Work & Money briefs

Holiday office parties lose appeal

The sluggish economy is taking its toll on office parties this year. A survey released last week by Vault, an online career network in New York, found that only 56 percent of US companies are planning holiday parties. That's down from 79 percent in 2000.

The survey of 263 corporate employees found that many companies are keeping their holiday celebrations modest and much smaller in scale than in previous years.

When asked about the primary way in which their companies planned to cut costs, respondents' answers indicated:

• 31 percent of companies are holding the party at a less expensive venue than in previous years.

• 29 percent are holding the party in the office.

• 18 percent are not inviting guests of employees.

• 4 percent are opting for appetizers only in place of a company dinner.

Holiday parties evidently don't appear as attractive today as they were two years ago. The survey found that only 51 percent of employees plan to attend their company's holiday party. That's down from 88 percent in 2000.

Job recruiters list résumé 'pet peeves'

A job recruiter's life often involves evaluating hundreds of résumés a day. Whittling them down can be labor intensive. Then again, job seekers make this process easier when they send in résumés riddled with errors.

A recent survey of more than 2,500 headhunters in the US and Canada by, a résumé analyzing service, found the following Top 10 "pet peeves" among recruiters, starting with the biggest problems.

1. Spelling errors, typos, poor grammar.

2. Résumé reads like a job description and fails to explain the job seeker's accomplishments.

3. Dates not included or inaccurate.

4. Missing or inaccurate contact information or unprofessional e-mail addresses.

5. Poor formatting (boxes, templates, etc.)

6. Submitting functional résumés as opposed to chronological ones.

7. Résumés too long.

8. Long paragraphs and no bulleted points.

9. Candidates who apply for positions where they are not qualified.

10. Personal data not relevant to job.


WHAT: A service that allows consumers to register and store product warranties online. It also provides information and contacts they can use to hold manufacturers responsible for honoring the warranties.

THE BEST PARTS: You can record all relevant warranty and insurance-claim information on an easy-to-use form on your "personal page."

Consumers can choose between three types of memberships: Basic (free trial, with three warranty registrations), Premium ($9.95 per year, includes 50 registrations), and three-year Premium ($24.95, includes 150 registrations). The site also provides instant access to product recall information.

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW: While the service allows you to toss out those bulky warranty forms, save your receipts. (Most manufacturers require proof of purchase before honoring a warranty.)

The site was launched in August by Giro Inc., a division of Warranty House International, a Tulsa, Okla., company that specializes in warranty recovery for the aerospace industry.

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