When it comes to soft skills, attention to detail is near the top of the list. And with attention to detail, the most effective thing we can all do is show that we have it. As opposed to just listing it on a resume as a skill. Unlike many soft skills that are hard to demonstrate, “showing” this one is quite easy.
Where we often see lacking attention to detail
Showing attention to detail can be as simple as writing a proper email. By “proper,” I don’t mean sophisticated or anything too out of the ordinary. In emails, using correct spelling and punctuation goes a long way. Also helpful is using the person’s name, writing in complete sentences, and signing your name at the end. Those all show a level of professionalism.
After all, you’re emailing a total stranger. What impression will he/she have if they receive a sloppy email? What if the job involves regular email communication with clients? In your mind, you may know you would never email a client in a haphazard way. But the prospective employer has no way to know that. To them, how the candidate presents themselves via email here is how they present themselves in general.
Attention to detail in text messages
What you just read about emails also applies to texts, to some degree. With texts, you likely won’t have a greeting and a closing. But with that said, you can still use correct punctuation and spelling. And in most cases, you can also use complete sentences. This method of communication is inherently less formal. But until you know the person better, it’s ideal to stay away from slang, emojis, commonly used abbreviations (lol, for example), etc.
And of course, attention to detail in the resume
To some degree, giving leeway on resumes and not jumping to conclusions based on a single typo has become a bit more common. However, there is certainly a limit there. And that limit will vary quite a bit from one resume reviewer to the next. For that reason (and also for the sake of professionalism), it’s still ideal to really go through the resume and double-check for errors.
This is especially true for errors that spellcheck will not catch. For example, we see costumer service (instead of customer service) and manger (instead of manager) on a regular basis.
The good news, it’s simple!
Who knew you could make such a strong first impression just by doing things you learned about in high school or grammar school? As elementary as much of this sounds, taking these steps really can help a candidate to stand out in a very good way.
By Adam Lafield, Recruiter & Marketing Specialist