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(Neatorama)   Potential employer goes all schoolteacher on applicant's cover letter   (neatorama.com ) divider line
    More: Amusing, cover letters, NeatoShop, job searches, employees  
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9475 clicks; posted to Business » on 27 Oct 2012 at 11:10 AM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-10-27 03:57:53 PM  

error 303: What a dick.


I agree -- submitting a cover letter riddled with so many pathetic errors shows a total lack of respect for the audience(s) she is writing to.
 
2012-10-27 04:03:14 PM  

Mister Peejay: HempHead: Remember folks, people studying Liberal Arts are wasting their time.

Maybe not "Liberal Arts" in the 17th Century Prussian Hosiery Major kind of way, but DAMN, engineers have got nothing on actual artists for horrible grammar and spelling.


You don't get it. They're obviously subverting the comma-normative paradigm of the grammatical hegemony.
 
2012-10-27 04:15:16 PM  

SCUBA_Archer: I can sympathize with the recruiter/HR person here. I am on my company's recruiting team and have to deal with college kids graduating and looking for a position at our firm. Recently we had on-campus interviews and while fliipping through the resumes, one stood out because he had also penned a cover letter expressing his excitement for potentially coming to work for our company, and made several specific references that indicated he may have done some research about us.

During the interview I asked what should have been a softball obvious question. He had stated that (my company) had risen head and shoulders above the competition with respect to our capabilities in the industry. My question to him was "who was our competition?". I received a total deer-in-headlights response as he couldn't name one other company that he could've been considered competition.

Simple lesson....be prepared to back up your statements in an interview


Oof, I've done that recently. I was averaging two interviews a day and got my research notes mixed up. There's an odd calculus to job hunting about how much effort a position or applicant is worth since so many of them don't pan out. It's like speed dating for money rather than sex. And while you, personally, might not see the equivalence on the hiring side because you're probably good about it, I've had more than one interview where the hiring manager asked some confusing questions about experience I never claimed I had only to have them go, "Oh God, I have the wrong resume here, that's our next interviewee." At which point I have to hand them my copy knowing full well who they're more interested in talking to.

Anyway, I made a remark about competition and couldn't remember if Competitor X was this company's competitor or the next interview's. So I decided to admit I put my foot in my mouth to the interviewer.

I consoled myself afterward by saying this position was not my number one pick and was a significant career change anyway so therefore was a longshot. Those are sour grapes anyway.

Oddly enough, my number one pick ended up having some major flaws that I found out about by offering a smoker my lighter after the interview (I don't smoke. Protip: always carry a lighter anyway and always collect references about your potential employer!). The company I flubbed with ended up allowing both of us to smooth things over with a second interview and extended a great offer, which I accepted. I start work with them on Monday.

/Job hunting often makes about as much sense as I Ching
//Don't be so hard on the young'uns.
 
2012-10-27 04:16:55 PM  

The Flexecutioner: doyner: SmackLT: The applicant should take that critique to heart and fix her cover letter.
 
she should also consider herself lucky she didn't land a job working with a pedantic prick.

Dragging people kicking and screaming into the communication norms of civilized society is not the same as being pedantic.

telling someone that 110% isnt possible is being a pedantic prick. colloquialisms and common phrases are usually given free license to get their point across by resume reviewers who aren't pedantic pricks.

but at least much of the rest of it was useful for her to improve on the resume.


No. If you are applying to any job that requires a resume, your resume needs to look professional. If someone will be dealing with clients in any way, and they write that horribly, they could possibly stop clients from wanting to work with the company.
If I'm starting to do business with someone and their correspondence uses such terrible, repetitive, and vague language, or it's full of buzzwords that tell me absolutely nothing, I'm likely to look for another business partner. 

/double and triple checked this post
//pedantic
 
2012-10-27 04:20:13 PM  

LooseLips: Call the employer a dick, sure, but that cover letter was completely atrocious. I hope he sent it with corrections back to her, because chances are good that she's using that cover letter as a template for all her applications.  Harsh, but I think it's kinder to give a lesson then trash the application and let the applicant carry on wondering why they're not getting any calls back whatsoever.


THIS.

Unless feedback was absorbed, she's sucking at the teat of the unemployment and/or welfare office on our dime.
 
2012-10-27 04:21:34 PM  
Trussed knot yore spel chequer.
 
