In this weekly series, our friends at MBA Career Coaches will be dispensing invaluable advice to help you actively manage your career. Topics include building your network, learning from mistakes and setbacks, perfecting your written communication, and mastering even the toughest interviews.
Proofread! Are we stating the obvious? We think not. We repeat: proofread!
In a world where autocorrect and autocomplete do more and more of our thinking for us, any important written communication deserves a second and third look by you. And, any very important written communication deserves a careful look by an outside party. Ask a colleague, ask a friend, ask us to take a second look for you.
No, it is not enough to write “Excuse any typos—Sent from my iPhone” at the end of your professional communication. And, might we add that you should not write any job application–related correspondence from your phone—ever. Instead, take the time to sit at your desk and carefully craft your message, ensuring that your professional communication is truly… (wait for it)…professional!
A serious typo, malapropism, or search and replace fail could completely discredit your candidacy. Please don’t send a letter to BCG telling them how much you are interested in working for Bain. But even if your recruiter is willing to forgive a much smaller mistake or oversight, when you are a job applicant and you send a “clean” email, letter, resume, proposal, etc., you are conveying a fairly explicit and important message: “I want the job!” But, you are also sending an implicit message about your approach to work: “I am on top of things.” “You can trust me with responsibility.” “I take pride in everything I do.” An autocorrect or autocomplete fail significantly undermines these important messages. So, pay attention to the details and reinforce the fact that you are a mature, serious, and deserving applicant.