The other day I was teaching a business writing class in Portland, Oregon, when a manager said this:
"I got an email from someone who had just completed his certification and was looking for a job. In his email, he didn't even capitalize his own name! And there were other errors in spelling and grammar. I didn't consider hiring him for one moment."
The job was for someone with diving skills, not writing skills. So why did the hiring manager so quickly reject the applicant, who had completed his diving certification?
The manager explained:
"I could not have someone like that representing the company."
People who are applying for jobs need to realize that application screeners and hiring managers will judge them by their writing, whether the job involves much writing or not. Not capitalizing one's name is sloppy, clueless behavior. It shows that applicants don't know how to present themselves professionally. Therefore, they won't represent the company professionally.
As a reader of this blog, you already know that writing matters. You wouldn't think of not capitalizing your name or of making obvious errors in a job-application message.
But some people around you don't know. Consider that diver, who was no doubt proud of his new certification and pleased about his job prospects. Do you know people like him? Talk to them. Tell them they MUST communicate professionally if they want a decent job.
Will you spread the word?