2012-10-27 04:31:05 PM  
An applicant for a bookkeeper's position should submit a set of books that balance perfectly while leaving a few thousand dollars to split with the supervisor.
 
2012-10-27 04:43:53 PM  
WTF is a bookkeeper anyways, like an accountant? Seems like a position where attention to detail might be important.
 
2012-10-27 04:51:05 PM  

YouSirAreAMaroon: WTF is a bookkeeper anyways, like an accountant?


If only there were some online reposit-- oh farkkit just click this Link.
 
2012-10-27 04:51:45 PM  

YouSirAreAMaroon: WTF is a bookkeeper anyways, like an accountant? Seems like a position where attention to detail might be important.


The bookkeeper is the one without a college degree who types all the numbers in. The accountant is the one that looks at it and says "This company's farked".
 
2012-10-27 04:58:31 PM  
The first thing I noticed was that bit of arrant nonsense up with which Winston Churchill allegedly would not put. "Please consider me as an employee to fill the position you are currently hiring for." Yes, the preposition is necessary -- you're hiring people, not a position. ("As an employee" could go.)

/Winston Churchill didn't really say all the things he said.
//Yogi Berra did in fact say that.
 
2012-10-27 05:20:44 PM  
A clam attitude means you can keep your mouth shut if you're told to keep it shut. That a good quality for a bookkeeper.
 
2012-10-27 05:22:10 PM  
Is writing a cover letter even necessary? I know most on-line application forms have a spot for a cover letter but in my experience most companies use software to filter out 80% of the applications before they even get to an HR person. At that point the HR person is looking at work and education history and doesn't want to spend three minutes going through a cover letter that is likely a re-phrasing of the resume.

/2cents
 
2012-10-27 05:22:29 PM  

LooseLips: Call the employer a dick, sure, but that cover letter was completely atrocious. I hope he sent it with corrections back to her, because chances are good that she's using that cover letter as a template for all her applications.  Harsh, but I think it's kinder to give a lesson then trash the application and let the applicant carry on wondering why they're not getting any calls back whatsoever.


Oh, so much THIS.

And for all you idiots out there that see him/her as being a jerk for doing it, consider this:
What's worse: To have the applicant's mistakes pointed out with hope he/she will correct them OR to just ignore the letter and let the applicant keep failing in his/her pursuit of gainful employment?

Her letter reminds me of ads from people trying to sell their cars: It's 'TAURUS' no 'Torus' Terrus' or 'Tearus'.

It's 'CHEVY' not 'Shevy', 'Cheby' or 'Cheavy'. It's 'SUBURU' not 'Sueberu', 'Subarru' or 'Seubero'

I could go on.

When someone can't even spell the brand name of their car how can they be trusted to be honest about its condition?
 
2012-10-27 05:35:55 PM  

douchebag/hater: LooseLips: Call the employer a dick, sure, but that cover letter was completely atrocious. I hope he sent it with corrections back to her, because chances are good that she's using that cover letter as a template for all her applications.  Harsh, but I think it's kinder to give a lesson then trash the application and let the applicant carry on wondering why they're not getting any calls back whatsoever.

Oh, so much THIS.

And for all you idiots out there that see him/her as being a jerk for doing it, consider this:
What's worse: To have the applicant's mistakes pointed out with hope he/she will correct them OR to just ignore the letter and let the applicant keep failing in his/her pursuit of gainful employment?

Her letter reminds me of ads from people trying to sell their cars: It's 'TAURUS' no 'Torus' Terrus' or 'Tearus'.

It's 'CHEVY' not 'Shevy', 'Cheby' or 'Cheavy'. It's 'SUBURU' not 'Sueberu', 'Subarru' or 'Seubero'

I could go on.

When someone can't even spell the brand name of their car how can they be trusted to be honest about its condition?


It's actually Chevrolet and I don't think any of the brand names mentioned belong in all-caps, they're not acronyms.
 
2012-10-27 05:37:44 PM  

douchebag/hater: It's 'SUBURU' not 'Sueberu', 'Subarru' or 'Seubero'


It's Subaru, actually.
 
2012-10-27 05:51:24 PM  

Any Pie Left: What I find striking in all FARK threads on this topic is the number of respondents who are infuriated by this policy out of all normal proportion. I don't know why this seems so unfair and monstrous to them, but I have a theory. My theory is the whiners are younger and over-entitled


Quick, everybody, get off of his lawn!!

