Although I’ve ranted about this before, I feel compelled to do so again. This morning, while perusing LinkedIn, I ran across the profile of an attorney in Indianapolis, a senior attorney in a well-established firm. I was disheartened to see that he had sloppily added his information:
joe schmoe, senior partner, dewey,cheatham and howe
See any problems? How about:
- No capital letters anywhere
- no space between the comma after Dewey
I would suspect that if this lawyer (or any other lawyer) received a résumé and cover letter with these kinds of errors, he would throw it out. And yet here he is, creating an online résumé worthy of a five-year-old.
How embarrassing—for him and the profession.
There are so many problems with being sloppy in punctuation, capitalization, and grammar:
- You look illiterate.
- Potential clients (esp. in-house counsel) will be likely to conclude that you are not going to represent them well since you can’t represent yourself well.
- Even if you had someone type your profile in for you, it’s apparent you are not interested in proofreading his or her work. That cavalier approach might carry over to contracts or court filings.
- You look like you don’t care.
In all fairness, in this blog and elsewhere I may take some liberties with proper grammar. Maybe more than “some.” But this blog is a more informal space where we can explore ideas and topics without worrying about everything being perfect. Would I take those liberties or be as relaxed with a résumé or court filing?
To my colleagues, please, please have someone proofread your LinkedIn profile. Make sure names are spelled correctly, capitalization is proper, and there are no typographical errors. If you don’t look into these things and your profile is riddled with mistakes, don’t be surprised if you find LinkedIn is not doing much good for you.