Letters to the Editor

What Is Wrong With This Sentence?

February 12, 2012

To the Editor:

I was delighted to read Mikita Brottman's "Spelling Matters" (The Chronicle Review, January 20). It is never easy to point out those errors one sees in a résumé, either when reviewing a draft for a friend or sitting as a member of a selection committee. You wonder if others have seen the same error, and then for a split second you wonder if it's an error at all, or if, in fact, it is you who is wrong.

When working with undergraduate students, my staff and I preach endlessly that spelling counts, grammar counts, and consistency counts in résumés. We advise students to reread their own résumé multiple times, and then ask a friend to read it, before daring to mail it to a potential employer.

I found it delicious that this piece is in the same issue as the article about Javier Jiménez's search for a tenure-track position ("At the MLA, a Ph.D. Candidate Navigates the Jobs Gantlet"). He talks about fighting back the anxiety and abdominal pains, about his jangled nerves and wobbly legs.

Can you imagine if one of those sweet faculty members in that hotel room had quietly said to him, "You know, Mr. Jiménez, the word 'dissertation' is spelled incorrectly on your résumé."

Lawrence Bliss
Academic Advising and Career Education
California State University-East Bay
Hayward, Calif.