Friday, April 22, 2011
Your Career and You: "I Appericate It"
Nope...not my typo. Belongs to a student (graduating senior, I might add) who asked me if I would be so kind as to provide a reference on LinkedIn.
And for those of you who wonder why I take great pleasure in banging my head against cement walls...
It seems like I've been on this rant forever...it definitely (or defiantly according, apparently, to some students' versions of SpellCheck) feels that way to me!
And I've now taught at five Boston-area colleges, finally landing at Curry College where I head up the public relations concentration and teach most of the undergrad PR courses. I also teach, though, graduate communication courses at Regis College...similar problems lurk there as well.
But I can't let go. Not when I get something like this: I was wondering if you could write me a recommendation for Lindkin? If you can that would be great I appericate it alot!
Not all requests made of me are of this caliber. Most are actually professional-looking; a few not so much.
I keep telling my young disciples, "Attention to detail is a defining characteristic of a professional communicator."
I've seen water slide off a duck's back slower than this advice is ignored.
Then I had the pleasure of reviewing a student's resume this afternoon. He had already had it vetted by two different faculty members, neither of whom caught the error in his 15-word-total address block at the top.
I don't know where their minds were during the resume review process...don't want to go down that alleyway!
But the question remains: "When are you ("student") going to learn how to write properly? What do I need to do to get your attention as you're preparing to enter the professional world and your cover letter and resume are going to be your initial introduction?"
I'm tired of hearing the banalities like "Well, you need to understand that they grew up texting and Facebooking... grammar, punctuation, and spelling haven't been a part of their formative years."
To use a quote from 4077 M*A*S*H (one of my all-time favorite TV programs) Commander Colonel Sherman T. Potter: "Bull-hockey."
As the communication profession continues to evolve, certain factors remain unchanged, among them "accuracy of information."
Ivy Lee, arguably one of the "Fathers of Public Relations," had this to say in his Declaration of Principles: "In brief, our plan is...frankly, and openly, on behalf of business concerns and public institutions, to supply...accurate information concerning subjects which it is of value and interest to the public to know about." (This was 1906, folks.)
Telling me you "appericate" my help doesn't cut it.
"I was working on the proof of one of my poems all the morning, and took out a comma. In the afternoon, I put it back again." - Oscar Wilde [1854-1900]