Any Pie Left: So "good enough" or "sort of done" or "but I tried", is NOT good enough in the real world.


So everybody in the world in a position of power is qualified to be there. Tell me more of this work ethic you speak of, back in the days where people staying at a position for more than four years wasn't just a remarkable fluke.

I'm baffled why an HR person would bother doing this as any applicant is going to look at it, throw it away, and learn nothing from the experience. The way this is handled is obnoxious and condescending: if the cover letter is bad, throw a little hint in a rejection letter. But to talk down to an applicant is in incredibly poor taste, especially in such a sarcastic manner. Just because someone is looking for work doesn't mean they suddenly don't deserve to be treated like a subpar human being, and that sort of mentality reeks of the 'work or die' pioneer mentality that's often used by us Americans to blame any systemic flaws on the poor. It's not like we run a system where people don't have a choice of not working here, and it's rich that we're talking about 'teaching' somebody who needs a job. Apparently dignity is something you get when you have money.
 
2012-10-27 05:52:04 PM  

stanhapsburg: Dear Mr. Mynameisinthead

You are absolutely correct that my writing skills are, well, mediocre. So my texts need to be proofread, which is usually done by a friend of mine, who happens to work for your company. But this person told me that he/she is currently very busy, because his/her boss "doesn't get shiat done". This "insufferable pedantic douche" - his/her words - prefers to deal with insignificant trivia. So he/she suggested to send my unedited application to you and - tadaa - I now work for company XYZ, where I earn 20 percent more and experience a friendly and loyal atmosphere. Thanks for your proofreading efforts to get me this job.

PS. My friend in the company is the person who also spits in your lunchbag, although he/she thinks not to be the only one.

Sincerely...


Dear IDidn'tEvenPretendToReadTheAccompanyingArticle,

The person doing the hiring is a blogger. He writes, for himself, for a living. Since he runs the company, he has access to these cover letters at home, when he is not technically on the clock. The idea that taking five minutes to edit/mark-up a cover letter causes a loss of productivity tells me that you have horrible time management skills and a complete lack of understanding of how most people work. It also tells me that you think it would take a lot more than five minutes to do this, which makes me feel you are probably quite slow.

The writing skills are not "mediocre". A few misspellings and an out-of-place comma or apostrophe is "mediocre". The writing displayed in the letter, meanwhile, read like the work of either a very recent immigrant with minimal English skills, or someone who is too thick to bag fries at McDonald's, let alone work in a detail-oriented and computationally-intensive role like bookkeeper.

This could be overlooked, potentially, if you had a long and extensive resume of bookkeeping positions with plenty of glowing references. I would completely understand. Some people are amazingly gifted in mathematically-oriented fields while being incapable of stringing together three words to form a sentence. I have my doubts that this is the case, however. First, your email address refers to either your current or ideal profession: stylist. Second, nowhere in the cover letter do you mention any skills directly related to the position (such as proficiency with various bookkeeping applications, knowledge of double-entry bookkeeping, etc.), nor do you mention any specifics about how or where you might have learned or performed bookkeeping duties, nor any other details that lead me to believe you have ever functioned in a bookkeeping profession. You do mention that you have precise record-keeping skills. This is good, but is also a bare-minimum for the job, and should not be a key point in differentiating yourself from the hundreds of other resumes I receive for the opening; it should be assumed that anyone applying for a bookkeeping position is at the very least an anal-retentive hoarder of information.

What makes your resume really stand out, though, is the level of unintentional irony displayed throughout. With as much focus as you place on your communication abilities, it's shocking that you display none of them in your cover letter. If you are going to (redundantly) point out how well you communicate no less than three times on less than a page of copy, you should do your utmost to make sure those skills are displayed in your first communication with me. Besides that little oopsie, you mention that you are "dynamically trained in multiple office programs". Now, I'm not sure what "dynamic training" is, exactly, and I can only assume that it is somehow better than "passive training". That said, it's shocking to me that your dynamic training in multiple office programs completely bypassed the "spellcheck" feature found in all common word processing software. I would strongly suggest that if you paid money for your "dynamic training", you ask for a full refund. Unintentional irony.

