It was yet another innocuous piece of LinkedIn group spam – you probably get them in your in-box all the time as well. Unlike most of the others I get on a regular basis, this one really caught my eye and I read it over a few times to make sure I hadn’t misread it. Unfortunately for the author , I hadn’t. But I did get a good laugh out of it and maybe you will too. Maybe you’ll also do yourself a favor and learn from it.
In his missive to the nearly 2,300 members of the group, most of whom are prospective clients for this guy’s business, he wrote the following:
I like many others members on LinkedIn are constantly looking to expand my professional sports network.
Oh boy. This is a guy I’d guess is under 30 based on resume dates. He’s got advanced degrees. Somewhere along the line, why hasn’t he learned to write a simple sentence in which subject and verb case agree? More importantly, what on Earth would have let him think it was a good idea to broadcast his badly punctuated, grammatically incorrect statement to the very professionals from whom he seeks business?
I dislike writing pieces like this – mostly because I know every comma is under a microscope – but of all the subjects, this one is nearest and dearest to me. The ability to communicate is at the very heart of everything else we do in business and in life. That communication can’t be limited to emoticons or 140 character, highly abbreviated thoughts. That, unfortunately, is what way too many of our young professionals learn to perfect, not their business writing. If you don’t know how to write (and to speak, since we’re on the subject), everything else you do is in jeopardy.
Ask yourself this: would you hire someone who wrote that statement to be a career coach for you? I’m not kidding – that’s the service he’s selling. I wouldn’t. Please let me know if I’m being too harsh here. Whether you agree or not, do yourself a favor and pay attention to what you, your friends, and business associates write. People do notice!