Or how not to clatter headlong into the first hurdle
Simple common sense
This tip should be simple common sense, but to some people, evidently not. In a previous incarnation, I was the editor of a backpacker magazine in Australia. I did the job for four years, and I quickly established one golden rule: never give a job to someone that can’t spell my name.
Because the magazine employed staff writers on working holiday visas, and they could only legally work for three months at a time there was a high staff turnover. Therefore jobs were being advertised all the time, and my inbox was constantly full of applications. There had to be some sort of filtering process.
Incorrect spelling equals instant deletion
Mine was to delete anything from someone who spelt my name incorrectly. This may seem harsh, but come on, if you can’t get the absolute basics right, then anything more complex is likely to be a disaster. My name was printed in the masthead, and printed on top of various articles within the magazine. It was also stated quite clearly in the job advertisement.
How not to get the job
Yet I would still get a disturbingly large percentage of applications addressed to Mr Whiteley or Mr Whitely. Clearly from people that were incapable of processing simple information. And, unsurprisingly, none of them got the job.
Pointlessly careless mistake
It’s such a pointlessly careless mistake to make, and even if other editors don’t apply my ruthless filtering system, then an incorrect spelling will at least annoy them. And do you really want to start a potential working relationship by pissing someone off?
Jane or Jayne?
So, even if it seems straightforward, check. Is it Jane or Jayne? Is it McClare, McLair or McClair? Getting it wrong could prove extremely costly.