Forbes Post – Report: How Grammar Influences Your Income

This article originally appeared in my column at

I’ve talked about the costs of poor grammar before. There are no good excuses. The world has two billion English writers, according to Brad Hoover, CEO of Top Ten Reviews #1 ranked grammar software program, Grammarly. We can all attest, however, that it’s a far lower percentage of English speaking executives who communicate well.

But this week I came across a report that caught my eye (both of them, in fact): Grammarly recently completed a study of the LinkedIn profiles of 100 native English-speakers in the consumer packaged goods industry to see what they could learn. Among the 100 professionals examined, each had worked for no more than three employers over the first 10 years of his or her career. Half were promoted to director level or above within those 10 years, and the other half were not.

Here’s what they found:

  • Professionals with fewer grammar errors in their profiles had achieved higher positions.The profiles of those who’d failed to achieve director-level positions within the first 10 years of their careers made 2.5 times as many grammar mistakes as their director-level colleagues.
  • Fewer grammar errors correlate with more promotions. Professionals with 6-9 promotions made 45% fewer grammatical errors than those who’d been promoted 1-4 times.

Clearly this report was an informal study with a relatively small sample size. It is also unclear whether the individuals who progressed came into their careers with strong language skills or if they acquired progressively better skills as they rose. But the report clearly supports the premise that good grammar is a fairly accurate predictor of professional success.

Kyle Wiens, the CEO of iFixit, wrote earlier this yearthat he refuses to hire anyone with bad grammar. I agree with him (albeit my own company is a public relations business, so it’s fair to say that communicating effectively is the core of our living).

Wiens maintains that grammar skills typically indicate positive workplace traits. According to Hoover, these may include:
To continue reading please visit my column at

Author: Cheryl Snapp Conner | Google+