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#8195 - 02/05/10 11:22 AM Job application received in the post
Bensheim Offline


Registered: 08/16/09
Loc: UK
I have received a job application in the post today. It is from a proofreader seeking work from home.

This person has a degree in economics from one of England's finest and oldest universities (i.e., not easily achievable) and has had 21 years experience in the financial sector. All OK so far.

However, I have found seven typographical errors in her CV and another one in the covering letter.

confused

If you were seeking work as a proofreader, wouldn't you spell-check your documentation before sending it to potential employers? The computer would have picked up at least two of the errors. Eye-balling the print out would have picked up the others.

This proves what I have thought for years: Chapterhouse accreditation is worthless.


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#8207 - 02/06/10 12:20 AM Re: Job application received in the post [Re: Bensheim]
grelber Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Loc: North of 49th ||
A sad commentary and a cautionary tale for this day and age.

Bottom line: Sloppiness in presentation probably indicates more deeply rooted problems, but in any case the presentation certainly rules out employment as a proofreader.

Dilemma: Should you advise the applicant of the issue? To do so might inflict the incompetent on others who would then suffer the consequences.

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#8209 - 02/06/10 02:59 AM Re: Job application received in the post [Re: Bensheim]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
> "Chapterhouse accreditation"

???

My years as a Certified Public (Chartered, in your terms) Accountant taught me that a significant percentage of those who pass what is reputed to be the most difficult licensing exam in America cannot count past twenty unless they are standing in front of a urinal.

So much for degrees and certification/accreditation!
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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#8216 - 02/06/10 07:31 AM Re: Job application received in the post [Re: artie505]
Gregg Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Milwaukee, WI (USA)
Originally Posted By: artie505

My years as a Certified Public (Chartered, in your terms) Accountant taught me that a significant percentage of those who pass what is reputed to be the most difficult licensing exam in America ...


What! How long is the exam?

Maybe every profession makes that claim (The Bar) but I'll wait for your response before playing my trump card.

So many people can't write properly these days that we're in danger of not being able to field enough teachers who can properly instruct writing courses. In fact, perhaps we've already reached that stage.

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#8223 - 02/06/10 09:51 AM Re: Job application received in the post [Re: artie505]
Bensheim Offline


Registered: 08/16/09
Loc: UK
Chapterhouse is here: http://www.chapterhousepublishing.co.uk/index.shtml

The basic proofreading course costs £195 - a pretty hefty investment. It's a modular course which I took myself out of sheer curiosity since so many job applicants state that they are Charterhouse Accredited.

The first module I sent back contained two errors. I was awarded an A+ grade. confused The second module they didn't mark confused and the third and final module was absurd. It was a 10-page document containing about 195 typographical errors. Had this been Real Life, the typesetter was either drunk or completely incompetent and should have been fired. IMHO. I missed two out of 195 errors and was awarded a C- and no accreditation.

Since their marking standards are so inconsistent, their modules so laughably unrealistic, and their claims that students with their accreditation can earn up to £24/hour which I also dispute, I have since taken a squinty eye at anyone who claims on their CV to have passed the course.

Here is a sample line from the candidate's CV, typed here exactly as it appears in her letter. There are four mistakes in this line alone.

1977.1982 9 Grade 'A' O'levels

(for clarity, the next line which also contains an error, is:
1982.1984 4 A Levels)

I am also surprised to learn that freelance proofreaders can (attempt to) charge by the hour. If they are very slow indeed, it could take him/her an hour to read a single page?

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#8241 - 02/07/10 01:34 AM Re: Job application received in the post [Re: Gregg]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: artie505

My years as a Certified Public (Chartered, in your terms) Accountant taught me that a significant percentage of those who pass what is reputed to be the most difficult licensing exam in America ...

> What! How long is the exam?

(The current exam differs from the one I took in various respects including:
  • Increased educational requirements for applicants;
  • A substantially larger and more complex body of knowledge on which appplicants are tested;
  • Different exam and scoring structures.
Based on overview, rather than content, I'll guess that the exam has gotten even more difficult to pass than it used to be. [I'll spare you my personal nightmare.])

Today's date (Credit: Wikipedia): The exam, prepared by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, comprises 4 parts, totaling 14 hours over two days, taken after an applicant has completed 150 semester hours (in general and in most states) of university education.

Failed parts may be retaken, but all four parts must be passed within an 18 month window with credit for parts passed longer than 18 months ago expiring.

> Maybe every profession makes that claim (The Bar) but I'll wait for your response before playing my trump card.

