Monthly Archives: December 2018

Looking for a Job?

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Conventional wisdom (I use that term advisedly) has held that résumés should be no longer than one page. However, BusinessInsider.com revealed the results of a study that found two-page résumés were greatly preferred to a one-page version.

Twenty-thousand résumés were sent to almost 500 recruiters, who were asked to screen them for a simulated hiring decision. Over 7,700 résumés were approved and of those, 5,375 were two pages. In the next round of evaluations, 74% used the two-page format. The results held for both management and entry-level positions.

Take this study for what it’s worth. Padding your résumé will serve no purpose; all your information must be relevant, concise, and clear. If it takes two pages to show your skills and experience, don’t hold back. However, don’t go onto a third page. TMI.

 

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Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Year

As each year comes to a close, the various dictionary companies present their “words of the year,” based on how often those words were looked up.

The 2018 Word of the Year for Merriam-Webster is JUSTICE. I wondered why this particular word was so frequently looked up, as it’s one most people would be familiar with. Merriam-Webster’s guess is because the Department of Justice was cited so often this past year because of Robert Mueller’s investigation into Trump’s dealings with the Russians. Now it remains to be seen whether justice will be served.

In case you were wondering (and even if you weren’t), here is what Wikipedia has to say about the Merriam brothers and Noah Webster:

  • In 1828, George and Charles Merriam founded the company as G & C Merriam Co. in Springfield, Massachusetts. In 1843, after Noah Webster died, the company bought the rights to An American Dictionary of the English Language from Webster’s estate.

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Emailing Your Boss

An article in NYMag.com by Catie L’Heureux had some good tips on how to email your boss. I don’t know how L’Heureux knows this, but she says your boss gets about 500 emails a day. Even if the total is a measly 348, your boss is going to see only the first few words of your email and will make a decision on the spot whether to reply, delete, or ignore.

A good way to get her attention is to open with a question: Could we…? Do you think…? Will you confirm…? Will you please tell me whether…? Would you consider…?

You will come across as professional and, unless your boss is a descendant of Frau Blücher, she will do what she can to accommodate you. Instead of responding, “No problem” or “Sure” if she asks for your help, try answering “Of course.” You will sound glad to help. That is likely the way you want people reporting to you to sound.

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Continuous vs Continual

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These two words are not synonymous. Continuous  means an unbroken event or series of events. Continual means events that occur repeatedly but not in an unbroken period of time:

The snow fell continuously from Monday through Thursday, leaving four feet of snow over much of New England. (It never stopped snowing.)

The snow fell continually from Monday through Thursday, leaving three feet of snow over much of New England. (It snowed on and off during those four days.)

I wish I had a simple way for you to remember the difference between these two words. The only idea I can come up with is that continual is a shorter word than continuous; the snow that falls continually has breaks, so it falls for a shorter period of time. Any better suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

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