English 101: Why Grammar Matters in Your Job Search

Using proper grammar is valuable in almost every kind of communication. If you’re seeking a job, grammar is especially important. It can be the difference between getting your dream job and not even getting a response to your resume. Below are reasons why you need to have perfect grammar in all your application materials.

You only get one first impression

You might be a master of the solid handshake and making eye contact, but the first contact you make with a prospective company is usually in written form. Bad grammar is the same as showing up to an interview with a ketchup stain on your pants.

Also, since you’re not physically present to make up for it, a poor written first impression is basically set in stone: You can’t do much to fix it.

Almost every job requires written communication

Efficient communication is essential in business and one of the most listed qualifications in most job descriptions. If your grammar is poor, it won’t reflect well on your capacity to do the job. Most jobs require a good amount of writing; delivering emails, organizing proposals or composing reports. Since the job you’re seeking probably involves writing it’s reasonable for a company will prefer an applicant with good writing abilities.

Besides this, a company has to think about the impression your writing abilities will give of them. If (for instance) you’re emailing customers and clients, your errors will reflect poorly on your company and their brand.

It shows a lack of care

Employers want people who are driven to succeed because their personal success as an employee would translate to success for the company.

If you send in a cover letter that confuses “there” and “they’re” or “then” and “than” – you’re sending the message that you aren’t passionate about this position, and possibly about your career in general. Hiring managers figure that if you want the job bad enough, you’ll take the necessary steps to make sure you aren’t submitting application materials with bad grammar.

It says something about your other skills

According to a proven phenomenon known as the Horn effect, if a person seems particularly lacking in one character trait, other people will likely assume that person is seriously lacking in a number of traits; even traits that are unrelated. For instance, a person who uses bad grammar can seem less attractive and less funny than if they had used proper grammar.

It puts you behind the 8-ball

Even though the current labor market generally favors the job seeker, that doesn’t mean you can be cavalier about your job applications. Most job postings still attract may applicant and if you’re the only one using bad grammar, it can put your behind every other applicant for the position.

At Labor Temps, we support job seekers in many different ways, including helping them avoid simple mistakes like using bad grammar. If your current job search could use some assistance, please contact us today.