It’s wrong to judge people. You know it and I know it.
When it comes to searching for a job though, employers and recruiters only have a limited amount of information before them and they need to make a decision to interview on what they see. You could be the most wonderful, talented person on the planet, but you’re not going to have an opportunity to demonstrate this, if the paper/email/resume/letter that represents you tells a different story.
Today I opened an email from a job seeker. It said:
hi. whats the cost for getting mi cv done up?
Now I have no idea what this job seeker is like or what type of job he or she is looking for. The person could be warm and engaging, funny and intelligent; but going by this single line in an email, these attributes were not exactly evident.
I assume that if a recruiter or employer opened this type of email, she would surmise that this was a job seeker who couldn’t be bothered with capital letters, correct punctuation, spelling and rudimentary grammar. Even common business courtesies such as using a name in a greeting and signing off were ignored, as was any explanatory information to provide detail.
Right off the bat the recruiter may judge the writer as lazy and uneducated or a kid attempting to ‘be cool’. Even if the job seeker was composing the email from a smart phone (prone as I well know to autocorrect boo-boos!), smart phones rarely attempt to substitute correct words and phrases with poor punctuation and erroneous spelling. Then there’s “done up”—granted an expression used by many people conversationally, but in writing to a business that helps job seekers?
It’s wrong, but if you give people an opportunity to judge you unfairly, they will. It makes their life easier to discount you quickly and move to people who really try to impress.
Communication skills are the number one priority in dealing with customers, peers, supervisors and management. Try substituting enthusiastic, positive, intelligent and educated for ‘cool’. It’s the way to go if you want to be taken seriously.