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Given the chances that the person looking at the resume is not,
themselves, a writer, how likely is it that they will catch one or two
small errors? Compare and contrast to errors you might find in job
openings, hiring materials, corporate materials, etc. We all go to work
for companies that need good writers and editors; if the hiring manager
has those laser-like copy-editing skills, why is he/she wasting those
talents in HR?
While Mike West's point is no doubt true in some cases, I think it's
less likely or important than other factors.
I edit a lot of resumes and believe me when I say that a single typo in
an otherwise well-written, well-formatted resume would be a blessing
compared to what people are sending out. It's probably more an issue of
WHERE the errors are, than net number of typos or errors.
Example: I edited a resume for an ex-BF, a brilliant geek who is not
very verbal. He dictated some things to me over the phone, including the
name of a server product. He said R-O-X-A-N; I remember the conversation
well, because I even sang a snippet of the Police song to him and joked
that I didn't know there was a product by that name. (That he didn't
catch me on it then is a testament to how non-verbal he is.) His resume,
apparently, went right into the circular file on first glance, because
it's actually ROXEN. However, once the hiring team couldn't find a good
match, his otherwise excellent resume came back out and he was
eventually hired, and was a fantastic match for the company. I wish he'd
caught the error himself (I deny responsibility because as I tell
everyone whose resumes I edit, usually at the last minute and for free
or for rum: I'm not a machine and I'm not Wikipedia; ethical and correct
content is their responsibility), but the company was smart enough not
to let the perfect be the enemy of the good. I would think this also
applies to writers.
William Carlos Williams wrote, "You cannot live and keep free of
briars," and I think this applies to writing as much as anything. We
strive toward perfection, but we probably rarely attain it. Maybe
someone here is the exception, but I doubt it.
As for searching on Google for hiring ammo, I think that's going to lose
its edge in the next few years. The long arm of the search engine will
find everything anyone has ever done. At some point, people will just
accept that yes, every single person they want to hire has gotten drunk,
had a questionable photo taken, played hooky from work, flamed,
flounced, been a pompous ass on a list, cross-dressed, liked Marilyn
Manson, publicly supported a politician who went on to have an affair,
or been active on a D&D community when they were 15, and that absolutely
none of this has any affect on whether or not they can do the job. (As
for myself, every "questionable" activity I am involved with is ON my
resume. No one interviews me without knowing I'm active in the goth
community and roller derby and NPR and so on, and if that's going to be
an issue, it's not going to be a good fit anyway. And so far, I can't
say it's been a problem, even in Utah.)
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