Monday, October 25, 2010

Spelling Counts for Something

There is no Spell-Check for an application someone has to fill out by hand.

Don't get me wrong. I like resumes. They show that the customer has some basic computer skills (sometimes really basic). But I like having a handwritten application for two reasons.
  1. You see if you can read their writing. In my business this is important because we have forms that have to be filled out. If I can't read your writing on an application, I know I won't be able to read it on a delivery form.
  2. You see if they can spell. Spelling plays a part in the evaluation process. Poor spelling might not be a deal-killer but it can tip the scales between two equally qualified candidates.
Spelling is not so much an education thing to me as it is an attitude thing. A tough word misspelled here or there, no problem - we all make mistakes. But someone with tons of poor spelling and horrible penmanship on her application shows me she doesn't care about appearance. If she doesn't care how she appears to me, how much will she care about how she appears to my customers?

Just today I sent a rejection letter to an applicant that it took four of us to decipher his name and address. A sloppy application will almost always equal sloppy work.

Even if you require resumes for your applicants, have a simple addendum they have to fill out by hand. You'll be amazed at how much you can learn from their handwriting (without needing a psychology degree).

-Phil

PS Feel free to use this post to encourage your children to work on their spelling and penmanship in school. I stress it with my boys this time every year.

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