Attention to detail

Posted: December 17, 2010 in Assignments, Useful advice for students
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I used to teach public relations. In public relations, your livelihood depends on details. If you send out a promotional brochure with spelling errors, it ruins credibility. In public relations classes, one spelling error in a final project would bring down a course grade by one entire letter. I assume that in professions such as engineering details matter even more. One misplaced number may result in a collapsed bridge and casualties.

Details matter for you, too. When you send out your resume, or even a relatively important email, lack of attention to detail, manifested, for example, in spelling errors, can cost you a job or opportunity.

You’ve done hard work this semester. Don’t let its value and your credibility be ruined by lack of attention to detail: Spelling, consistency in formatting and alignment, use of punctuation – these details matter.

I’m trying to proofread your presentations and reports and point out as many details that I can find that need correcting. But don’t let me do this alone. Pay obsessive attention to detail – as if your life depended on it. As if your grade would go down one letter grade for each small error. Without attention to detail, there’s no such thing as excellence.

This might be the most painful and the most important lesson you learn from me this semester.

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