Dear Sir/Madam

i’m riting to aply for the poisition of buisness writer with Penhire….

Penhire recently advertised for a business writer to join our company. We received many excellent applications in which, regrettably, there has been the odd spelling mistake. The slap-dash text message style of writing also reared its ugly head, with a few younger applicants using an “i” where it should be “I”.

If an application from a particularly good candidate contained one small mistake, we would perhaps be prepared to overlook this as an unfortunate once-off. However for most I would immediately disregard the application; not only is proofreading a key part of the advertised role, a healthy dose of perfectionism is essential to doing it well.

The best way to proofread is to print out the document in a decent-sized font with 1.5 line spacing. Carefully and slowly, read the document through marking mistakes. Correct and repeat this process until you have a copy with no further changes required. For some reason, mistakes can be more difficult to pick up on a computer screen. This may be due to the increasing amount of information we are asked to process each day, where we find ourselves “skim reading” email and websites just to get through it all.

But I shouldn’t grumble about the minority. In general, the CVs we received displayed good formatting and were concise and punchy. It was particularly pleasing to read an application where the candidate had taken the time to write an original or lively cover letter, one that expressed their suitability in a way a CV can fail to. Given creativity is a requirement of the job, it was surprising more applicants did not do this.

I would also like to add to the debate about whether it is necessary to include a “Personal Interests” section in your CV. While finding it quite insightful personality-wise, I would say that if you don’t have anything that can be genuinely considered a true hobby, leave “reading”, “going to the movies” and, most definitely, “socialising” out. We all like a drink sometimes!


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