Andrew Tompsett

Passionate Marketing, Communications, and PR Professional

Latest Posts

A Six Million Dollar Dress Code Violation

Even hockey players can face a penalty for how they dress before a game. On Wednesday, February 4, 2015, Evander Kane was scratched from playing in an NHL game when he showed up to the rink wearing a tracksuit and not a proper suit as per the dress code.
This is an excellent example of why it’s important to show up to work dressed for success. If you don’t believe me, just think about how quickly Paul Maurice, Winnipeg’s head coach, made the instant call to ban a quality player from the game.
“According to Winnipeg Free Press sports columnist Gary Lawless the Winnipeg Jets forward violated the team’s dress code by showing up for Tuesday’s contest in a track suit.”
If Kane, a player with a 6 million dollar contract can be banned from work for not showing up dressed properly, I would wager a guess that anyone can.

Thanks VS Due – How this common grammar mistake is killing your communications

There is an odd trend in language these days that has me a little bewildered, and it’s connected to the misuse of the words “thanks” and “due”. Without writing a 2000-word essay, let me start with a brief definition: In very simple terms, “thanks” is a positive word and “due” is a negative word.

Problem

Based on the definition above, here is the grammar problem that I frequently see:

People are using the term “due” to describe a positive outcome and “thanks” to negative outcome.

This misuse is completely backwards to the definition and is causing people to misunderstand the information they read or hear.

For example: I have heard a reporter say that “due to the sunny weather, we can expect a very nice day.” When the reporter leads with the negative, people have to take extra time to decipher the meaning of the information. What she should have said was “Thanks to the sunny weather, we can expect a very nice day”. This simple change makes the information much easier to digest.

Solution

When describing a positive outcome, use the positive term: thanks. When describing a negative outcome, use a negative term: due.

Why Should We Care?

While on the surface this may seem insignificant and not worth worrying about, what many people don’t realize is that by using the wrong word, it changes the tone and the meaning of your communication.

For example I can very subtly change the tone of the following statement to sound positive: “Thanks to the stock market crash, many American’s lost their homes”. By leading the sentence with the positive “thanks” it misleads the reader to believe something good must follow, when clearly in this example, it didn’t.

The same can be said by using the word “due” to try and describe a positive outcome. It can mislead the reader to assume that you’re describing a negative statement.

I hope that this helps to add some clarity and I am willing to bet that you’ll notice this grammatical mistake more often now. If you “due”, feel free to say “thanks”.

Why Spelling Matters on Your Resume

Recently I encountered a great comment posted on a Facebook Group:

“Just a tip for job seekers. Make sure you use spell check, I am totally amazed of the misspelled words on this site. I was told they will not even look at a resume’ if language and spelling is not correct. That is one of my pet peeves on this site. Learn how to spell.”

Sadly, this comment was met with a great deal of criticism by people – those complaining that employers were busy “judging them” and “unfairly rating them for bad spelling”. Seeing a very disturbing trend, I had to add in a comment of support for the original posting.

Here are my views on why spelling matters on a resume:

This is an excellent point to make (commenter name). Spelling on a resume matters. The goal of your resume is tell your professional story and to make a positive impression.

Since your resume is a vital step towards putting your best foot forward, it is essential to ensure your content is spelled correctly, proper punctuation is used, and grammar rules are followed. Failing to do this shows the potential employer that:

  • You don’t pay attention to detail
  • You don’t respect yourself enough to showcase your skills professionally
  • You don’t respect the employer

To some people spelling, punctuation, and grammar may seem trivial and not a lot of fun, but keep in mind that these tools show people how you communicate. Employers can only work with what you tell them and if what you tell them is full of mistakes, then your message won’t be taken seriously.

I was thrilled to see several new comments appear following my post, specifically this one:

“Most programs you use to write a resume have spell check and also put a red line under an incorrectly spelt word with one click you get the correct spelling. If you still have mistakes you’re just lazy.”

The reality is that we now have software that will catch at least 90% of the common language mistakes people make. There is no reason a resume needs to be submitted with glaring typos, aside from the person just being “lazy”.