The importance of spelling and grammar for graduates

Graduate Advantage highlights the importance of spelling and grammar for graduates

2 March 2012

With World Spelling Day fast approaching on Tuesday, 6th March, the emphasis on good spelling and grammar has never been more crucial. Graduate Advantage, a graduate internship finding service based at Aston University, has been scouring CVs to highlight the importance of spelling and grammar when applying for jobs.

A recent survey conducted by Learndirect showed that 40% of jobseekers say poor spelling is the area they have been criticised for the most in previous jobs, whilst 56% of employers rate proficiency in English as a top priority when recruiting.

Students and graduates can help their job-hunting efforts by focusing on their spelling and grammar in applications. At a time when one in every eleven* young people (aged 18-24) is currently out of work and claiming Job Seekers Allowance within the West Midlands region, good spelling and grammar have never been more important in improving job prospects.

Graduate Advantage has identified the top mistakes being made by graduates on CVs and application forms:

  • Lower case i instead of I, when describing yourself

  • There and their are interchanged

  • Commonly misspelt words include: internship, receive, university and business

  • Using American spellings (for example, organization)

  • Misuse of commas, colons and semi-colons

  • Text talk and definitely no LOL as well as emoticons

Julie Stonall, Internship Manager at Graduate Advantage commented: “In this competitive job market making the right first impression is crucial for graduates. The Graduate Advantage team sees thousands of CVs and job applications every year from graduates looking to begin their careers within the West Midlands and repeatedly see graduates making the same common spelling errors on their internship applications. These mistakes can be easily avoided. Whilst the majority are very good, many CVs, covering letters and job applications can be improved significantly by taking time over an application, reading it through a number of times and most importantly, checking both spelling and grammar.”

Funded and supported by West Midlands' universities, Graduate Advantage is a unique one stop shop for businesses to find their perfect intern. Graduate Advantage is based at Aston University and part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund. The West Midlands is the only region in England to have this kind of service.

To find out how Graduate Advantage can help you find a job call 0121 204 4767 or visit

For further information contact Claire Goodwin, Graduate Advantage on 0121 204 4769 or at

Editor’s Notes:

Graduate Advantage
Graduate Advantage arranges both paid and voluntary internships across the West Midlands. It is a not-for-profit organisation established in 2002 to build and improve links between the business community and the graduate population within the region. The scheme is supported by a consortium of universities, led by Aston University.

Through Graduate Advantage’s unique way of funding, all of our front-end recruitment services are FREE of charge including advertising, short-listing and selection as well as our new Payroll and HR Service; saving businesses both time and money.

Graduate Advantage can supply businesses with graduates possessing skills in Marketing, Business, IT, Science, Design and Engineering, as well as enthusiasm and a genuine desire to gain work experience.

Graduate Advantage has been made up of a number of projects and has delivered in excess of 2000 internships in its last funding round (up to end of March 2011).

The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Programme which runs from 2007 to 2013, is one of the funds established by the European Commission to help regions stimulate their economic development.

The West Midlands ERDF Programme has been allocated 400 million euros to invest in projects which will support regional businesses and create jobs.

Activities which are supported by ERDF cover specific areas:

  • Innovation and R&D
  • Enterprise Development
  • Sustainable Urban Development
  • Inter-Regional Activity

The Programme is managed and delivered in the region the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).

* There are over 47,000 young people (aged 18–24) in the West Midlands claiming Jobseeker's Allowance, equating to one in every eleven young people (claimant rate 9.1%). These figures represent higher youth claimant rates for the West Midlands in January 2011, however the West Midlands no longer has the highest youth claimant rate among the English regions.

Source: Office for National Statistics (claimant count) January 2011