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Grammar No-Nos in Marketing Materials

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Have you ever kicked yourself after rushing out of the house with your resume only to discover a typo you can’t believe you missed?  If you’re already on the way to your next audition, this simple mistake can seem extra-glaring.  It may be all you’re thinking about the whole time you’re vying for your next role.  Luckily, there are a few things you can do next time to make sure your marketing materials are on point before heading out the door.

One of the simplest, most important things you can do to avoid making mistakes in your materials is to download Grammarly.  This program is free and easy to use, and it works in virtually all online forms.  This means, if you’re typing up a resume in Google Docs and misspell a word or make another easy-to-miss error, Grammarly will automatically point it out and offer options to fix it.  The issue will be underlined and when you hover the mouse above it, the program will supply you with auto-correct options.  Find the one that fits and click.   It’s that simple.

Grammarly has an article that points out five of the most common grammar errors and how to fix them here.  Note, the Word spell checker has been around for years, too, and it pays to put a document through this tool prior to printing.  Because of the program’s design, Grammarly will not work in Word – this would be a needless double-duty.

If in doubt, many style guides are widely available for free online.  Simply Google the most appropriate guide (i.e., APA, AP, MLA, etc.) and the correct usage you’re searching for will appear.  You won’t even need a style guide in many cases, either.  If you simply need to know the correct spelling of a word, sound it out and hit enter, and Google will auto-correct it for you – as long as the sounded-out version is fairly close.

One of the best ways you can triple-check your documents are free from errors is to read the content aloud to yourself.  This is a common writer’s trick.  It’s a known fact that it’s difficult to edit your own work.  This is because your mind knows what you meant to say and oftentimes when we spot check after typing, the brain processes the word for what it’s supposed to be rather than what it is on the paper.  You can minimize a multitude of errors by simply reading what you wrote aloud rather than performing a silent skim-through.

Another trick is to prepare far enough ahead of time to set aside your work for a few days and return to it with a fresh set of eyes.  Once you’ve put the piece down long enough to review it from a more objective perspective, it will be easier to edit.

Regardless of your tried-and-true methods for ensuring your materials are spot-on, the bottom line is, it’s always important to ensure they’re spot-on.  You don’t want to miss your shot simply because you missed a typo!

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