Monday, August 27, 2007

"I is a college student."

I was working with a law firm last year on a hiring process. Lots and lots of CVs, cover letters and application forms coming in from some very smart young people. I ended up sitting in a conference room with the HR person and the Hiring Partner screening the applications. One of the ground-rules we laid down was that any application with a spelling error should be dumped on the first pass.

"That kind of carelessness simply isn't acceptable for a job of this nature," intoned the partner. That sounded just fine to me and we proceeded. We had about 500 applications to whizz through on the first pass. We hit a snag. A big snag.With the first pass completed, we had no applications left. None. Count 'em again - not one.

the rest of Rowan Manahan's post on the next generation of job-hunters.


Anonymous said...


for me, this sounds quite funny.

Hereover, in the german-speaking countries, we do have strict rules on what ist to spell in capital letters and what is not, as well as pointing is crucially regularized.
Guess what? - First
"The Officials" changed the rules. Children in school are now leraning other, often nit quite easier rules, then their parents did. Most of the newspapers finally "switched" this year - the past five years it was about 50/50 amongst the papers, adopting or refusing the "new rules".
Guess what? - Second
The caos is much greater, then between british and american english.

So if we now try to be this rigid for applications, as you point it out, we'd need help ourselves, to figure out, what is and was correct and what -until now- ever had.*

* = Some proposals in the latest version of "The Rules" were removed or changed, since the first public attempts to make them easier about five years ago.

I wish you all the best and very good luck with your searches.

Best regards

Michael Wade said...


Interesting post. I've always found the German language to be complicated enough without any rule changes.

There was a not as extreme but nonetheless significant change in the United States when some school districts shifted from using phonics to teach reading. Many of the critics of that change argued that it resulted in poorer spelling skills.

Thanks for reading Execupundit. I am proud to have many German readers.