Software Enginears Can’t Spell

Hopefully you got sucked in by that title. With a bit of luck you’ve already berated me on LinkedIn.

In the days before computers, spelling was perhaps one of those skills you were either good at or not. Personally, I’ve always been fairly steady.

But only because I can see the word I’m trying to write in my head. It’s the way my mind works.

“Nice thing to have” you might think.


Except I’m incredibly squeamish. So when someone talks about an operation, for example. I visualise it. The blood. The guts. The gore. If I’m talking my mate who’s a Surgeon and he starts ‘chatting shop’, that’s my cue to leave. Or there’s every chance I hit the deck by the time he mutters the word ‘scalpel’.

Not everyone thinks like this though. Everyone’s brain works differently.

Nowadays, there’s probably no excuse you can think of for poor spelling. There are tools aplenty to help you keep on the straight and narrow.

Any scepticism over someone’s ability is probably exacerbated when it’s someone’s job title.

And yet…

People spell these incorrectly a lot.

According to Hunted pals Social Talent, Engineer is the top incorrectly spelled title on LinkedIn.

And before you chuckle, Recruiter is third on the list.

Now, according to Huffington Post, Manager is actually at the top. With most people forgetting the second a.

‘How?’ you might ask, “are people reaching the level of Manager without being able to spell the word?” How’s an Engineer able to develop code, but unable to spot the fact they’ve messed up an eight letter word?

My first guess to this is probably lack of attention.

Spelling’s not crucial for an Engineer. Any more so than a Manager. Dyslexia, for example is a very common thing to have. And just because someone can’t get their head around spelling, doesn’t mean they’re any less competent.

In every case where a skill, or even job title’s incorrect, those to blame probably have bigger concerns.


Method to the madness

Brace yourself for this next part.

Apparently there are those online, who update their social profiles to purposely misspell their job title.

They know, for the most part, recruiters aren’t going to come a’knocking if they’re not easily searchable. And… whilst this might be an unpopular thing to say… some people simply don’t want to speak to recruiters.

I know. Horrific isn’t it.

And while I’m not suggesting you start haranguing people who don’t want to be contacted, that’s how you add real value as a recruiter. Finding those hidden gems. The people your competition can’t find.

So, it makes a lot of sense to broaden you search to those with incorrect spellings. And unless you’re recruiting for an Editor, probably ignore misspellings you might find.

Here are some ways to find candidates whose spelling has made them harder to find, or lower down the list.

Cast a spell

Unearthing the totally hidden gems is something Hunted pals at SourceBreaker have designed a product around. It’s a very nifty little tool that will broaden the search string to include things like misspellings.

If you can afford it, get it. It’ll more than pay for itself.

But, if your Director’s over spent on the company holiday this year, you might not have that luxury. So, here’s how to hack the process without forking out any of your own hard-earned commish.

First, laterally think about all of the different variations you might include in your Boolean. So, if you’re looking for a ‘Manager’ you also want to include ‘Manger’ OR ‘Mnager’ OR ‘Managr’.

As you’ll be using these search strings quite a lot, it’s worth saving them in a safe place.

For each new job title, you need all the incorrect spellings.



This is no more obvious than the fact 411,800 people have the word Principle in their job title on LinkedIn. Some of those may be correct, but I’d suggest a large amount are making a principle fudge up of spelling. Now, in the case of LinkedIn, there’s actually less reason to worry.

This is because as standard, they include misspellings alongside correct ones. Meaning if you search for a Manager, you’ll also find all the Mangers too.  These people will however be at the back of your search. And unless you’ve got time to rifle through page after page, they may stay hidden.

You’ll be pleased to know however there’s a hack for this too.

Where including – will mean you take out a specific skill or phrase, by typing the word NOT at the beginning of a LinkedIn search you reverse the order of the search results. So those less likely to be seen and contacted will come first.

This could open a whole host of options for candidates you wouldn’t normally reach and sidestep any misspell included to out-fox you.

Be on Alert

Further to this, if you’re really keen on getting one step ahead of the game, why not set up an alert to notify you if one of these rascals comes online.

You can do this on most job boards and it’ll mean, just on the off chance a candidate isn’t being wily and just a bit daft, you’ll still unearth them.

So you’re able to start at the back of the queue on LinkedIn and send new candidates straight to your inbox from job boards.

Making misspelling and those being crafty with spelling less of a problem for any recruiter in the land.