Tips

Editing isn’t important….right? by Melinda Anderson

I have just spent three hours helping my husband to study for a General Painting Contractors License to cover certain states in the midwest. The experience has been highly entertaining and informative. In fact, it has been so entertaining that I have chosen to share a few of the questions from the practice tests he has been studying. Let’s start with something very basic such as extra words.

“What should aluminum be wiped with what after weathering?”

Now, you might have quickly read this question and your eyes may have stumbled but you got the gist of the question. You might have even read it agin just to make sure. However, let’s pretend for five minutes that you have a reading disability. You might read this question like this:

“What should aluminum be wiped with what? After weathering.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I have made several errors just like this one. Writing is not perfect, however, the author of this question could have taken at least 5 seconds to read the question thereby discovering the extra word.

Most of the questions are the standard multiple choice with one or two answers. This next example is confusing because the sentence has blank spaces for two answers but only one is needed.

“A HEPA sanding abatement method removes _____________ and _________________ coating.”

( ) lead based
( ) epoxy based
( ) primer based
( ) none of the above”

I read this and I automatically assumed that two answers are needed because there are two blank spaces. I quickly scanned my choices looking for one with two answers. I expected something like ( ) lead and epoxy based or ( ) both 1 and 2.  As you can see, there is not a selection with two answers. I reread the question and looked at the answers again. I quickly realized that someone had made a mistake and no one had caught it.

I don’t want this post to be longer than necessary so let me sum up the rest of the errors really quick, missing articles, misused prepositions, conflicting information, and misused punctuation. These are just the common errors that I, a lowly technical writer, discovered in three hours while helping my husband study.

These materials are supposed to be designed to help a student learn. However, errors like these only confuse a student and make the learning process even more difficult.

I guess whoever wrote these materials did not consider the student’s need. After all, why bother editing if you don’t care about your audience.

By Melinda Anderson

Five Things You Don’t Need To Include On Your Resume From Forbes

Five things you don’t need to include on your resume

This article has some great tips if you are starting to job hunt with the new year. However, I have a few more tips to add.

Keep your resume to one page. I cannot emphasize this enough. You have about ten seconds to impress whoever is reviewing the resumes. They do not have time to read a 2 page resume. Highlight your skills that pertain to the job that you are applying for.

Your profile from social media sites should not be included unless your profile contains parts of your portfolio. For instance, I would include my LinkedIn profile but not my personal Facebook profile. What I do on my free time socially is none of my employers business.

Your resume is a reflection of your skills not a fashion show. Unless, you are applying for a profession that is based on looks such as modeling or hair styling, do not include a picture of yourself.

Most important have fun, it is your resume. It is a reflection of your skills and your personality. If the company likes what you have to offer, they will contact you.

Good Luck and Happy New Year!

How to Prioritize When Everything Is a Priority by Greg McKeown

I am constantly pulled in different directions. Usually, I say yes to every request that comes my way. I try to do everything whether it is business or personal and I find myself in a mass of nerves crying in a corner. Figuratively people not literally.

I have had to realize that I cannot do everything for everyone. I have had to learn to delegate and trust others do the task that I have assigned them. So far this has worked out. I am not a bundle of nerves and things get done a lot of faster; sometimes, even better than I could have done them.

My problem comes when I am prioritizing. With two business to manage, I constantly think every thing needs to done right now. Greg McKeown has some great tips in his article How to Prioritize When Everything is a Priority that I plan to use starting today.

How To Tell Your People They’re Worthless by Paul LaRue

How To Tell People They’re Worthless

I saw the title of the this article on Linked In and thought what the hell. I decided to read it and see what it was about.

It is about having high standards for employees but not supporting or encouraging the employees to reach for those standards. I have worked at companies who have developed this attitude through lack of leadership and lack of communication. It seems I always land at places that need help with communication but they have no desire to change. The ship is sinking, its not their company, why fix it?

Any business or company is a a small backdrop to a bigger picture. The employees of that company have families that they support who are in turn supporting local business. Without, your business or company, the local economy in your community suffers. You say why fix it? I say I am ready for the challenge to keep people employed and communities strong.

Sometimes this doesn’t always work, the ship will change direction or it will sink. However, the point is your attitude, whether a leader or just an employee, determines if your company or business succeeds or fails.

By Melinda Anderson