IT Employment

General discussion


Does Spelling Effect Hiring Potential?

By dj69 ·
I'm very curious from the hiring perspective if misspelling (or other grammar issues) on threads like these can lose points towards getting hired. If you were interviewing someone who referenced their postings (here or elsewhere), would poor grammar hurt them?

Sure, everyone mistypes or misspells every once in a while, but when, say, 30% of a posting has spelling errors, and you have to interpret the misspellings as you read, does it lower your opinion of the poster?

There are issues other than spelling that bother me personally (like using a 's to add plurality to a techie word or acronym - ex: PC's vs. PCs), but these don't radically change my opinion of the poster. Misspelling on a large scale, however, does.
(And yes, I spell-checked this posting twice as I made myself nervous about the spelling!)

This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

Thread display: Collapse - | Expand +

All Comments

Collapse -


by vltiii In reply to Does Spelling Effect Hiri ...

If you check with any hiring manager or headhunter you will find that spelling and grammatical errors can mean the difference between getting hired and not gettign hired. With word processors being what they are today, there generally is no excuse for these types of errors. They generally represent a lack of attention to detail or just plain laziness. As far as they pertain to online forums such as this one I don't think it matters all that much. Chat rooms/newsgroups, etc, are generally considered to be informal and most users don't pay much attention unless they're looking for a reason to attack the poster and poor spelling is all they can come up with.

Collapse -

Only on hiring related documents

by jdgretz In reply to Does Spelling Effect Hiri ...

I will agree with the previous poster - on line discussions are informal and not usually given much weight by a hiring manager - and why would you reference an on-line discussion when talking about your qualifications anyway?

If you have a posting that is something like a Master's thesis or similar, then of course I would expect it to be correct in all areas, subject, spelling, grammar, etc., but I cannot think of too many areas where I would even consider pointing a potential boss to an on-line posting.

If I receive a resume that is contains grammatical errors and obvious spelling errors (I'm not the worlds' greatest English major) then it goes to the bottom of the stack unless the candidate has some unique qualifications I am seeking, and when he/she shows up for the interview, I'd better be very impressed.

Spelling and grammar errors on a resume are a definate No-No.


Collapse -

I agree . . .

by A_dangerous_mind In reply to Only on hiring related do ...

This kind of informal communication would probably not affect anyone's perception of your hiring potential, unless you were being hired as a proofreader. Official hiring documents such as resumes and cover letters are the most important. Within your company, it would probably be best to try to keep your business related communications always on a professional level in style, grammar and spelling. I have seen it noted that managers sometimes give a stack of resumes to administrative assistants to 'screen', but with less awareness of the actual qualifications for the position, spelling and grammatical errors come to the top of the list as the criteria to screen out a resume.

Collapse -

While I can't imagine why you would reference a thread like this...

by mlayton In reply to Does Spelling Effect Hiri ...

...I am assuming for the base of this post there was a reason. Let's say, for the sake of argument, you were applying for a support job and wanted to reference some threads where you had helped a user solve a particular problem... If you had referenced it during any part of the hiring process, and I was the one checking it (yes, I ALWAYS check everything anyone references), and it was filled with grammar/spelling, it would definitely count against you. For two reasons: a) a job worth doing is worth doing right, and that includes attention to detail even in casual or informal posts, and b) if you referenced it during the hiring process, you must consider it a referenceable piece of work, meaning that YOU think it accurately displays something you can be proud of and some of your best work. Spelling counts.

Now, if the question had been you were applying for a job and the hiring manager had "googled" you and discovered some of your postings on an on-line forum, does spelling count? Again, while you should make an effort to put your best foot forward on any professional forum, it counts LESS because you have not provided the link as an example of your work, it was through another channel that the potential employer found it.

Collapse -

Poor Example

by dj69 In reply to While I can't imagine why ...

You're right, referencing a thread might be a stretch. I was trying to contrive an example to see if poor writing affects :) your impression of someone. So far, the responses seem to show it does, but the example I used was poor.

However, I've read postings in ExpertsExchange that would definitely give a candidate the edge if referenced. Why wouldn't a million points in, say, the SQL forum be equal to or better than a certification?

Collapse -

Spelling Affects Hiring Potential

by wordworker In reply to Does Spelling Effect Hiri ...

You should have grammar checked your title before you posted. You should have used "affect" instead of "effect."

Collapse -

Affect vs Effect

by dj69 In reply to Spelling Affects Hiring P ...

I must admit this one always gets me and I neglected to check it.

affect: have an effect upon
effect: cause to happen or occur

I usually substitute the definition and try to decide which one fits better:

affect: Does spelling have an effect upon hiring potential?

effect: Does spelling cause to happen hiring potential?

You're right, I should have used affect.

I was really just making an example of myself...yeah, that's the ticket!

Collapse -

Affect: verb, effect: noun

by stress junkie In reply to Affect vs Effect

Some similar sounding words are easy to confuse such as affect vs. effect. I really cringe, though, when I see people use then when they mean than, or when they use there when they mean their or they're. Although there is plenty of room for improvement in American schools they were no better when I was a young student. I think that this lack of interest in spelling and grammar is part of a larger problem with our culture. People seem to think that it is shameful to do a good job or to make the effort to do something correctly. American culture seems to glorify the slackers and cheats while demeaning ideas like honor, integrity, and pride in one's work.

Collapse -

effect can also be a verb, and...

by wordworker In reply to Affect: verb, effect: nou ...

not to nit-pick the point to death, but effect can act as a verb, and affect can act as a noun.

Collapse -

Show us an example

by MedievalDude In reply to effect can also be a verb ...

I can't think of an example where effect is a verb or affect is a noun. If they can be used in such ways, show us. I'm just curious because I can't think of any.

Related Discussions

Related Forums