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 is a sign of 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 10 years of his or her career. Half were promoted to director level or above within those 10 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 10 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 10 years made 20% more grammar mistakes than those who held six jobs in the same period.
The review clearly supports the hypothesis that good grammar is a predictor of professional success. The results are not surprising:·
- Attention to detail: People who care about their writing demonstrate credibility, professionalism, and accuracy in their work.·
- Critical thinking: Knowing how to structure a grammatically correct sentence is a sign you can analyze and explain complex problems.·
- Intellectual aptitude: If you are a native English speaker and 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 the relationships between words. 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 simply good business.
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