Could one simple spelling mistake negatively affect your business? Featured

Could one simple spelling mistake negatively affect your business? (COMM11003)

As part of my Bachelor in Business Management and Marketing through CQ University, I have written this Blog article as part one of my assessment for COMM11003 – enjoy the read!

I recently came across a job advertisement on Whilst the advert was effective in getting my attention, unfortunately it wasn’t for the right reason. The recruiter’s failure to correctly spell ‘clerical’ in its main job title heading suggested they might need a bit more than just an administrative guru on board. My reaction as a potential employee (that is able to meet the job requirements of the role) was a wee giggle and a cheeky outburst, “Maybe you should have used spell check!” I hear you asking what happened here. How can a simple spelling mistake affect my business?

RIGHT >> The recruiter nailed the medium to advertise its job position to its target audience.

RIGHT >> They offered more than the minimum wage, suggesting they wanted someone with clerical experience

WRONG >> An punctuation oversight – no capital letter – and an incorrect spelling of the now ominous, ‘clerical’, generated perceived beliefs about the employer by me: the audience.

In this instance, the recruiter lost a potential applicant with highly experienced skills. This oversight caused me to establish my own beliefs about the employer such as:

  • They lack attention to detail.
  • They were too busy to take the time to write a quality job description.
  • They potentially have poor communication skills or, at the very least, the professional acumen to edit their job advertisement.

I simply scrolled past the job advert to the endless list of jobs on the market – like a sea of talent floating right past their deserted island.

Harvard Review business author, Aaron Watson, explicitly implies in his article, ‘You put a spell on me,’ “[m]isspelling and grammar can give the impression of ignorance, or even stupidity”(2015). Many studies hold the view that a lack of attention in basic business communications can have a negative affect towards their business, ranging from a lack of consumer trust towards the business brand or website and even a decrease in staff productivity (Martin-Lacroux & Lacroux, 2017, p.321; Everard & Galletta, 2005; Stiff, 2012).

The message is clear: correct, concise and clearly presented business communication will safeguard your businesses’ reputation, as a professional, educated organisation that cares about making ‘the right’ first impression.

Image Courtesy of Pixabay –


Everard, A., & Galletta, D. F. (2005). How presentation flaws affect perceived site quality, trust, and intention to purchase from an online store. Journal of Management Information System, 22, 55-95.

Martin-Lacroux, C., & Lacroux, A. (2017). Do employers forgive applicants’ bad spelling in résumés? Business and Professional Communication Quarterly. 80(3) 321-335.

Stiff, C. (2012). Watch what you write: How errors in feedback influence consumer attitudes and behavior. Journal of Internet Commerce, 11, 41-67.

Watson, A. (2015). You put a spell on me. Acuity: Harvard Business Review 2(7), 80-82.

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