The legal profession is the easiest one with which to draw a comparison, because many individuals sit for both the Bar and CPA exams, and every attorney with whom I've ever discussed the matter has told me, based on either real-life experience or anecdotal reports, that the CPA exam is the more difficult (far more difficult, in fact) of the two.

As for other professions, it's more difficult, perhaps even impossible, to draw comparisons, but I'll say that, at the least, the mystique of the CPA exam seems to have crossed professional boundaries with the result that those in all professions (those with whom I've spoken, anyhow) give it the "difficulty crown."

I can't begin to guess how you'll trump that, but play your cards! smile

> So many people can't write properly these days that we're in danger of not being able to field enough teachers who can properly instruct writing courses. In fact, perhaps we've already reached that stage.

Don't that be the trewth! frown mad


Edited by artie505 (02/07/10 02:00 AM)
Edit Reason: Cleanup
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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#8247 - 02/07/10 10:06 AM Re: Job application received in the post [Re: artie505]
Gregg Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Milwaukee, WI (USA)
Originally Posted By: artie505
[quote=artie505]
The exam, prepared by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, comprises 4 parts, totaling 14 hours over two days, taken after an applicant has completed 150 semester hours (in general and in most states) of university education.

I can't begin to guess how you'll trump that, but play your cards! smile


Piece of cake! The architectural licensing exam I took lasted over a 4 day period, was comprised of at least 7 sections (maybe 8) for a total of 24 hours, 12 of which were on the final day. In those days, you had to bring your own drafting board and equipment. The grading, especially on the site design and 12-hour two-story building exam, was very subjective. A small percentage of geniuses passed everything on the first try. I don't know how the exam is administered now, but in those days, it was the most difficult and onerous professional exam on the planet, bar none! I suspect that it still is.

There was no educational requirement in those days. You could use school for some of the "years of experience" needed to sit for the torture, but if you'd worked for a licensed architect for 5 years, that was enough. I doubt that many without a degree ever passed.

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#8248 - 02/07/10 10:29 AM Re: Job application received in the post [Re: Gregg]
Bensheim Offline


Registered: 08/16/09
Loc: UK
That's all very interesting, guys, but can anyone else spot the four typographical errors which I posted further up this thread? (no. 8223)?

She hasn't replied. I can't think why. You'd have thought a potential proofreader would be glad to have their error-littered presentation critiqued, wouldn't you? wink


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#8250 - 02/07/10 10:38 AM Re: Job application received in the post [Re: Bensheim]
grelber Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Loc: North of 49th ||
RE 1977.1982 9 Grade 'A' O'levels

The only errors I can pick up are:
. instead of – (although sometimes, at least in North America, such as in telephone numbers, the space and hyphen can be replaced with period [full stop], eg 800.555.5555).
Spacing after O.
Single quote mark after O.
If there's a fourth error, it must be peculiar/particular to stylesheets in the UK relating to this information which is 'foreign' to North American audiences.

The corrected line would then read: 1977-1982 9 Grade 'A' O levels
(which would be error-free from a North American perspective which knows nothing of "levels", O or otherwise).

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#8255 - 02/07/10 11:25 AM Re: Job application received in the post [Re: Bensheim]
jchuzi Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: New York State
Originally Posted By: Bensheim
That's all very interesting, guys, but can anyone else spot the four typographical errors which I posted further up this thread? (no. 8223)?

She hasn't replied. I can't think why. You'd have thought a potential proofreader would be glad to have their error-littered presentation critiqued, wouldn't you? wink
That should be her or his/her. wink
Instead, you could have made "proofreader" plural and then done the same to "presentation".
_________________________
Jon

OS 10.14.6, iMac Retina 5K 27-inch, late 2014, 3.5 GHz Intel Core i5, 1 TB fusion drive, 16 GB RAM, Epson SureColor P600, Photoshop CC, Lightroom CC, MS Office 365

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#8260 - 02/07/10 12:35 PM Re: Job application received in the post [Re: Bensheim]
alternaut Offline

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
The sentence you present for correction is difficult for those (including myself) not familiar with British High School level education, the way it is graded and presented in a CV. From what I understand, Advanced and Ordinary Level (A- and O-levels; hyphen optional but recommended) Certificates of Education are comparable to US High School 'diplomas' given per subject, a certain number of which are required to complete High School or to ensure access to University education.

Individual A-levels are graded on an A-E scale, with an O-level pass between grades E and F (Fail). I'm not sure if O-levels themselves had a similar A-E grade range, as suggested in your example. But if such a grade range exists, I would modify (in red) Grelber's version as follows:

1977-1982: 9 Grade 'A' O-levels, where you perhaps could drop the quotes around the A.

