The Twitter Spelling Test

After writing a resume for an executive sales manager today, I checked my email and found The Oatmeal’s latest newsletter in my inbox. I laughed my way through several Twitter-related drawings before stumbling on this Twitter Spelling Test. Couldn’t resist!

How did you score and which word(s) did you miss? More importantly, how many of these errors also find their way into your resume, cover letters, and job search-related emails? (You might be quite surprised!)

While I’m on the subject of good English and good grammar, here are a few reminders about common resume and cover letter errors to (please) avoid:

Resume

  • If you’re even slightly dyslexic or stressed, you might find yourself writing form instead of from (or vice versa).
  • Please don’t speak of yourself in the third person (excels) in your resume. Always use first-person verbs (excel). After all, you wouldn’t say “(H/She excels at forging teams, driving revenue, and creating double-digit profitability gains.” You’d say “(I) excel at forging teams, driving revenue, and creating double-digit profitability gains.”
  • Don’t capitalize Words because you Think they should be Capitalized. Only proper nouns and the first word in a sentence should be capped,along with terms like Lean Manufacturing and Six Sigma.
  • If you use an adjective (high-potential), remember it needs a noun to modify. Perhaps high-potential leader?
  • Make sure your verb tenses match in compound sentences: “listening to customer and focus(ing) on quality of delivery.”
  • When you pair an adjective with a noun as a modifier and use the combination as one concept, it should be hyphenated: high-growth, not high growth; C-level, not c level; and results-driven, not results driven.

Cover Letter

  • “Dear Sir or Madam” is no longer used in letters (it went out of style decades ago). Can it already! Use the more sensible, “Dear Hiring Manager,” “Dear Recruiter,” or “Dear Human Resources Manager.”
  • Remember to use your and you’re and their and there properly. Not mention that and which.
  • Say you possess more than 10 years of experience, not that you possess over 10 years of experience. And if you say,10 years’ experience, be sure to include the apostrophe.

Here’s to proper English ~ may it never go the way of the Do Do bird.

Cheryl

[post image created by The Oatmeal]