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Taking Care of Business
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Old August 4th, 2009, 06:52 PM   #16
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<sigh...>
We're all saying the same thing, but in different ways. When applying for a job, you put your best foot forward. Mike's guy had great people skills so he got hired. Jacques' actress was irresponsible in replying, so she didn't. Neither had anything to do with the actual skills of the job required but everyone extrapolated based upon what was presented to make their decisions.

You'd be hard-pressed to find a hiring manager who applauds functional illiteracy because it, rightly or wrongly, might imply a lack of seriousness or ability in other areas.
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Originally Posted by Jacques E. Bouchard View Post
You left out the part where I said she was a great speller...If it stands to reason that spelling didn't make her a good candidate, then it follows that it couldn't make her a bad one either.
No, you mentioned her grammar, not her spelling. But at any rate it doesn't follow; it's not symmetrical. While good spelling doesn't necessarily make someone a good candidate because it doesn't necessarily mean they are good at anything else, bad spelling does in fact make someone a bad candidate because it does imply that they are careless in other ways. Or, taken another way, maybe her impeccable grammar made her a good candidate at first until you discovered she was irresponsible in other ways, like never replying to email. Neither of those had anything to do with her acting ability, which by your logic is all you should have looked at and hired her regardless of everything else she demonstrated. But at least not having any howling clunkers in your resume or cover letter keeps you in the "maybe" pile rather than the trash.

My only point -- and I'll say this one more time -- is why get yourself eliminated even before the interview?

Last edited by Adam Gold; August 4th, 2009 at 07:23 PM.
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Old August 4th, 2009, 11:52 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Adam Gold View Post
Jacques' actress was irresponsible in replying, so she didn't. Neither had anything to do with the actual skills of the job required.
Her skill was showing up on time for the shoot. Someone who doesn't seem to care enough about the role in the first place to answer my repeated requests for a headshot for my publicity material does not reassure me she'll be on time (or there, even).

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No, you mentioned her grammar, not her spelling.
You're grabbing at straws.

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Originally Posted by Adam Gold View Post
While good spelling doesn't necessarily make someone a good candidate because it doesn't necessarily mean they are good at anything else, bad spelling does in fact make someone a bad candidate because it does imply that they are careless in other ways.
I have to stop you right here and quote from one of your initial posts where you say PRECISELY that good spelling makes someone a good candidate:

"Holding high standards means only that you will always have satisfied customers because you are always insistent on going the extra mile for them."

For all of her "high standards" in grammar, the actress failed to go the extra mile - or the standard mile, for that matter. Your theory dictates that her "careless" character should have adversely affected her grammar. It didn't.

A theory that proves true only some of the time is not a valid theory.

You're peddling phrenology here, son. Put the calipers away.

I'm done with this thread.


J.
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Old August 5th, 2009, 07:45 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Jacques E. Bouchard View Post
You're grabbing at straws.
Adam is right; there's a distinct difference between grammar and spelling skills. I'm slightly better than average at spelling, but I wish I was as good at grammar, it's quite a challenge. I can never remember the semi-colon rule, for example.
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Old August 5th, 2009, 11:49 AM   #19
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I wish I was as good at grammar, it's quite a challenge.
Technically, that comma should have been a semicolon ;->.
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Old August 5th, 2009, 01:33 PM   #20
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Must... fight... urge... to... reply.. before...Chris...closes... thread... aaarrrggghhh.... can... not... resist....

As anyone who has read this thread from the beginning can see, I've struggled mightily to keep my posts on topic and not resort to the type of thinly-veiled personal attacks aimed at me. Vigorous debate is good and healthy and I know I get really passionate about what I believe, and I still think the bottom line here is that, if you are trying to break into the business as someone with little or no experience, there is no way that following my advice can possibly hurt you, and there is no conceivable way that following advice to the contrary can help.

After close to 30 years in the Business, I'm on the downward slope of my career bell-curve and I like it that way. I spent most of my career in LA and NY as a reasonably upper-level executive at really big networks and studios. I wasn't the drive-a-Jaguar-and-do-blow-off-the-chests-of-hookers guy, but as a department head I reported to the guy who was. Now I'm comfortably semi-retired in my little country house outside of Seattle and I do occasional consulting for some of my former colleagues, bosses, employees and students.

During my time in LA, I taught a UCLA class in building a career in the entertainment business, because while the film school there had plenty of courses on how to be an artist, there was nothing on how to get a job. My class was one of the most popular ones they offered; it was constantly over-enrolled by a factor of about 100%, and I got some of the highest evals ever recorded, according to the administration. My lecture on the first night was deliberately calculated to get people to drop the class by being brutally honest and somewhat cynical about the business and the people in it, and we still usually had to move to a bigger room. We had guest lecturers from every facet of the business, from HR to entry-level mailroom folks to Network and Studio presidents.

Did they all say that spelling counts? Of course not. But the one thing that we heard over and over again was that you must do everything possible to stand out -- in a good way -- from all your competition until you have a track record to prove yourself. After that, your record speaks for itself and you can come to work wearing flip-flops, refuse to shower and eat nothing but Hershey bars if you want. But until then, you must be perfect.

Odds are, you won't meet someone who is as big a stickler for punctuation as I am, but then again you might, so why take that chance? I still maintain that sloppy writing equals sloppy thinking and I know I'm not the only one who feels that way, because I had that pounded into me both at Journalism school and by my earliest bosses in the biz.

People who advise newcomers to the contrary are often just trying to eliminate competition.

To this day, I still get thank-you notes from those who took my class or worked for me, and every day I read the Hollywood trades and see my former employees and students moving up the corporate ladder or signing big production deals, and hopefully some of the advice I gave them has helped. At least, none of them has written to say, "You moron, I did just the opposite of what you said and now look how successful I am! Bwah-hah-hah!"

So, Katie, if you ever actually return to the thread you started, yes, you have a chance against the others with more experience. But pay attention to your communication skills and how you present yourself, because you never know who is watching/reading. A job offer could come from the place you least expect it.
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Old August 5th, 2009, 02:05 PM   #21
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Very well said, Adam... and a perfect way to end the thread. Many thanks,
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