Everyone has heard the saying, “To err is human; to forgive, divine.” Well, I’d like to amend that for the purpose of this post by saying “To err is human; to pay attention to detail, divine.”
We live in an age where we have grown accustomed to having everything we want either in our hands or on the way within five minutes of inception. That makes us try to create things, from content to résumés, at the same relative speed. We’re all guilty of it. I’ve published posts that haven’t been proofread enough (and I would greatly appreciate an email or direct message if ever you notice a grammar faux pas on The Reader). I’ve submitted résumés that contained typos (it’s been a while but, none the less, I have). You see, we are human. The beautiful thing about humanity is that we are supposed to learn and grow from our experiences. My résumés are nowhere near as basic (in my opinion) as they were my junior year of college when I interviewed with my boss to be and she said she loved its format and asked me to help her on hers. I have since worked to improve my résumé and its format so that she wouldn’t be the last employer to be impressed by it. My blog posts, which receive thousands of views a month, no longer are me reposting what I think professional development ought to be; now I am immersed in the lifestyle of a young professional and I am able to commentate on the good and bad. And, with the growth of knowledge comes a growth in technique.
In the time since graduation, I’ve figured out what people want: they want things now. I figured out one other thing: brands want to create at the speed that their target markets desire production. And it can be done. But doing it shouldn’t require a sacrifice of quality for quickness. Before replying to an e-mail, read and re-read. Before publishing that LinkedIn update, take a minute to ask yourself if it is relevant to your professional network or is it a tear-jerker that ought to be committed to Facebook and Twitter. Take the time to look up the minute grammatical rules when something doesn’t sound or look as if an NYT journalist wrote it. And, though you may say to yourself, “I’m no journalist,” whenever you write something professionally, be it an e-mail or a cover letter, at that moment, you are, in essence, a professional writer. At a job, too many flaws will get you terminated. On a résumé, too many flaws will make your potential career move a non-factor. So, in all things you do, work to be as divine as possible. And work ahead when you can. That gives you time to mess up, reread, and not be rushed. They say, “If you stay ready, you won’t have to get ready.”
Always remember that life is not fair. We’re all flawed but that won’t keep you from getting fired or overlooked.
Make professional development a priority.