Following directions shows that you
- are meticulous
- think about the person reading the material.
I would argue it's one of the most important things...with EVERYTHING. It does not matter how smart you are.
The reason I bring this up: I applied for funding through the College of Engineering, and I was rewarded with a "thank you for following directions." I can imagine that many other people did not. Did I mention that my funding got approved immediately? It might have been a consequence of me following the directions.
Here are consequences for not following directions:
- Getting your application (job/scholarship/grant/etc.) thrown out immediately
- Getting the reader angry and thereby creating a negative view toward you (which will cause your application to be thrown out)
- Having to re-do the application...I hate doing things more than once...If you're going to do it, do it right the first time.
- Being labeled as careless.
So as Nike says, "Just [following the directions]"...if you get my drift