Posted Online: Oct. 06, 2011, 3:01 pm

Mind Your ABC’s

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Dawn Klingensmith © CTW Features

Accurate spelling may join cursive handwriting and telephone etiquette on the endangered list of analog skills. In a story about the decline in quality of written English, the BBC quoted a British online entrepreneur who claimed that a single spelling error on a commercial website can cut online sales in half.

If a typo can threaten to bring down a website, imagine what a mistake on a résumé can do to your job candidacy.

Hiring managers aren’t any more forgiving of spelling and grammar errors just because written communications have become more casual. “A mistake on a résumé or cover letter is still the quickest ticket to the trashcan,” says Kevin Nall, associate director, Baylor University Career Services, Waco, Texas. “If a jobseeker can’t write even one page, mistake-free, on their best day, the employer will wonder what their daily work habits are going to be like.

“Year in and year out, one of the major concerns employers have with new college graduates is their ability to communicate both verbally and in writing.”