Typos cause a loss in credibility—and business!

By Ron Cooper
The Word Doctor

I always get a kick out of reading resume bloopers. It’s amazing how many goof-ups are made when people apply for work. It’s a goldmine for good belly laughs.

Here are five resume examples from Accountemps, a national staffing agency:

• “Proven ability to track down and correct erors.”
• “Spent several years in the United States Navel Reserve.”
• “Excellant at people oriented positi9ons and organizational problem solving.”
• “I have lurnt Word Perfect 6.0, computor and spreadsheat progroms.”
• “Reason for leaving: maturity leave.”

Funny stuff, but costly for the job applicants. Employers are often unforgiving when it comes to those who haven’t mastered spelling or make the wrong word choice. Loss of credibility means a lost employment opportunity.

Credibility issues also crop up on business websites where improper spelling and grammar are left for all customers or prospective customers to see.

A Stanford University study, the “Web Credibility Project,” found that typos are one of the top 10 factors reducing a site’s credibility.

“…the findings suggested that typographical errors have roughly the same negative impact on a website’s credibility as a company’s legal or financial troubles,” according to the study.

A major university hired me to catch typos and I found dozens—including a misspelling of the word “university.” It came out “univeristy.”

Lately, I’ve noticed companies big and small with gaffes on their sites.

A national restaurant chain billed itself as the “mosted trusted food brand.” A jobs site misspelled two openings: “Convenicen Store Clerk” and “Custome Service.” The same site asked job applicants to submit their resume through its web “porthole” (they meant “portal”).

What impression are you leaving your website visitors? Good impressions really do count. And that includes using proper English!

Next post: How to spot errors on your website.

About Administrator

Ron was an award-winning newspaper journalist during his 25-year career. He worked for community and business publications, including Business First of Louisville. Ron has written more than 5,000 articles for newspapers and magazines. He has ghost-written books and articles for business professionals. Ron has worked as a freelance writer, writing coach and media consultant for the past 13 years. His clients have included corporate and non-profit organizations.
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2 Responses to Typos cause a loss in credibility—and business!

  1. My boss is crazy about spelling mistakes. One mistake can distract him from the content. So, yes, mistakes can be a major communication deterrent.

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