Writing well has always been important, and the same is true today. Your image–your brand–is affected by how well you project yourself in writing. This is true whether you’re writing on paper or on a web platform like Facebook. Too many people seem to take a cavalier approach to writing when they’re on social media. Yet social media is increasingly being used to learn about a person. Oftentimes it’s employers doing research on job candidates. That could mean you.
In this new series of blog posts, I will use examples of poor writing that I have seen or received. Most of these were on Facebook, but others came to me in emails. Each offers errors in one or more areas:
– Grammar, word usage
In each case I offer suggested corrections. My hope is that you will learn from what others have done. In the process, your writing will improve. And so will your image.
Subject: amuture radio licence
i live in michigan, and i can’t seen to find the people that administer the exams for amuture radio licences. do you know how i can got in touch with someone in michigan about the exam? thanks a lot!
Primary issues: spelling and capitalization
Subject: Amateur radio license
I live in Michigan, and can’t seem to find the people who [not ‘that’, but it’s a minor point] administer the exams for amateur radio licenses. Do you know how I can get in touch with someone in Michigan about the exam? Thanks a lot!
Little or no experience. must be able to handle smaller assignments with minimal supervision from day one. must have desire to excel as ad writer in all media-tv -print-radio-on line. must be able to work w/art directors and production, takes direction well, fast learner, be happy to pay their dues while they learn their trade as they advance. potential for big ideas and to be great writer. 4 year ad program helpful-but mandatory if he/she has the talent must not have problem with amusement park rides-requsite computer skills.
Interestingly, this is a post for a junior writer. Guess it proves that the firm could use a writer, period.
The biggest issue, you’ll note, is the lack of capitalization at the start of each sentence. In addition to correcting that, I cleaned up the second sentence a bit. Had some trouble with the final two sentences. I really don’t know what the firm means by the final sentence, so I guessed at it. Here goes:
Little or no experience required. Must be able to handle smaller assignments with minimal supervision from day one. Must have desire to excel as an ad writer in all media: TV, print, radio and online. Must be able to work w/art directors and production, take direction well, be a fast learner, and be happy to pay their dues while they learn their trade as they advance. Candidate must be able to offer big ideas and be a great writer. A 4-year degree is helpful but not mandatory if he/she has the talent. Person must be open to taking amusement park rides. Computer skills required. [They should be listed: Microsoft Office? Graphic arts? What?]
Each example was improved dramatically with just a little effort. Keep that in mind. Review your material before you send it out. Correct those basic errors, and give your copy the professional shine it and you deserve.
Watch for my next installment in this writing tip series. Meantime, to further your writing skills, see “When to use ‘less’ and ‘fewer'” and “Imply vs Infer.”
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