Ultimately, though, this cover letter tells me absolutely nothing positive about you. Even if you were to correct all of the atrocious spelling and grammar mistakes, this cover letter is a page of fluff without a single bit of substance. You speak of yourself in platitudes and cliches that at best paint you as a barely-competent employee who will come in, put in an unremarkable 8 hours, and leave. You will never make any meaningful contribution to my business. You will probably stick strictly to what you believe your job duties to be (whether those beliefs are actually valid or not), and get resentful if you are ever asked to do anything that falls outside of that definition. You will never push yourself to grow within the organization, and will remain in an entry level position while demanding annual raises that will (assuming you don't do anything to get yourself fired first, or quit with little notice) eventually price you out of your dead-end position. At that point, I will either have to eat the cost of paying an unmotivated bookkeeper significantly above industry-standard wages, or replace you. At worst, you come off as completely lacking in self-awareness and incapable of any original thought whatsoever.

In fact, I can sum up your resume in a one :

I have had jobs, and I know how to use a personal computer, and beyond that I have absolutely no marketable skills or personality whatsoever .

I get hundreds of resumes every time I post an opening. Unfortunately, I can usually only hire one person for a fair wage. This has nothing to do with me being a power-hungry asshole who enjoys inflicting pain on others. I am that at times, and am self-aware enough to know it, but this is not the case here. This is simply economics. There are a lot of you, but only one of me. When I make a hiring decision, I make it with the goal of hiring the best employee I can for a price that I can afford but is still fair to you. This is a huge decision for me. Keep in mind that while you may think I am wealthy beyond belief, my business is my sole source of income. If I make a bad hiring decision that ends up destroying my business (and bookkeeper is one of those positions where that is very possible. Especially in a very small company.), I am just as much out on my ass as you are. Except that you haven't poured years of blood, sweat, and tears (not to mention tens of thousands of dollars) into this job. I have. Practically everything I've done in the last several years has gone into making this company what it is. It is as much a part of me as anything else in my life, and if it fails because of a bad hiring decision, I lose all of that. You lose a just-barely-above-minimum-wage job. So if I seem exceptionally paranoid, anal, picky, cruel, pedantic, or whatever you want to call it, keep this in mind: I am looking through a pile of 100 candidates, from which I have to pull out the 10-15 that I can realistically interview. I will have to make a critical business decision based on your own description of yourself, maybe an hour of face-time, and possibly a couple of references. So sorry if I come off as an asshole, but I am making a big decision with very limited information, and I will be as careful as possible in assessing every single aspect of that resume, no matter how small. There are no "small mistakes".

Regards,

Lusiphur

P.S. The only acceptable email address to put on your resume/cover letter is some combination of firstname/lastname@your choice of email provider. This isn't about superiority. This is for your own benefit. First, you never know what someone might think of your hobby/career/inside joke. Something you think is awesome or hilarious might insult, offend, or plain turn off your potential employer. Like in this case: if your email address says that you are or were a stylist, it's a lot harder for me to take you seriously as a bookkeeper. Second, most employers are swamped with resumes these days. You need to take every opportunity to plant your name in your potential employers head. If he remembers your name, he's much more likely to call you back.
 
2012-10-27 05:57:06 PM  

bigheadface: The Flexecutioner: doyner: SmackLT: The applicant should take that critique to heart and fix her cover letter.
 
she should also consider herself lucky she didn't land a job working with a pedantic prick.

Dragging people kicking and screaming into the communication norms of civilized society is not the same as being pedantic.

telling someone that 110% isnt possible is being a pedantic prick. colloquialisms and common phrases are usually given free license to get their point across by resume reviewers who aren't pedantic pricks.

but at least much of the rest of it was useful for her to improve on the resume.

No. If you are applying to any job that requires a resume, your resume needs to look professional. If someone will be dealing with clients in any way, and they write that horribly, they could possibly stop clients from wanting to work with the company.
If I'm starting to do business with someone and their correspondence uses such terrible, repetitive, and vague language, or it's full of buzzwords that tell me absolutely nothing, I'm likely to look for another business partner. 

