Job Application Rejected? It Might Be Your Spelling

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So, how well do you spell? A Washington Post quiz will give you an opportunity to find out.

Is spelling important?

Yes. Unless you want sentences like this – “I canot beleive she used led based paint on there collectables.” – to become commonplace.

Did you find all five mispellings in the previous sentence? Hopefully you caught my purposeful “misspelling” as well.

It may seem that communication these days is trending toward casual. While that may be true, if you’re looking for a job, professionalism is key. And accurate spelling is a big part of conveying professionalism, according to JL Nixon Consulting of Texas.

There are many business settings that still demand professionalism. Your resume, cover letter, and email correspondence with recruiters and potential employers definitely fall into one of these settings. If you are searching for a new job, the level of professionalism at which you present yourself can, at times, literally make or break a deal for you.

Spell-checker is a great resource, but you can’t rely solely on its effectiveness. It misses things, like when you inadvertently leave a letter out of a word but it’s still a legitimate word. For example: manager, not manger; loose, not lose.

You likely wouldn’t show up late or with a stain on your shirt for a job interview, so why would you turn in a resume or cover letter riddled with spelling or grammatical issues? First impressions and attention to detail are important when applying for jobs.

So, how do you rate when it comes to spelling? Find out now. An interactive Washington Post spelling quiz called “How Well Can You Spell” asks users to spot the incorrectly spelled words in 26 sentences (one sentence for each letter in the alphabet).

Unlike the infrequently used words that contestants faced just last week in the 2014 Scripps National Spelling Bee, like “gemeinschaft” (which was incidentally underlined in red by my spell-checker), the Post quiz features commonly misspelled words used in everyday life.

For example, here’s the Post’s “L” sentence: “She is a liason between the local lollypop factory and its lovely customers.”

Did you spot the two errors? Liaison and lollipop are misspelled.

After you’ve completed the quiz, you’re given a score. I misspelled two words and scored a 95 percent.

To a writer, spelling is inherently important. I have some family members who refer to me as a “spelling nazi,” but there’s no shame in that. I’m proud that I have good spelling and can communicate professionally. My communication skills have given me a huge advantage in every job I’ve ever had.

How’s your spelling? Do you think spelling is important when it comes to landing a job? Share your thoughts below or on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

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