January 28, 2012

Grammar police? Yes, we are.

We take some heat for rejecting employment candidates whose résumés and cover letters fail to measure up to our grammar/spelling/usage standards. We do not apologize; we were born this way. Besides, our standards have to be high, because we work for clients who expect it.

Our emphasis on cover letters is not at all misplaced. It’s the one chance a jobseeker has to stand out from the herd. Since one’s résumé, as noted in a recent WSJ article, is routinely screened by robots, it must now be composed by robots in an escalating duel of software gamesmanship. The resulting document is a vanilla collection of facts designed for OCR, studded with keywords culled from the job description. Useful, yes, but not differentiating.