Perhaps it’s the English nerd in me, but this is one of my biggest pet peeves in terms of misuse of the English language. So many people speak the phrase “I could care less” in the wrong context, assuming it is correct because that is how they have heard it used in the past. But let’s take a closer look at this statement.
Most of the time, people should be stating “I couldn’t care less.” They use the phrase above to indicate that the degree to which they care is so small, that it could not possibly be any less, which is to say that they don’t care at all.
Let’s briefly look at this in math terms. Assume for a moment that you are a sports nut and the last thing that you care about in the world is reading a book. On a scale of 0 to 100, your level of caring about sports is around a 95 while your level of caring about reading a book is an absolute 0.
If you’re reading this and realizing that you’ve been using this phrase incorrectly until now, I forgive you. Go ahead and forgive yourself too. Part of fixing the problem is admitting that you have one in the first place.
But please make sure you DO fix it. I couldn’t care MORE about you doing this. (See what I did there?) Every time you hear yourself start to say “I could care less,” think about my example above and make sure that’s what you mean. If it’s accurate, go for it. But if you really mean that you can’t care any less, then say that instead. Share your new found insight with your friends and once they see it, they’ll think you’re a genius…or maybe just an English nerd.
Is any of this easy? Not really. But keep in mind that you may end up working at your new job for many years. You want to make sure that it’s a positive experience and that you’re not the one posting rants on Facebook once a week because you’ve had “another one of those days.”
By checking things out ahead of time, you will know if the company is a good fit for you.
Writing is hard. Anyone who has ever sat down at a computer (or typewriter or blank sheet of paper) knows that it can be a daunting task to set your ideas down in writing. Because of the difficulty of the task, many people often fall back on comfortable words and phrases to help them get by.
One step to fine tuning your writing is to figure out what words you rely on when you don’t know what else to say, find them in your writing and eliminate them. Here are three common ones that I have seen in writing:
Poor Miss Teen South Carolina (Caitlin Upton) didn't have the benefit of being able to write down her statement and see how silly it looks/sounds. Anyone listening to her response and having even the slightest knowledge of the English language would be appalled. That’s why I highly recommend reading your writing out loud. By verbalizing the text, you will be able to hear things that are repetitive and may not sound as good as when you wrote them.
Of course, you literally could just such as ignore my advice…
Would you leave home on a road trip without any idea where you're going? Of course not. How about flying a plane without a flight plan? Never. Whenever you travel, even if it's just a short trip to the store, you probably have an objective.
It should be no different with your career.
I have heard some people infer that objective statements are no longer useful and that employers don't look at them. I tend to disagree.
The objective statement in your résumé tells recruiters and interviewers exactly what your goal is. Having a great objective statement to start your résumé can make sure someone takes the time to actually read the rest of your résumé.
This can also be a drawback if your objective statement is generic and doesn't have anything to do with the job for which you have applied. Make sure that if you are including an objective statement in your résumé, you tailor it to the job. I have discussed carbon copy résumés here and here and the same rule applies to the objective statement.
The more you can tailor your résumé to specific jobs, the more it will be noticed.
Jonathan Ytreberg is the owner of Best Word Forward, committed to providing the best resume advice and services to clients around the globe.