Originally Posted By: Bensheim
I am also surprised to learn that freelance proofreaders can (attempt to) charge by the hour. If they are very slow indeed, it could take him/her an hour to read a single page?

This is not all that strange if you think about it: just as with translating or editing, the subject matter can make things harder on the person doing the work. That said, hourly rates are usually accompanied by the number or range of pages of average difficulty completed, as well as by an offer of a more specific estimate of the hours needed for a particular job after examination.
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#8266 - 02/07/10 03:34 PM Re: Job application received in the post [Re: jchuzi]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: jchuzi
Originally Posted By: Bensheim
That's all very interesting, guys, but can anyone else spot the four typographical errors which I posted further up this thread? (no. 8223)?

She hasn't replied. I can't think why. You'd have thought a potential proofreader would be glad to have their error-littered presentation critiqued, wouldn't you? wink
That should be her or his/her. wink
Instead, you could have made "proofreader" plural and then done the same to "presentation".

An old MFIF or FTM thread addressed that very issue, Jon; it included at least one link that pointed to documentation of the appropriateness of "their" as Bensheim used it. (This Wikipedia article is not the linked doc I remember, but it deals with the subject.
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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#8269 - 02/07/10 04:47 PM Re: Job application received in the post [Re: Bensheim]
macnerd10 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Is it like this:
1977-1982 9 grade A 0-levels.
1982-1984 4 A levels?
But I agree that for non-British folks it may be a professional lingo that very few if any know for sure.
_________________________
Alex
3.1 GHz 13" MacBook Pro 2015, 8 GB RAM, OS 10.11.2, Office 2011, TimeWarner Cable
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#8271 - 02/07/10 11:36 PM Re: Job application received in the post [Re: Gregg]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Now you mention it, I do remember the architectural exam having been described as terribly physically demanding, and you've certainly confirmed that aspect of it, but I do not remember it ever having been described as more demanding either required body-of-knowledge or content-wise than the CPA exam which, I can assure you, is nowhere near a "piece of cake!" (I will, however, forgive the professional pride and exuberance displayed by your dismissing it so lightly.)

Hmmm... On second thought, there's a legendary X-mas fruitcake that's been passed from member to member of one CA family for the last 30 years or so without ever having been opened...

(Aside: I took one semester of architectural drawing in high school, and the part of it I remember as being difficult was getting the india ink to flow on the tracing velum. Aaargh!!!)
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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#8272 - 02/07/10 11:40 PM Re: Job application received in the post [Re: Bensheim]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
> She hasn't replied. I can't think why.

It's only been a coupl'a days, and it's the weekend, to boot; I suppose she's still proofreading her response.
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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#8274 - 02/08/10 04:58 AM Re: Job application received in the post [Re: jchuzi]
dboh Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
I'd have written "…would be glad to receive a critique of an error-littered presentation." I don't know that you need the possessive at all. Or since she knows the gender of the applicant, it's okay to use either his or her.

Using periods instead of hyphens is more of a presentation choice than an error. It's become pretty common here (to the point of being mundane) to use them in telephone numbers.


Edited by dboh (02/08/10 05:01 AM)

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#8276 - 02/08/10 05:39 AM Re: Job application received in the post [Re: artie505]
Gregg Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Milwaukee, WI (USA)
Originally Posted By: artie505
Now you mention it, I do remember the architectural exam having been described as terribly physically demanding, and you've certainly confirmed that aspect of it, but I do not remember it ever having been described as more demanding either required body-of-knowledge or content-wise than the CPA exam which, I can assure you, is nowhere near a "piece of cake!" (I will, however, forgive the professional pride and exuberance displayed by your dismissing it so lightly.)


Tongue firmly in cheek, of course! I'm sure that the CPA exam is difficult, but as to the "body-of-knowledge" aspect, consider that many Bachelor of Arts architectural degrees are of five-year duration. I think a Bachelor's in Accounting would only take four, no matter where you go. I am I right? I once had a professor who was fond of saying that architects must take great pains to not be sued. He said you'd get before a judge who would say "It says right here that you're supposed to know all there is to know about everything." The licensing exam covers Materials, Building Technology, Engineering (three branches), History, some aspects of Law, Planning, and Design. Although the engineering sections are not as in-depth as the P.E. exam, I'd say that's sufficiently broad!

