Have you ever seen one of those demotivational posters? They can be amusing, unless you are walking through a sticky situation. Here is my poster.
I was putting together a blog post the other day about a rather complex issue. I let it go too early in my haste to complete the piece. The result was that I had to revise a rather convoluted post that didn't make a lot of sense in its original form.
Of course, those who read it were probably left scratching their heads, wondering what I meant. It could have hurt my credibility and may have affected my blog traffic. Unfortunately, it is one of my most viewed articles per my blog stats.
So, let's be real and very clear. I messed up!
To provide you with the benefit of my bad experience and hope that you will avoid my mistakes, I have devised three cardinal rules to avoid a Supercalifragilistic-OOOPPS!
Create critical distance!Give your resume, cover letter, blog article, paper, etc... time to rest. You need to be able to disconnect from it before you even attempt to proof.
The Oxford Learning Institute states the following:
When proofreading your own work, you are often so familiar with the text that you see what you think you have written rather than what you actually wrote.
"But, it is due tomorrow!" you say.
Well, I hate to tell you, but I just experienced the consequences of not doing this. You need to start assignments ahead of time to allow ample space for proofreading. In the case of a resume or cover letter, always have a shell ready that you can add to or slightly revise.
If you are writing a blog article, you may want to save it as a draft or set it up to post at a later time, giving you a chance to go back and review before others read it.
Always ask a trusted associate to proof your material!Don't attempt to proof your own work even if you have allowed time for critical distance.
Having someone else proof your work allows you to see if your piece is understandable. Do they know what you are trying to say? Is anything unclear? Do you need to add statements or reconfigure text to add to the readers' understanding?
Beware auto correct!Auto correct is the bane of my smart phone existence. I know I can turn it off, but I deal with the idiosyncrasies - generally. I learned from that too. I actually sent an important communication that had changed the word "almost" to "all most." That was quite embarrassing!
There are several websites devoted to auto correct issues that are extremely amusing as an observer. However, mistakes often lack humor when the communication is your own and has import.
So, I hope you have learned by my example. Good luck with your communications!