/double and triple checked this post
//pedantic


colloquialisms and common phrases in and of themselves are not unprofessional. in context, maybe and maybe not, but it requires context. in this particular context it wasnt. her entire cover letter was unprofessional but if it had entirely been professional minus that one usage of '110%' it would not have been a deal breaker. she might have gotten an interview if everything else was good. so, yes, it was pedantic to highlight it among many other gaffs in that cover letter. he/she even missed this huge no-no: "I work well as a team and work very well independently as well." that's like the examples they give in resume-writing classes of how not to write a sentence and they missed it.

but honestly, in today's market they only have time for so many interviews and even really qualified people with mistake-free resumes wont get one. i have a friend in HR for a university and she tells me on average they received 1000+ applications per position (except faculty, which is in the 100-200 range) of which 50 or so are all qualified. But they only interview 10-20 of them (based on which department is hiring). Pragmatics like time can be such a biatch when it is an employer's market.
 
2012-10-27 06:05:34 PM  

stiletto_the_wise: windowseat: As an employer I see far too many resumes and applications with bad spelling and sub-par writing skills. My feeling is that the applicant will approach my business with the same lax attitude as their schooling and so I file them under "No."

Pretty much this. If you can't even be bothered to proofread your own resume, you won't be bothered to do a thorough, detailed job at work. Spelling and grammar mistakes are the easiest way to filter resumes.


so how should one view a company that has job listings full of spelling and grammar mistakes?

/really really want to name names, but can't right now
 
2012-10-27 06:06:50 PM  

Shafty: The My Little Pony Killer: I don't get the 'clams have attitudes?' correction. Nowhere in the cover letter is "calm" misspelled.

Sure it is, which is why he made that comment. Take a look at the fifth bullet point, fourth word.


Thank you. Now go back and re-read the second comment I left in this thread.
 
2012-10-27 06:09:52 PM  

433: It's a shame they don't teach "real world shiat" in grade school. Part of it would have been fixed just by paying attention in grammar/English class. The resume reeks of a resume fluffer that gave pointers but no specifics.


Umm... I'm pretty sure English is taught in grade school.
 
2012-10-27 06:10:18 PM  
"Just because someone is looking for work doesn't mean they suddenly don't deserve to be treated like a subpar human being,"

Guntram Shatterhand, I'm not saying you're not an example of the problem but you need to work on your double-negatives after you get off my lawn.

I will agree with you insomuch as this: the attitude of the person is that they are an applicant, not a supplicant. They are offering to trade their skills and hard work for a wage and agreed benefits, and this contract should be mutually beneficial to both worker and employer. But the employer has every right to hold a worker to a standard of performance. It has nothing to do with how the employer is or isn't fit to hold their job. It hasn't anything to do with being poor: grammar works the same way for everybody that can learn it. And if you want to learn it, you can, and if money's a problem, still, you won't let that stop you. You will find a way. That's what every generation of immigrant did and does today.

It is not about them, but about you. And I would can your application in favor of someone with better grammar, if you put several double-negatives in your correspondence. Here, on Fark's comments page, meh, typos and misspellings happen in the flurry of emotional an rapid-fire typing. I mistype things too. But OTOH, I'm not applying for a job here. My resume and cover letter would be flawless, I assure you. I would work for days to make it perfect, if I needed to. In the real world, you have to step up your game, man.
 
2012-10-27 06:10:28 PM  

maxx2112: Pic of applicant delivering her letter.

[images.popmatters.com image 500x250]


Awesome! Maybe even obscure.

/at least one person here will understand what proofreading the ex's papers with a red marker resulted in.
 
2012-10-27 06:15:42 PM  

Guntram Shatterhand: Just because someone is looking for work doesn't mean they suddenly don't deserve to be treated like a subpar human being


First of all, get your double negatives straight. Then realize that no one is being condescending to the applicant because they are down on their luck and looking for work. They're being condescending because the applicant writes like a retarded child having a seizure in front of a computer and can't be bothered to use the spell-check feature or ask someone to look over the resume/cover letter. And, from my experience, is probably proud of being ignorant and responds to attempts to help with some variation of "you think you're better than me?!?!"
 
2012-10-27 06:21:47 PM  

dumbobruni: so how should one view a company that has job listings full of spelling and grammar mistakes?


As complete buffoons unworthy of decent employees. Or, if you play it well, as marks.
 
2012-10-27 06:26:40 PM  
This is why the economy is pooping out its own guts.
1) Idiots who are too stupid to do jobs,
2) Passive-aggressive HR morons who impose a zero-defect mentality on the hiring process.
 
2012-10-27 06:30:00 PM  
Lusiphur, you put it pretty well in that last sentence, and I have to say we do have a problem in America of putting so much weight on being employed and establishing our self-worth and relative status via what we do, versus who we are.

