Beliefnet
The Deacon's Bench

Okay. Time for a little rant. 

I’ve been sifting through resumes and cover letters from job applicants. These are from people who are already working in journalism. They are, supposedly, professional communicators.  Most have been out of school for a few years.  And this is the kind of stuff I’m reading:

My strong journalistic foundation from the University of Southern California, together with my anchoring at ABC, has polished my writing, editing and delivery skills of the news.

Or how about this:

While a cursory look at my resume may reveal a wide and varied selection of careers, further inspection will reveal a variety of experience as well as abilities suitable to many fields of endeavor.

Finally, there’s this priceless gem:

I became a broadcaster to tell motivating stories with compelling characters; something that advances our audience’s mind.

That sound you hear is my mind, boggling. 

I could go on.   But that gives you an idea of what’s out there — and what passes for acceptable prose in journalism schools and local TV stations.  

Here’s a little advice: if you’re looking for work as a reporter — a field that involves, you know, reporting and, not insignificantly, writing — take the time to have someone, anyone, look over your resume and cover letter.  (At the very least, use spellcheck.  Please.)   

Better yet: learn how to write a coherent, concise and grammatically correct English sentence before you start looking for a job that requires the ability to write.

Finally: I’m sure your parents are proud that you earned a 3.25 GPA when you graduated from college five years ago.  I’m not.  And if that fact is in the first paragraph of your cover letter, it doesn’t bode well for what follows.

There.  End of rant.  

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