Sunday, August 19, 2012

A Grammar Cop Throws the Book at Job Prospects

An article by iFixit CEO Kyle Wiens in The Harvard Business Review assures us that we need good grammar if we are to work for him. Mr. Wiens requires job applicants to take a grammar test, which he calls his "litmus test" in deciding whether to hire them. And he makes a good argument for us to believe that his standards are shared by many hiring managers when he writes:
Grammar signifies more than just a person's ability to remember high school English. I've found that people who make fewer mistakes on a grammar test also make fewer mistakes when they are doing something completely unrelated to writing—like stocking shelves or labeling parts. ... I hire people who care about those details. Applicants who don't think writing is important are likely to think lots of other (important) things also aren't important.

Many practical tips on grammar and usage appear in The Art of On-the-Job Writing.