Correct grammar way to first job (IANS Book Review)

July 10th, 2009 - 1:18 pm ICT by IANS  

By Madhusree Chatterjee
Book: “You’re Hired: How you get that job and keep it too”; Author: Nasha Fitter; Publisher: Penguin India-Books; Price: Rs.199

Applying for jobs, but don’t seem to hear back from prospective employers? Maybe you’re making a mistake somewhere in your application. Does your application read anything like this?

“Dear Ma’m/Sir, This is with regard to ur company posting for software engineer. Myself Dhiraj and I’m having a post-graduate in computer science and is very interested in the position. Few years back I joined similar company in Bangalore. I applied to your company last year but I didn’t get the job. Currently, looking for new opportunities becoz I am very interested. I have skill that is suited for your company…

Please revert back on the same,

Thanking you,

Dhiraj”

This is an email that a human resource manager in Mumbai received from a prospective candidate. The company promptly shot down his candidature because the application was full of errors, recounts Nasha Fitter, a teacher, entrepreneur, communication expert and soft skill trainer, in her new book “You’re Hired…”

Nasha, a graduate in business management from the Harvard Business School, is currently working for Microsoft Corporation in Redmond, Washington, where she focuses on efforts to improve education in emerging markets across India.

In her book, she reproduces copies of emails from prospective Indian candidates - mostly first-time job seekers - to suggest ways to “communicate effectively without flaws” and points out the dos and don’ts while applying for jobs either on the Internet or through detailed mobile text messages - two new formats that have captured the imagination of young India.

The book is a small-town job-hunter’s primer - the kind that applies for jobs in call centres from the hinterland “hoping to save Rs.10,000 every month from a decent pay cheque, pick up an American or British accent, brush up the English language and advance in life”.

The guide - almost school-book like in treatment - stands out for its humour.

Nasha touches upon almost every “contemporary writing and speech errors” that have crept into the English language, thanks to the ‘GenY SMS tongue’ and the “email lingo’ that hacks the humdrum “you are” to ‘u r’, thank you to ‘tks’ and replaces ‘to’ with ‘2′ - perhaps to scrimp on space, time, hourly Internet cafe fee and SMS charges.

The result is a medley of distortion of the “queen’s tongue”, “poor communication” and an instant “dislike” for the faceless candidate at the other end.

Nasha, who is credited with founding Fitter Solutions, an agency that grooms young job-hunters, also recommends remedies for “speech defects”.

“To get a good job in today’s competitive work environment, you have to be an effective communicator. Effective communication has many aspects, but the foundation is English grammar. Bad grammar is one of the reasons why HR managers reject candidates looking for jobs,” Nasha says.

The book is divided into four sections. The first section “Practical English Grammer” deals with the “grammatical grounds for rejections of candidates” and helps aspirants improve their skill with written exercises on verbs, tense, article, pronouns, uses of comparatives and superlatives and “Indianisms” — common Indian errors born of a long colonial legacy where Indians have been ‘babus’ subservient to the British ’sirs’ and poor English education in “vernacular” schools.

The second section probes pronunciation, speech and accent aberrations like defective “dah, tah and ra sounds”.

The third section deals with interpersonal communication and the fourth with “professional etiquettes” like dressing, greetings, telephone conversation and conduct at interviews.

The book is an intelligent window into the new India whose language and outlook have been honed by the three letter idiom - I luv u!

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