Re: Typoz in Resumes

Subject: Re: Typoz in Resumes
From: Jim Purcell <jimpur -at- MICROSOFT -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 24 Feb 1997 17:41:51 -0800

Carolyn Haley protests:

>>Funny, I always thought that part of being a writer was knowing how to
>>spell and use basic grammar, and punctuation. When did that change? Or was
>>it never true?

>How does this requirement translate to "perfection or else"?
>
>>You can make this into a commercial question as well. I understand that, in
>>general, writers earn more than copyeditors and proofreaders. But if that's
>>true, why aren't writers required to have a higher skill level than the
>>people who are supporting them? Are not spelling, grammar, and punctuation
>>the _base skills_ of the writing/editing trade, required of everyone making
>>a living in that trade? So why should writers be exempt?
>
>Writers earn more than copyeditors because writing is a higher skill. Writers
>have to understand the content well enough to construct a narrative, to
>analyze an audience and its needs, to make judgments about what (and where
>and how) to say and what not to say. The lucky few have developmental editors
>to help them; most don't. In paying attention to the big picture, they are
>apt to miss a few details. You wouldn't hire a writer who couldn't spell,
>write grammatically, or punctuate correctly, but it is not the writer's job
>to put the copyeditor out of work.
>
>>A copyeditor is needed to check and clarify a writer's writing, not to
>>compensate for a writer's technical inability. And a proofreader is needed
>>to make sure that the layers and layers of revision and formatting are all
>>in place and correct. All of these parties need to know spelling, grammer,
>>and punctuation, as well as more sophisticated elements of the language.
>>The closer you are to a project, the less clearly you can see it. The
>>writing-editing-proofreading sequence is a proven quality control method.
>>But the functions are not totally separate; they merely indicate areas of
>>focus and responsibility.
>
>I don't think anybody can argue with this, but it would seem to undermine a
>requirement for perfection in writers.
>
>>I would never hire a writer, editor, or proofreader (or word processor,
>>typesetter, desktop publisher) who submitted a resume with even one error
>>on it.
>
>I will grant that a proofreader should not submit a resume with typos.
>Chasing typos is their whole job, after all.
>
>>That tells me that the person does not take his/her profession
>>seriously.
>
>This is a gross overreading of an isolated typo. A sloppy resume is
>inexcusable, but if you get a resume and cover letter that reveal a fluid
>writing style, an organization that emphasizes the main points and
>subordinates the supporting ones, and depth of experience in the area you're
>looking for, you would be hurting your own organization to reject it just
>because it contains a typo.
>
>Jim Purcell
>jimpur -at- microsoft -dot- com
>My opinions, not Microsoft's
>
>

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