Recruiters prefer candidates to show a focus in their job applications.
Do we need “a” here? What would change if “a” were removed?
After all “focus” is both countable and uncountable noun.
Some dictionaries list it as uncountable, but still use indefinite article before it:
- uncountable noun If you say that something has a focus, you mean that you can see a purpose in it. Somehow, though, their latest album has a focus that the others have lacked. Suddenly all of the seemingly isolated examples took on a meaningful focus.”
The sentence comes from “Objective IELTS advanced” (Test folder 10: listening).
Recording script: “…Most recruiters well be uneasy if you’ve applied for jobs as varied as an accountant, a teacher and a sales executive: they’ll suspect that you lack the necessary focus, and they won’t expect you to be interested enough in the work, or determined enough to succeed. …”
Sentence completion task: “Recruiters prefer candidates to show a focus in their job applications.”