Earlier this month, I posted Part I of this series in which I indicated that a common reason job applicants don’t get to the next step of the hiring process is that they fail to write well in their communication with the employer. Today, I’ll point out that another reason that job applicants fall short is that they fail to read well.

Don’t miss updates on Procurement & Supply Chain, Subscribe here!

I can hear it now: “Wait a second, Charles. You mean that basic reading and writing abilities hurt professional candidates?”

Yes, they do. If you can read and write well, you have an advantage over a lot of other candidates.

It’s unbelievable, but it’s true. Some people really paid attention in elementary school and others didn’t.

Did you ever hear someone say “There’s no such thing as a dumb question?”

Well, let me tell you: there IS such a thing as a dumb question when you are applying for a job.

If you ask the employer a question where the answer to that question can be found in the job advertisement that you are responding to, the employer is going to assume that you don’t have basic reading skills. For example, if you ask what the qualifications are for a job and the qualifications are specified in the job advertisement that you are responding to, you’ve pretty much killed your chances of getting that job.

So, before beginning communications related to a job that you are pursuing, try to let the job advertisement answer your questions. Then, only ask questions that the employer has not already provided the answers to.

Oh, and one other thing: make sure that the job title you reference in your cover letter exactly matches the job title in the advertisement. If the advertisement refers to the position as “Senior Sourcing Manager,” do not say that you wish to be considered for the “Procurement Manager” position or any other variation of the job title. Doing so will only lead the employer to conclude that you cannot read.

So, the lesson of Part I is learn to write. The lesson of Part II is learn to read.

Simple enough, right? Part III coming soon…

To Your Career,
Charles Dominick, SPSM
President & Chief Procurement Officer
Next Level Purchasing, Inc.
Struggling To Have A Rewarding Purchasing Career?
Earn Your SPSM® Certification Online At

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."

More Posts