Many years ago, a 5th grade English teacher told me that she instructed her class to write an essay. Half the class turned in a “text” version (u r c-ing an xample rite here). She also told me that outside of spelling class, incorrectly spelled words did not matter. I remember being completely shocked at the time, but I am even more shocked as I see what passes for “English” on social media.
I can almost – almost – look the other way on Facebook. Almost. As someone who makes a living writing, it is very challenging. However, seeing the complete inability to use proper grammar, spelling, and sentence structure on Linkedin, a professional network and the digital home for many executives, is distressing and worrisome.
A week or so ago, I saw a comment by a CEO of a small company. Perhaps this person was educated in a school where text talk in essay writing was okay and spelling did not matter. I took a snapshot of the comment, but cannot bear to post the graphic. Suffice it to say, there was no punctuation, not even periods to end sentences, and therefore, no initial caps to begin new sentences. It was 8 lines of text containing, I think, 5 sentences – but I cannot be sure. This from a person with a title of Chief Executive Officer.
Now, the CFOs with whom I deal are typically 45+ and, like me for the most part, hold the belief that the English rules of punctuation, grammar, and spelling apply, even if we don’t always get the latter correct. And I believe that those in positions to hire C-suite executives care, at least for now, about their executive team’s ability to write coherently, logically, and legibly.
I would caution people that everything on social media that is posted by you can be found by others, and that your digital footprint has the ability to make or break your candidacy for certain positions. If you cannot, or chose not to, write a legible post or comment on Linkedin, why ever might one believe you could or would be able to do so in a senior leadership role where communication skills are so vitally important?
So I am curious what you think … does it matter in this day and age whether or not we can write right?
Copyright CFO-Coach 2017
Cindy Kraft is the CFO-Coach and America’s leading Career & Personal Brand Strategist for Corporate Finance Executives helping clients understand their marketability, articulate their value, and position themselves as the clear and compelling choice. She is a Certified Reach Personal Brand Strategist, Certified Reach Online Identity Strategist, Certified Career Management Coach, Certified Professional Resume Writer, and Job & Career Transition Coach. Cindy can be reached via email Cindy@CFO-Coach.com, by phone 813-655-0658, or through her website at www.CFO-Coach.com.