What you do is not who you are. But for most of us, our identity is deeply wrapped up in our employment. When we lose a job, we lose a huge chunk of who we thought we were, and our ego takes a wicked amount of damage. People on the hunt for jobs feel very stressed and put-upon and often can feel that the world is being unfair to them. That individuals are unfair to them, just because of their employment status.

Still doesn't fix the fact that a mangled cover letter or resume makes a person look like a 'tard.
When that piece of paper is all you know about a person, it counts for much more.
 
2012-10-27 06:31:25 PM  

Guntram Shatterhand: Just because someone is looking for work doesn't mean they suddenly don't deserve to be treated like a subpar human being, and that sort of mentality reeks of the 'work or die' pioneer mentality that's often used by us Americans to blame any systemic flaws on the poor.


Heh-heh.
Choosing to stay home and be a full-time parent for a few years is the rough equivalent of being convicted of a felony for hiring purposes.
 
2012-10-27 06:41:39 PM  
cover letter? what's that
 
2012-10-27 06:59:34 PM  

Any Pie Left: Lusiphur, you put it pretty well in that last sentence, and I have to say we do have a problem in America of putting so much weight on being employed and establishing our self-worth and relative status via what we do, versus who we are.

What you do is not who you are. But for most of us, our identity is deeply wrapped up in our employment. When we lose a job, we lose a huge chunk of who we thought we were, and our ego takes a wicked amount of damage. People on the hunt for jobs feel very stressed and put-upon and often can feel that the world is being unfair to them. That individuals are unfair to them, just because of their employment status.

Still doesn't fix the fact that a mangled cover letter or resume makes a person look like a 'tard.
When that piece of paper is all you know about a person, it counts for much more.


This is what I was trying to get to, right before some people steamrolled over me for using a double negative. Which, in a way, really proves my point: the purpose of grammar is for better understanding. But it's also a very easy way to negate someone's valid point. Okay, I used a double negative. I'm a human being. But to use that to counter my points really puts all this sad grammar correction in focus. Are we really trying to help someone find a job or even correct behavior that could leave a bad impression, or are we engaging in superiority tactics for the sheer hell of it?

The latter view will not help someone find a job, and the HR person mentioned isn't trying to help someone. It's an humiliation tactic that adds more stress to the job seeker and robs them of dignity. Simply put, it isn't right. We can talk all day about other thought-terminating cliches like 'that's the way life is,' but it only serves to boost someone's ego at the expense of someone in a really bad spot. And, if we really want to get into it, it does come off as an elitist viewpoint from someone employed against someone who is not.

At its heart, we should really consider why our employment is such a big part of our identity. But I'll wait until someone decides to dig into my grammar to see if everything's correct before ignoring the point I'm trying to make.
 
2012-10-27 07:04:12 PM  
Spellcheck probably wouldn't have flagged any of those misuses anyway.

HR douchebag is a douchebag.
Think of working only with people selected by this douchebag.
The HR culture is why we suck.
 
2012-10-27 07:28:34 PM  

Araltaln: starlost: i hate the your email service isn't the most impressive one at the moment so use a more popular one douchebags.

I think I might rip on the applicant's username no matter what domain is hiding under the ink, unless her last name actually is "Stylist" (and possibly even then).



I thought it was idiotic hate on the email service as well. If it was a dig at the username, well, that's still pretty dumb, unless the username is something blatantly inappropriate for work.
 
2012-10-27 07:36:34 PM  
Are bookkeeper and bookkeeping really the only English language words with three pairs of double-letters in consecutive order?
 
2012-10-27 07:41:22 PM  

HotIgneous Intruder: Spellcheck probably wouldn't have flagged any of those misuses anyway.

HR douchebag is a douchebag.
Think of working only with people selected by this douchebag.
The HR culture is why we suck.


Imagine an office full of stephstylist1's...

HR guy is being a dick but he's not wrong, if you actually want the job, make some effort to seem interested. Cover letters should never be to whom, make a call, get the name of the person... Even if you can't get a name, proof read (and have someone else proof read), the word and formatting salad after the "Dear HR Ass Captain:"
 
2012-10-27 07:42:33 PM  

dryknife: Are bookkeeper and bookkeeping really the only English language words with three pairs of double-letters in consecutive order?