And as to the proof-reading exercise, as others have said, most of us here are not British, and therefore have little familiarity with the specifics of the example. And, we are in the Lounge! smile

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#8278 - 02/08/10 10:59 AM Re: Job application received in the post [Re: jchuzi]
Bensheim Offline


Registered: 08/16/09
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: jchuzi
Originally Posted By: Bensheim
That's all very interesting, guys, but can anyone else spot the four typographical errors which I posted further up this thread? (no. 8223)?

She hasn't replied. I can't think why. You'd have thought a potential proofreader would be glad to have their error-littered presentation critiqued, wouldn't you? wink
That should be her or his/her. wink
Instead, you could have made "proofreader" plural and then done the same to "presentation".


You are probably right, but I am writing/chatting on a messageboard, not submitting credentials for future employment: a different context. I don't submit what I write here to the same rules which I employ when writing/proofreading/copy-editing at work.

(It is interesting but pointless to note that proofreading is all one word, but copy-editing is hyphenated, for instance.)


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#8280 - 02/08/10 11:21 AM Re: Job application received in the post [Re: Bensheim]
grelber Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Loc: North of 49th ||
RE (It is interesting but pointless to note that proofreading is all one word, but copy-editing is hyphenated, for instance.)

If you think that's a tad weird, check out the stylesheet (aka style sheet) of The New York Times which dehyphenates virtually all generally hyphenated combinations, but still insists on periods in abbreviations and acronyms such as PIN, FBI, etc.

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#8281 - 02/08/10 11:38 AM Re: Job application received in the post [Re: alternaut]
Bensheim Offline


Registered: 08/16/09
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: alternaut
The sentence you present for correction is difficult for those (including myself) not familiar with British High School level education, the way it is graded and presented in a CV. From what I understand, Advanced and Ordinary Level (A- and O-levels; hyphen optional but recommended) Certificates of Education are comparable to US High School 'diplomas' given per subject, a certain number of which are required to complete High School or to ensure access to University education.

Individual A-levels are graded on an A-E scale, with an O-level pass between grades E and F (Fail). I'm not sure if O-levels themselves had a similar A-E grade range, as suggested in your example. But if such a grade range exists, I would modify (in red) Grelber's version as follows:

1977-1982: 9 Grade 'A' O-levels, where you perhaps could drop the quotes around the A.



To Alt and McNerd and others

Noting en passant that since so many people here are American I don't know if it's worth my while typing a summary of what happened to UK education since the mid 1980s; and being cognisant that since I had a proper education in the l960s I am clearly "old school" and very old fashioned indeed, here goes anyway.

When I was a child there was a rigorous examination taken at Primary School at age 11. This was called the 11+. If you passed you went to Grammar School and spent the next five years studying for GCE O Levels. If you failed the 11+ you went to a Secondary Modern and spent the next five years studying for CSEs. A mark of CSEs was that, a grade 1 CSE (top score) was the equivalent to a grade 6 (near-fail) GCE O Level.

This system was deemed too difficult for 11+ failures and too elitist. The entire Grammar School selection process was deemed "too hard". The Government prevailing at that time swept away years of "elitism" and introduced the GCSEs - an amalgam of the two previous certification standards. At a stroke they made the new examinations nearly unfailable.

Fact: students today doing GCSEs at age 16 are taking examinations which are easier than the previous 11+ taken at the age of 11. That is the extent to which educational standards and certification have declined in the UK in the last 20 years.

It's the same with degrees. There used to be Universities which were difficult to get into - you had to prove academic ability - and Technical Colleges which provided more employment-orientated skills training. Now, all the former Technical Colleges call themselves Universities and "degrees" are handed out like sweetie-papers. (Excepting those from still rigorously selecting ones like Oxford and Cambridge, for instance, I hope and assume.)

In short, education in this country has all gone down the drain in the name of so-called "fairness". It is not fair to anyone especially employers, now. A candidate with 9 A** GCSEs is competing with everyone else with the same level of so-called achievement. I don't blame the kids and in a way I feel sorry for them. Two entire generations of schoolchildren have had any sense of attainment stripped away - if everyone is equal (which is patently untrue) then no-one has achieved anything. "When everyone is somebody, then no one's anybody."

None of this addresses the letter I received last week which contained several typographical errors, which at first amused and then depressed me. If someone from a good University with a proper degree followed by several years in the financial industry has not the rigour to proofread her own submission then it deserves to be thrown into the bin. Instead, I wrote back, attempting to be helpful. I don't think I will get a reply: it was probably interpreted as sarcasm, which it was not.

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