Modern technology is delightful in many ways. It makes writing faster and easier to churn out those CVs and cover letters. Nevertheless, there are subtle ways in which computers tempt us into a false sense of security when it comes to spelling, grammar, and vocabulary…
The Standards of Spellcheck
To give you a few examples, it might be that it insists you use a US version of spelling instead of UK or you have written a word that may be correct in one sense but does not convey the word you actually mean. For instance, effect as opposed to affect or gage instead of gauge. If the word is technically correct in another sense then the computer will leave it as it is and you might never know that you made an error.
Sussing out Synonyms
As well as the above, sometimes you want to insert a fancy word and when you choose from the list that the word processor offers, some of their synonyms are semantically far from the word you want to use. For example, the word ‘use’ offers me ‘habit’ and ‘expenditure’ on this word processor. Two very different meanings! I will have to check this on Synonym.com.
The Age of Autocorrect
On these lines, sometimes I find myself typing something that only roughly resembles the word and expecting the computer to “get” what I mean and correct it for me. Sometimes it does and sometimes it does not. When handwriting, I now find myself second-guessing spelling on words I used to know. Now, this is merely speculation, but I wonder if the age of autocorrect is impacting on our brains’ natural spellcheck feature.
A Message to Everyone
After pondering on the above, I feel that even if you are an excellent speller with a sharp attention to detail, it is still very easy to miss these small errors on your job applications. This is especially likely when you have other deadlines to meet.
Although the Careers Service do not provide a proofreading service, here is a handy resource for those of you who are seeking professional assistance with proofreading Information Team FAQ on Proofreading.
The bottom line: Even if you are sure that you have not made any errors, please get a trusted person to proofread you’re -I mean- your applications before you send them off!