No. The facial recipient of a phantasm's biological manifestation of excitement is a bukkaakkee.
 
2012-10-27 07:46:34 PM  

Krieghund: Araltaln: starlost: i hate the your email service isn't the most impressive one at the moment so use a more popular one douchebags.

I think I might rip on the applicant's username no matter what domain is hiding under the ink, unless her last name actually is "Stylist" (and possibly even then).


I thought it was idiotic hate on the email service as well. If it was a dig at the username, well, that's still pretty dumb, unless the username is something blatantly inappropriate for work.


I think it's the username: stephsylist1@ v. steph.lastnamehere@ the service is scratched out to keep her from getting e-mail abuse.
 
2012-10-27 08:03:54 PM  

SCUBA_Archer: I can sympathize with the recruiter/HR person here. I am on my company's recruiting team and have to deal with college kids graduating and looking for a position at our firm. Recently we had on-campus interviews and while fliipping through the resumes, one stood out because he had also penned a cover letter expressing his excitement for potentially coming to work for our company, and made several specific references that indicated he may have done some research about us.

During the interview I asked what should have been a softball obvious question. He had stated that (my company) had risen head and shoulders above the competition with respect to our capabilities in the industry. My question to him was "who was our competition?". I received a total deer-in-headlights response as he couldn't name one other company that he could've been considered competition.

Simple lesson....be prepared to back up your statements in an interview


Easy answer: "Oracle."
 
2012-10-27 08:07:22 PM  
I once got a resume from an applicant who had misspelled "resume", "references", and "editorial."

It was for a proofreading position.
 
2012-10-27 08:08:52 PM  

Lee Jackson Beauregard: The first thing I noticed was that bit of arrant nonsense up with which Winston Churchill allegedly would not put. "Please consider me as an employee to fill the position you are currently hiring for." Yes, the preposition is necessary -- you're hiring people, not a position. ("As an employee" could go.)

/Winston Churchill didn't really say all the things he said.
//Yogi Berra did in fact say that.


This is what confused me because I felt the preposition was necessary, too. English isn't my first language, so I wasn't sure about this, though.
 
2012-10-27 08:19:32 PM  

HotIgneous Intruder: 2) Passive-aggressive HR morons who impose a zero-defect mentality on the hiring process.


I'm not an HR guy (I'm on a committee at work that assists with college recruiting) but I do take offense at your comment. The sad truth is, when you are faced with 10 or 20 (or more) potential recruits for one position, EVERYTHING is important. You are being compared to all the others and short of getting to know everyone personally, you need to set arbitrary evaluation standards. Everyone that I interview gets 30 minutes to sell me on themselves. The floor is yours, why should I hire you. And after a bunch of interviews, you get real cynical about who you might want to hire. I'm sorry that I can't hire everyone and there's no ranking system that automatically grants you a job at my firm, but that's life.

On the other hand, one of the best interviews I had was with an upcoming graduate, he showed up in jeans and t-shirt and had several earrings in (most interviewees take them out or cover them up). He then proceeded to wow me with articulate and intelligent banter about his experiences and his desires for his future. He rose to the top of the pack in spite of several "sins" that may have automatically excluded him in other scenarios.
 
2012-10-27 08:54:05 PM  
farm1.staticflickr.com
 
2012-10-27 09:55:36 PM  
Most HR employees are failed writers and teachers.
 
2012-10-27 10:16:22 PM  
Dear employer/editor:

1) Yes, that preposition was necessary. Otherwise the sentence would read "Please consider me as an employee to fill the bookkeeping position you are currently hiring." Now, we could argue whether it's appropriate to end a sentence with a preposition but, as William Zinsser once wrote, "I think a sentence is a fine thing to put a preposition at the end of." Either way, that sentence did still need a preposition.

2) "Organization" is perfectly acceptable as an adjective, see: Collins English Dictionary, 2009.

3) "Recordkeeping" is not a word, as you suggest. Rather, it should be "record-keeping".

4) "Except for the task of spelling prepared" should be "Except for the task of spelling 'prepared.'"

Yours, rugman11

/Yes, I probably made some misteaks, two.
 
2012-10-27 10:32:14 PM  

MaxSupernova: I missed out on a job because of a misspelling on my résumé. What sucks is I didn't apply for the job but they pulled my résumé from their résumé editor and attached it to the job without me ever submitting for it. The resume was only about 85% complete but i chose the save and edit later option and the first thing monday morning HR pulled the resume. They called me in for the interview and for ten minutes we talked about that misspelling and other résumé quirks and the importance of "attention to detail".


