Whether it’s for a housekeeping job or a nanny job; misspellings, over-use of exclamation points and poor grammar can all cost you a job. Your Care.com profile is a reflection of you as a caregiver – so invest some time into making sure it’s right. Any sloppy mistakes with grammar and spelling will make you appear unprofessional. Every employer and family will be looking for attention to detail, and this is your chance to show that you’ve got it!
Before you submit an application, write a profile or message a potential employer, check them against this list. Did you:
Read your profile from beginning to end and then backward, from end to beginning. This will help you catch any mistakes your brain “compensates” for by skipping over them.
Use the Correct Spellings?
Use a dictionary like the Oxford Canadian Dictionary.
Use Proper Grammar?
Spellcheck can help with this too, but it’s not an end-all, be-all. Read it out loud to make sure everything sounds right. Your ear can be your best tool.
Use Correct Punctuation?
Using lots of exclamation marks looks childish — stick to no more than one or two per message. Make sure you use question marks when you ask a question and periods at the ends of sentences. Don’t use “&” when you mean “and”.
Make sure proper nouns and the first word of each sentence are capitalized. Never write in all caps or all lowercase — it looks unprofessional.
Use Complete Sentences?
Avoid long or incomplete sentences. Employers don’t like to see bullet points – it can look like a laundry list. Take the time to write your thoughts into complete sentences that relate to the job you’re applying for.
Use the Right Numbers?
Spell out numerals at the beginning of sentences (e.g. Eleven years ago, I…). After that, spell out one through to nine and use numbers for 10 or above and whenever you’re talking about ages of people or animals (e.g. 2-year-old-girl).
Add the Right Spaces?
What you put between the words is also important. Make sure you use one space between sentences. Having no spaces or too many can make your message hard to read.
Avoid Abbreviations Like LOL, HMU and TY?
Using any types of abbreviations or shorthand in your material can make you sound unprofessional. This is a job application, not a text message. Take the time to say “thank you” instead of “TY” and “tonight” instead of “2nite”.
Pay Attention to Subject-Verb Agreement?
If the subject of your sentence is singular, the verb should be singular as well. And plural subjects should be paired with plural verbs. Otherwise you wind up with incorrect sentences like: “The kids I care for is great.”
Use the Same Tense Throughout?
If you’re speaking about past experience, use past tense; don’t jump back and forth.
Check Your Apostrophes?
If the word is possessive, be sure it has an apostrophe. As a general rule, singular possessives end in an apostrophe, while plural possessives end in an ‘s’ then an apostrophe: child’s toys, dog’s bowl, kids’ toy room.
Use the Right Form of Their, They’re, There?
Their is a possessive pronoun; they’re is a contraction meaning they are; there denotes a direction.
Use the Right “Its”?
“Its,” no apostrophe, is possessive. “It’s” is a contraction meaning “it is.”
Use Contractions Correctly?
The most common grammatical mistakes involve contractions. They’re means they are; you’re means you are.
Use the Right Form of Effect/Affect?
Effect is a noun that means “a result” and affect is a verb that means “to influence”.
Use the Right Then/Than?
Then refers to time (I did this, then that). Than refers to comparisons (This is better than that).
If possible, ask a trusted friend to read through your profile as well. With a fresh look at your profile, they may catch the little things you have missed.
Stand out from the crowd of job seekers by putting in a little extra effort and paying attention to detail. Avoid these common grammar mistakes and personalize your application, profile and pitch for each job you are applying to. These little steps will go a long way to getting you the right job.