This blog was written by Kathleen O'Brien, our Campus Ambassador from Syracuse University.
This blog that I’m writing right now is a personal communication to a mass audience. Unlike articles in a newspaper, or stories on the news, my thoughts and opinions can extend across the globe via blogging. In a sense, blogging gives everyone who does it a printing press — but with a global audience. As such, writing for such an audience can be challenging, especially when it becomes interactive and readers comment on what you’re writing. While the tone in which you write may be relatively informal, the context for what you’re saying needs to be clear. That context includes grammar, the way you combine words and other elements.
As an intern proper grammar is essential. From day one when an employer receives your résumé and cover letter, they take note of sloppy grammar. Often résumés with poor grammar are immediately thrown away. As my grammar slammer professor says, “Good grammar is credibility.” In today's digital age, being able to express your words clearly is becoming even more important and increasingly difficult.
More and more employers administer tests to job applicants to see how well they use grammar, and how they punctuate and spell. They are looking for people who care about the details. Employers want to hire people who pay attention to the “little things” because they will also pay attention to the bigger things and make fewer mistakes.
There has been a lot of attention in the past few months about grammar gaffes in the workplace and how many of these mistakes are being made by younger employees. Many older employees complain about informal language popping up in emails, letters, and other written work. Language is constantly changing. Often those changes stem from informal usage. But, in school, the workplace, and other professional settings it is always best to err on the side of grammar caution. Remember, good grammar and clear sentences show respect for your audience.