Bad Writing: What it Means for Your Career (INFOGRAPHIC)

by • March 05, 2013

Is poor writing an indicator that you will be less successful in your career?

Kyle Wiens, CEO at iFixit, suggested as much in a July 20, 2012 article (“I Won’t Hire People Who Use Poor Grammar. Here’s Why.”) which appeared in Harvard Business Review’s blog network.

Yesterday, in honor of National Grammar Day, Harvard Business Review posted another article (“Grammar Should Be Everyone’s Business”) written by Grammarly CEO Brad Hoover. Brad’s article provides real data to back up Mr. Wiens’ supposition that poor grammar predicts poor career outcomes.

Here’s a breakdown of the data:

  • Professionals with fewer grammar errors in their Linkedin 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 percent 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 percent more grammar mistakes than those who held six jobs in the same period. This could be explained in a couple of ways: People with better grammar may be more ambitious in their search for promising career opportunities, or job-hoppers may simply recheck their résumés between jobs.

Are you interested in sharing the data? Tweet about it now!

Or, let us know what you think in the comments below. Have your writing skills ever influenced your career in a positive or a negative manner?

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