Employment Expertise: Always check your work
Their, there, they're. Its, it's. Knew, new, gnu. How many of us rely on spellcheck without really proofing our words? Automatic spelling correction used to exist only in Microsoft Word. Now it's almost ubiquitous, found in everything from Notepad and TextEdit to smartphones. The problem has always been, however, that spellcheck doesn't understand context.
Also, there are times when you intentionally spell a word incorrectly. For example, if you're writing “how are you doin’?” the software will automatically correct the word doin' to coin. Your sentence becomes “How are you coin?” You might ask why someone would do that, but there could be many reasons. It's possible someone is writing a script where a character is speaking in slang. Or in this case, it might be a teacher providing a contextual example of his or her work with a student.
Regardless of the reasons, it's important to be very diligent to check the spellcheck and the autocorrect. Whether you are submitting a resume online or filling out your profile on LinkedIn or Pure Michigan Talent Connect, you want to be very sure that there are no spelling errors. This is the issue most often found by hiring managers. Resumes that might otherwise be read or considered are put in the "no" pile because of simple errors that stem from carelessness.
Texting used to be a communication tool used mainly among friends and family. But it's common now to be contacted by employers via text in addition to phone and email.
We all have seen humorous — and sometimes not so humorous — fails with autocorrect on our smart phones. If ever you are in a position to reply to a potential employer via text, do yourself a favor and take a second to stop whatever you are doing and pay attention to how you respond. Also in that case, take the time to use real words, not text abbreviations. For example, use “great” not “gr8.”
Always proofread your work before you submit it. Whether it's an application that you're filling out online or your profile on a site, always take a few moments to read it over before you hit the submit button, the send button or seal the envelope. Better yet, if it's possible, have someone else read your work before it's too late.
Once you hit send and you see that typo as the screen flickers to the next page, that last-second, "d'oh!" won't do you any good, it's too late. Your future could be partially determined by an errant apostrophe.
— Employment Expertise is provided by Ottawa County Michigan Works! OCMW assists employers and job seekers through direct contact and through its extensive network of connections. Learn more to see how they can help you — visit miottawa.org/ocmwa or call (616) 396-2154.