Everyone can write online, but not everyone can write it well. Some employers seem to be completely blind to glaring errors on their website. More likely than not, they did it themselves, hired someone for “experience and portfolio expansion” (slave labor), or hired someone for very cheap (slave labor with benefits). Due to their small company or greed, they have terrible writing that they are blind to. But customers and clients have a very fine-tuned detector for sloppy content.
Abundant errors that slip past your spell checker are one big factor make work look cheap. I have a few tricks that I use to help me edit my own work. But first, take a look at this passage which passes the red squiggle test:
“welcome to nicks web site ! if you are looking fer clothe, shoos,, purse or moor, you have com too the the rite place! are prices are low er then any other distributor on line! we Cary all the Big Brands AS Well As lots s off smaller ones.”
Copy and paste that onto a WordPress editor and see that it passes. That’s why you don’t want to rely too heavily on your spell check tool. Below are my suggestions for supplementing your spell check.
Ctrl + F
Pressing these two buttons together brings up a search bar at the top right area of your screen. Type something into the bar and it will search the entire document for it. I like to search for two spaces in a row. This is handy because you should only be using one space during typing, including after punctuation. Additionally, it can be really hard to spot extra spaces with just your eyes. After you identify the offenders, you can go back and take one space away.
Don’t Guess on Capitalization
If you don’t know which words to capitalize, Google the phrase or rules. If there is any doubt in your mind, there’s a chance you are wrong, and your content will look odd to people who know better. You can eliminate this possibility with one of the greatest gifts of technology, given us by Alan Emtage–the search engine. This goes for spellings as well, but capitalization abuse is rampant.
This rule is old but gold. Reading aloud causes you to go slower and pay more attention to the text. This especially helps with accidental repetition of small words like “the”.
Apply these tips to your latest document and see how it works. If you’re not already doing the third tip for your work, I’m shaking my head. Don’t underestimate its efficacy!