Tech-Savvy Job Hunters Not So Suave in Writing; E-Mail Resumes Appall employers.(BUSINESS)
Byline: Marguerite Higgins, THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Bob Killian, president of a Chicago advertising firm, says e-mail applications he opens often come with cover letters that begin something like this: "I would like to start learning from a pronoun company and I feel as if Killian & Co. Advertising will give me the opportunity I am looking for."
Or: "But that's the past. I've given them a year of my life in a minimum-security work camp and I'm nearing work release status where I'll be for the next 15 months or so. I need to connect with open-minded people like myself. My crime was a 'nonviolent, victimless' one. I'm hoping this letter is reaching people who have or do smoke weed (and did inhale)."
Employers such as Mr. Killian say the cover letter, a candidate's introduction to a prospective boss, is losing courtesy, proper grammar and common sense as more job hunters send their resumes over the Internet.
"The Internet is as good as any other communications medium for sending job applications," said James Gonyea, a career consultant and president of Gonyea & Associates in New Port Richey, Fla.
"But a lot of younger job seekers lose professionalism in their online writing because they're comfortable with e-mail."
Kenneth Aubrey said a majority of the 12,000 online applications he and other recruiters reviewed last month at BAE Systems North America Inc., a global systems company with headquarters in Rockville, contained at least one misspelling or grammatical error.
"There's a lot of informality with sending applications over the Internet, but it makes it easier for us," said Mr. Aubrey, employment manager at the company. "A good majority of them would have a misspelling that just drives you nuts, because they're simple words - like quality and process - that college graduates should know."
Online applications have become the mode for BAE Systems and other large companies, helping job-search Internet sites such as Monster.com post 30,000 resumes daily. In October, the largest job Web site had some 16.4 million visitors, a spokesman said.
Ernie Bridges, who reads 85 to 115 cover letters a day at the Magazine Group, said candidates tend not to proofread their work when they e-mail resumes to the D. …