That's totally insane. You inputted a resume on one of those online corporate recruiting repositories, and someone actually contacted you for an interview after actually looking at it? I didn't think that sort of thing really happened. They must have been desperate to hire more people.
 
2012-10-27 10:32:29 PM  

Guntram Shatterhand: Any Pie Left: Lusiphur, you put it pretty well in that last sentence, and I have to say we do have a problem in America of putting so much weight on being employed and establishing our self-worth and relative status via what we do, versus who we are.

What you do is not who you are. But for most of us, our identity is deeply wrapped up in our employment. When we lose a job, we lose a huge chunk of who we thought we were, and our ego takes a wicked amount of damage. People on the hunt for jobs feel very stressed and put-upon and often can feel that the world is being unfair to them. That individuals are unfair to them, just because of their employment status.

Still doesn't fix the fact that a mangled cover letter or resume makes a person look like a 'tard.
When that piece of paper is all you know about a person, it counts for much more.

This is what I was trying to get to, right before some people steamrolled over me for using a double negative. Which, in a way, really proves my point: the purpose of grammar is for better understanding. But it's also a very easy way to negate someone's valid point. Okay, I used a double negative. I'm a human being. But to use that to counter my points really puts all this sad grammar correction in focus. Are we really trying to help someone find a job or even correct behavior that could leave a bad impression, or are we engaging in superiority tactics for the sheer hell of it?

The latter view will not help someone find a job, and the HR person mentioned isn't trying to help someone. It's an humiliation tactic that adds more stress to the job seeker and robs them of dignity. Simply put, it isn't right. We can talk all day about other thought-terminating cliches like 'that's the way life is,' but it only serves to boost someone's ego at the expense of someone in a really bad spot. And, if we really want to get into it, it does come off as an elitist viewpoint from someone employed against someone who is not.

At its heart, we should really consider why our employment is such a big part of our identity. But I'll wait until someone decides to dig into my grammar to see if everything's correct before ignoring the point I'm trying to make.


I stopped reading at "an humiliation tactic" and if this had been a cover letter instead of a fark post that's the moment it would go on the trash.
 
2012-10-27 10:47:54 PM  
telling someone that 110% isnt possible is being a pedantic prick. colloquialisms and common phrases are usually given free license to get their point across by resume reviewers who aren't pedantic pricks.

It might be forgivable as a colloquialism, but in this case it is also a blatant lie as it was obvious that she didn't put much effort at all into the cover letter.
 
2012-10-27 10:49:52 PM  
/csb warning

Back in my younger days, daytime was spent in college, aiming for a diploma in Radio Broadcasting, and nighttime was spent playing in a bar band. Knowing that an important (and well paying) gig was to coincide with a report to be handed in, I pulled an "all-nighter" that effectively lasted 3 days.

The next week was quiet, with paper handed in to professor to be graded, and gig completed with money in hand and an offer to come back, i was feeling great.

Until I was summoned to professor's office.

He held my paper in his hand, and asked "Did you write this?"

I was still mildly hung over, and combined with the self inflicted sleep deprivation, it took me an uncomfortable number of missed heart beats before I could assert that it was not plagiarism, and I had written it.

he had called me into his office to inform me that my paper had surprised him with it's stream of consciousness style, while maintaining a coherent narrative and surprising descriptive qualities ... but I had misspelled "media" .... several times ... and as such, he could not give me the only perfect score out of the entire class

Moral of the story: red lines under text are your friends

/end csb
 
2012-10-27 11:33:16 PM  

NotARocketScientist: telling someone that 110% isnt possible is being a pedantic prick. colloquialisms and common phrases are usually given free license to get their point across by resume reviewers who aren't pedantic pricks.

It might be forgivable as a colloquialism, but in this case it is also a blatant lie as it was obvious that she didn't put much effort at all into the cover letter.


haha, fair point i guess. i think she was referring to her bookkeeping skills though. i mean, 110% in those skills evidently means she only has -10% for cover letter writing.

/well played
 
2012-10-27 11:33:46 PM  
ALLRITE GUYZ, WHICH ONE OF YOU FARKERS DID THIS LOL
 
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