Good grammar is instrumental in conveying ideas with clarity, professionalism, and precision. Even so, the informality of e-mail, texting, and tweeting has crept deep into company communications. Good grammar signifies professional credibility, attention to detail, and learning ability.
To provide evidence of the importance of good grammar, a review was conducted of 100 LinkedIn profiles of native English speakers in the consumer packaged goods industry. Each professional had worked for no more than three employers over the first ten years of their career. Half were promoted to director level or above within those ten years, and the other half were not.
Here’s what was found:·
- Professionals with fewer grammar errors in their profiles achieved higher positions. Those who failed to progress to a director-level position within the first ten years of their careers made 2.5 times as many grammar mistakes as their director-level colleagues.·
- Fewer grammar errors correlate with more promotions. Professionals with one to four promotions over their 10-year careers made 45% more grammar errors than those with six to nine promotions in the same time frame. ·
- Fewer grammar errors associate with frequent job changes. Those who remained at the same company for more than ten years made 20% more grammar mistakes than those who held six jobs in the same period.
The review supports the hypothesis that good grammar predicts professional success. The results are not surprising:·
- Attention to detail: People who care about their writing demonstrate credibility, professionalism, and accuracy.·
- Critical thinking: Knowing how to structure a grammatically correct sentence shows you can analyze and explain complex problems.·
- Intellectual aptitude: If you are a native English speaker and have never learned the difference between it’s and its, an employer might wonder, “What else have you failed to learn that might be useful?”
Grammar analysis is very complex, requiring a deep understanding of word relationships. For this reason, grammar provides a better window into a job applicant’s abilities. Companies looking to hire top talent should consider grammar as one predictor of a candidate’s aptitude and success. Good grammar is good business.
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