Grammar Tips for Resume Writing

  • Spell check your document! Candidates can be eliminated from consideration based on one spelling error. MAKE SURE your spelling is correct and that you have utilized appropriate and consistent use of periods, commas and semi-colons.

  • First-person pronouns: Do not use first-person pronouns (I or we) in your resume. The reader knows it is about you.

  • Shifts in tense: Make sure you are using the correct tense when describing your responsibilities. Use the present tense for a job you are currently performing, and past tense for jobs you worked in the past.

  • Abbreviations: Do not use abbreviations or acronyms in your resume; they are informal and are not universally understood.

  • Complex sentences: Use simple, succinct sentences. Do not use run on or complex sentences. Try to eliminate extraneous details and divide accomplishments into separate statements.

  • Use of apostrophes: Make sure you are using apostrophes correctly. A common misuse of apostrophes happens when trying to make words plural. (e.g. “managed employee’s.” The apostrophe is not needed in the word “employees” in this case because it is a plural and not a possessive word.

  • Possessives vs. contractions: A common grammar mistake is the confusion between possessive words and words that are contractions of two other words. An example of this is your, which is possessive, and you’re, which is a contraction of you and are. (Another remind to have someone else review your resume so details like these are noticed and addressed!)

  • Fragments: A fragment is an incomplete sentence. Instead of writing, “Which I had worked on,” try, “I worked on the project,” or, “The project on which I worked,” to eliminate the fragment sentence.

  • Start with action verbs: When articulating what you have accomplished, start the sentence with an action verb. For example, if you led a project, try: “Coordinated,” “Executed,” or “Orchestrated.” Or, if you saved the company time and money, try: “Consolidated,” “Decreased,” or “Reconciled.”



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