CIO East Africa (Nairobi)

26 February 2014

Kenya: Mind Your Social Media Grammar, It Could Cost You a Job

An aspiring Safaricom employee has been turned down by his hopeful boss Bob Collymore on Twitter, for apparently not being able to spell words corrrectly.

The job seeker - one Stephen Karanja (@Sbugua) tweeted the Safaricom CEO requesting for a job and I quote:

"@Bobcollymore. I'd lyk a job at Safaricom. Am a graduate n I'll b happy 2 commence at a position of ua own discretion."

Later on Collymore replied to the tweet stating: "@Safaricom_Care@SBugua We do however give preference to people who can spell..."

This is a big blow and a wake up call to Kenya's "Xaxa Xema" generation. This new generation replaces the letter "S" with the letter "X" in their communication sometimes giving words a totally different meaning. The same goes for common phrases which are normally abbreviated. Though these abbreviations are mostly understood by the intended recipients, they could completely throw you off if you don't belong to that clan. For instance SMH, to mean Shaking My Head, TTYL to mean Talk To You Later and so much more.

While in conversation with friends, it should be okay to use such abbreviations, but one will pushing it trying to apply for a job, and especially from Safaricom.

Stephen's experience should serve as a lesson to the whole social media fraternity, especially now that such platforms are used to seek jobs or by prospective employers seeking more details about applicants. You have been fore-warned!

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