You Never Get a Second Chance to Make a First Impression


In the spirit of talent development, and to deviate just a little from my normal Monday morning blogs, I think one of the worst things a salesperson or a recruiter can do is to write an email or an InMail with bad grammar.

It is your first impression. Any client worth selling, or “A” player worth recruiting will take a pass on interacting with you. In the past two weeks, I have received multiple emails and LinkedIn messages littered with grammatical errors and misspellings.

While not one of the ones on our precious list, yesterday I identified the misuse of the word principle for the word principal. Ten minutes before the webinar started, I asked that it be changed! You never get a second chance to make a first impression.

Eight Common Grammatical Errors to Avoid

  1. Don’t say or write, “between you and I.” The correct form is “between you and me.” “Between” is a preposition like “with” or “from,” so it needs the objective pronoun “me.”

  2. Don’t confuse the contraction “it’s” with the possessive “its.” This is one of my problem areas, but I am a recovering contraction addict. “It’s” is a contraction for “it is.” “Its” is a possessive pronoun. Correct: “It’s a nice day.” “The cat hurt its paw.”

  3. Don’t use “loose” when you mean “lose.” When you lose your dog, it’s lost. When you lose a game, you lost. When you loosen your belt, it’s loose. This is one of the ones I see the most on LinkedIn.

  4. Don’t confuse “their,” “there,” and “they’re.” “Their” is possessive. “There” is a location and “they’re” is a contraction for “they are.”

  5. Don’t use “their” when a singular pronoun is correct. Incorrect: Each employee must fill out their application. Correct: Each employee must fill out his or her application. Honestly… I have made this mistake more than once!

  6. Don’t write “alot.” The correct form is two words: “a lot.”

  7. Don’t write “all ready” except as in “we are all ready to watch the movie.”

  8. Don’t separate the subject and the verb of a sentence with a comma. Incorrect: “Those who have not filed by June 1st, will forfeit their rights to the money.” Correct: “Those who have not filed by June 1st will forfeit their rights to the money.” I have a little too much comma envy, see what I mean?

We would welcome any that you think would be worthy of adding to the list. Add your comment to the blog or just hit reply from the newsletter and share with us!

At Butler Street, we believe every client and talent interaction is a “Moment of Truth,” whereby others may form an opinion of you. Grammar counts. We want to be the best we can be at every single touch point and hope you expect the same from the people who represent your brand. . To learn more about how we approach client and talent development, click CONTACT and let’s start a conversation.

#badgrammar #firstimpression