Since we’ve started posting our new Director of Education job around the Internet, we’ve gotten contacted by many interested candidates. Some impressive, some not so impressive.

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In sifting through all of the responses, I’m noticing some patterns of how some applicants “shoot themselves in the foot” with their first communication. There are some simple things that these folks get wrong that immediately prevent them from being considered.

So, I am going to write a series of posts about these little mistakes that have a big impact. Don’t misunderstand this series – it is not to rant about the individuals who have made these mistakes. It is to help as many people as possible avoid these mistakes so that they can have a better chance at advancing through the employment process.

Today, I’ll focus on one mistake. That mistake is failing to follow the rules of proper written communication.

Failing to follow the rules of proper written communication is probably the most common. Now, maybe it is just because the Director of Education position is so writing-intensive, but I refuse to give any consideration to someone who has errors in his/her first correspondence about a job.

Let me give you an example…

I received an email through LinkedIn from someone that said “Can you please have a look at my profile, I am interested for this position….” That’s 15 words. And do you know how many writing errors there were in this itty-bitty blurb?


This blurb should have been two sentences, not one. The portion reading “Can you please have a look at my profile?” should have ended with a question mark. And the grammar was bad on the last half, as it should have read “I am interested in this position,” not “I am interested FOR this position.”

Do you think that I would hire someone to write an online class, a PurchTips article, or even a post on this blog with such bad writing? I don’t think so.

Is this an isolated example?

Not at all. Many people – including people who are probably very smart and successful – make similar writing mistakes. The phrase “you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression” is so true when it comes to applying for jobs. Failing to make sure that your written communication is technically correct is an all-too-common – and very avoidable – mistake.

If you’re thinking “that doesn’t apply to me,” I urge you to revisit some basic rules of writing and/or have someone else read your correspondence before sending it. You just may find that there is something you could tweak to give yourself a better chance at advancing through the employment process.

This series to be continued from time to time here on the Purchasing Certification Blog.

To Your Career,
Charles Dominick, SPSM
President & Chief Procurement Officer
Next Level Purchasing, Inc.
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Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3

Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3 is an internationally-recognized business expert, legendary procurement thought leader, award-winning entrepreneur, and provocative blogger. Charles founded the Next Level Purchasing Association in 2000, oversaw its incredible growth, and successfully led the organization to its acquisition by the Certitrek Group in 2016. He continues to blog and provide advisory services for the NLPA on a part-time basis as he incubates his upcoming business innovations. Charles is also the co-author of the wildly popular, groundbreaking book, "The Procurement Game Plan: Winning Strategies & Techniques For Supply Management Professionals."

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