Looking for a Job? Here’s Why Good Grammar is Important

You’re an auto mechanic? Do you want your Guru to bring you her Tesla to work on? Not a chance, not if it’s taken you more than 20 years to figure out the difference between “its” and “it’s.”

You’re a programmer? If you can’t write the English language, how can you write code? Your Guru has found that programmers who pay attention to how they construct written language also tend to pay a lot more attention to how they code. You see, at its core, code is prose. Great programmers are more than just code monkeys; according to Stanford programming legend Donald Knuth they are “essayists who work with traditional aesthetic and literary forms.” The point: programming should be easily understood by real human beings — not just computers.

If you’re sending out dozens of resumes and not getting any calls, perhaps your grammar and punctuation have something to do with it. Many employers won’t even finish reading your resume, no matter how qualified you may be, if it’s littered with misplaced commas or if you use “to” instead of “too.”

You may be thinking, “But I’m not applying for a writing job – what difference does it make?” Your Guru is here to tell you that it makes all the difference in the world. Yes, the language is constantly changing, but that doesn’t mean grammar is unimportant. Quite the contrary, good grammar is credibility, especially on the internet. In blog posts, on Facebook, in e-mails, and on company websites, your words are all you have. And people will judge you poorly if you don’t know the difference between “your” and “you’re.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HnMQWRJV51c

You might also be thinking, “But good grammar doesn’t have anything to do with job performance, creativity, or intelligence, right?”

Wrong. Grammar is more than just a person’s ability to remember high school English. People who make fewer grammar mistakes tend to make fewer mistakes when they are doing something completely unrelated to writing – like creating a meeting agenda or fixing a car.

In this hyper-competitive job market, why take the chance that you’ll be passed over because you couldn’t be bothered to fix your grammar or punctuation? When it comes to business, details are everything, and employers hire people who care about the details. If you don’t think grammar is important, what else are you likely to think isn’t important? That’s not going to look good to a potential employer.

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