages. But before you jump on the abbreviation bandwagon, take into account that it also leaves a lot of room for miscommunication. Misspellings can come across as cryptic to your boss or manager, forcing them to spend more time deciphering what you’re trying to say. Even when you think your boss should understand certain acronyms or abbreviations, be extra careful anyways and avoid using them. Time is money, and no one is willing to waste either one by trying to translate your acronyms, misspellings, and abbreviations.

Improper spelling points to lack of qualifications.

Before you start cringing as you recall that one time you misspelled a word in an email to your boss, know this: employers understand that no one is perfect and will overlook the occasional spelling mistake. However, frequent missteps when it comes to spelling is a different story. If you are constantly making grammar and spelling mistakes, your employer will automatically perceive you as less intelligent, capable, and qualified for the job. Let’s face it, bosses want people who will represent their company well and your spelling blunders will not only cast you, but everyone around you in a bad light. You don’t want your boss to think you’re not qualified to represent the company? Then keep a sharp eye on your written words.

With a highly competitive market and a shrinking economy, paying attention to small details such as spelling and grammar when applying for jobs is arguably more important than it even was back before the Internet age. But there’s no need to limit yourself to the U.S. market where roughly 25% of the population speaks a second language fluently, when you can look abroad for job opportunities as well. Keep yourself from making simple spelling mistakes when sending out your CV to South America, Europe, or Asia by signing up for some top-tier language lessons which will give you the proper roots and skills to be successful. Check up on your language skills with free placement tests, and you’ll be more than ready to dish out perfect spelling, whether on the home front or abroad!

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