Sunday, May 1, 2011

Become a Super Proofer

Proofreading is an important part of job responsibilities for office professionals. Office professionals are in charge of making sure that quality, professional, error free documents are distributed that represent the office, department, and company. One error or misspelling can dispel the company's credibility and look unprofessional; thereby, reflecting negatively on the office professional, because the question will always be: How could you let this slip by you? Here are a few ways in which you can become a super proofer:

1. Check the documentation for contextual errors

To avoid contextual errors, proofread the document very carefully by reading it aloud slowly, and looking for words that are misused. Here is an example of a contextual error:

"We regret any incontinence this service interruption may have caused. If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact me."

The word 'incontinence' should be replaced with 'inconvenience.' This may be amusing, however, the readers nor the company's executives, will think this is funny.

2. Check for common errors such as dates, dollars amounts, and times.
This is another common error. If the meeting is scheduled for Monday, June 2 and the date is Monday, June 3, recipients will be confused and then you will have to resend the notice. This is a time waster and productivity killer.

3. Is the attachment attached?
This is a common mistake in email notices. If there is an attachment, attach it first then compile the message. This is helpful when drafting a message that needs to be sent out immediately; if you don't attach the document right away, distractions and interruptions can cause this mistake to occur.

4. Make sure that the attachments open and the links work.

Prior to sending the message, try opening the attachments this will make sure that it is the correct document and you will verify that the attachment can be opened. While checking the attachments, test the hyperlinks to ensure that they link to the right reference.

These are some simple yet valuable ways to catch errors in correspondence before distributing them to the public. Taking the extra steps to make sure that these common errors do not occur will eliminate a lot of embarrassment and repeat notifications.

No comments: