Emerging Technology

Gen-Y spelling and grammar poor

SmartCompany /

It’s not bad enough that many young employees have poor spelling and grammar. Now some university graduates are using text message abbreviations and gaming slang in job applications.

But many employees are not complaining to the universities because they want to keep good relations during the skills shortage, says Ben Reeves of the Australian Association of Graduate Employers in a Sydney Morning Herald report.

He says he has talked to a lot of people in the graduate recruitment industry and they all say the same thing; that the spelling is substandard, the grammar is not very good and at times the correspondence can be a bit familiar.

This echoes a SmartCompany survey that shows employers are very unhappy with the spelling, grammer and communications levels of Gen-Ys. And they rate them significantly lower than Gen-X and baby boomers.

Recruiters also report it is a big problem. Annabelle Puddy, the national head of recruiting for Accenture, said it was a particular problem among students who had studied for a technical degree such as software engineering. They were using very relaxed language as though communicating with friends by text message.

Even worse (although this is an observation from Shirley Alexander, a deputy vice-chancellor at the University of Technology, Sydney), she says she has seen an increase in students writing assignments in leetspeak, which is gaming slang. They use numbers to replace certain letters, such as “3” for “E”.

Imagine getting that in a job application. The question is do the young employees not know any better or are they thumbing their noses at employers?

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