April 2010  
UpWrite Press Writing eTips

Upcoming Appearances

Members of the UpWrite Press staff will be attending the 74th Annual WACTE Conference on April 22 & 23. (WACTE is the Wisconsin Association for Career & Technical Education.) For conference details, visit the WACTE Web site.

 

On May 16-19, we'll be exhibiting at the ASTD 2010 International Conference & Exposition. (ASTD is the American Society for Training and Development.) To receive a VIP pass from UpWrite Press, or to get a $150 discount on your conference registration, visit www.upwritepress.com/astd2010.

Word Pair of the Month: whose, who's

This month's word pair is part of the apostrophe conspiracy - you know, the plot to stick apostrophes where they don't belong. You see the mistake in newsletters, on billboards, and on store signs.

To keep these words straight, remember first that the apostrophe in who's signifies the missing letter i or letters ha and effectively forms the contraction of the words "who is" or "who has."

She's the one who's [who is] running for city council.

On the other hand, "whose" without the apostrophe is a possessive pronoun.

I wonder whose car was left in the parking lot.

So don't fall for the apostrophe conspiracy, like someone who's a bad grammarian. You know whose lead to follow instead.

April Writer's Forum Question

Many people are looking for jobs right now, and a lot of résumés are floating about. What is the best advice you received for creating your own résumé? Did something work especially well for you? Share your tips with our readers.

This one drew quite a few responses, most of them similar to the following. We picked the ones that made the point most directly.

Marianne Mason of Des Moines suggests keeping a variety of résumés on hand.

I am an educator, but I also work as a motivational speaker and school consultant, so I keep three different résumés at the ready. Each one focuses on one of my jobs and shares information on the other positions secondarily. Unless a person is limited to one specific field, I think everyone should tailor several résumés to assure a quick, appropriate response to the various job openings for which he or she is qualified.

Tomás Ruiz of Los Angeles suggested staying current with content.

A college counselor once suggested to me that I revise my résumé every year to keep it fresh and up-to-date whether I am looking for a job or not. It's too easy to forget some little kudos or a project that may just be the extra oomph needed to land the job of your dreams.

Lani Dawes of Battle Creek, Michigan, has seen a lot of résumés come and go, and has this to say about it:

I don't care what the law dictates or how employers deny looking at an applicant's age, ageism exists, even if subconsciously. Eliminate dates from your résumé. No one needs to know the exact years you worked, as long as you specify how long you were at each job or project. Once you get an interview they will see your age. But by then they have already been impressed by you, and if you're right for the job, you can sell yourself in person.

Luci Hong of Boston writes about the importance of your résumé format.

The placement agency I worked with emphasized readability in a résumé. That meant keeping the number of fonts to a minimum - they suggested either Ariel or Times New Roman - and using bold font only for section headings. They also suggested using bullet points to indicate different items under a heading. My favorite style is to separate the various sections, such as Experience, Education, and Awards, with a thin line. Then I keep the actual copy very simple and to the point. Following that advice, I did get several interviews with my résumé, and, finally, a great job.

Lastly, Marcus Platt of Milwaukee has this to say:

The best advice I received was to pepper my résumé with action verbs. Let prospective employers know that you can lead, generate, collaborate, foster, supervise and design. Think of your résumé as a creative-writing assignment designed to interest and intrigue a future employer. Let it sound as interesting as you are.

A Final Thought

What's your mission statement? What does it say about you and your business? Your mission statement should reflect not only your business purpose, but also your values and goals. Want an example? The following is perhaps the most impressive, if not the most important mission statement ever written.

"We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

For better or for worse, we've seen many changes in the Constitution over the past 234 years, but that mission statement still remains intact and powerful.

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Write for Business Blog

Posts so far this month include the following.

Staff Articles

Using the Right Word

Writing Rules

 

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