Editorial: Alabama accent

The following is an editorial from FOX6 WBRC-TV General Manager Lou Kirchen, first aired on Tuesday, March 16, 2010:

The way you speak…the skill of clearly expressing your thoughts in writing…your ability to understand what you read…does all of that really matter in the real world?  Can it affect how you are perceived by others?  

Unemployment in Alabama just topped 11%.  Lots of folks are competing for jobs.  Yes, if you are looking for a job, how you present yourself…how your resume and letter of introduction are written…how effectively you communicate during an interview….your ability to comprehend and use written  training materials…any or all of these can determine whether you get the job and keep it… or not.

I grew up in West Virginia, affectionately called the land of the "hillbilly"…a state not known for educational excellence.  But I had a mother who, from the time I was a toddler, stressed the importance of language… of using whole words…including the INGs, of learning and using the correct tense of verbs, of practicing writing and spelling, the importance of reading challenging books with a dictionary at my side.  

Does it sound old fashioned to you?  Perhaps.  You may be very smart and have the best work ethic.  You may be the perfect person for the job.   But, depending upon how you present yourself, your potential employer may never understand that.  Prepare before you apply.  Have someone who knows how to spell AND write, read your letter and resume before you send it.  Think about how you will introduce yourself and what you will say at the interview.

Perhaps all that don't…uh… doesn't…matter.  I think it does.  What do you think?

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