5 Resume Grammar Mistakes that Can Cost You the Job

5 Resume Grammar Mistakes that Can Cost You the Job

Your resume is your introduction to potential employers. It's the first impression you make, and it helps determine whether you’ll get the opportunity to meet hiring agents face to face. If you want to get a foot in the door for your dream job, you'll need to make sure your resume is polished and professional. Unfortunately, there are a number of resume grammar mistakes that tend to trip up even the most diligent of writers. Here are some pitfalls to be wary of when writing your resume.



 Homophones are words that sound the same, but have different spellings and meanings. Common ones include "two", "too" and "to", as well as "their", "they're" and "there." It's easy to miss these similar words in a spell check, as the spelling isn't the problem. The problem is the misuse of the word, which can only be caught by an informed reader. Be sure to proofread your resume with intention in order to catch errors of this kind. In fact, having a friend look it over is usually a safe bet, especially if you know that grammar is not your strong point. You don't want interviewers to think you simply lack attention to detail.

 Possessives vs. Contractions 

One of the most annoying resume grammar mistakes made by job seekers is the confusion between words of possession and words that are simply contractions of two other words. Here's an example. The word "your" is a possessive. It describes something belonging to "you." However, the word "you're" is a contraction of the words "you" and "are," and it implies action rather than possession. Confusing these two kinds of words gives the impression that you are not the most well-educated candidate for the job.

 Poor Use of Apostrophes 

Along these lines is the use of the apostrophe. Occasionally, people will throw in an unnecessary apostrophe, such as in words they may intend to make plural. One such common error is when stating, "supervised staff of 10 employee's." There is no need to insert an apostrophe in the word "employees" because it is used as a plural in this instance, not as a possessive word. This one seems straightforward, but it's seen far more often than it should be seen on resumes.

 Subject-Verb Agreement 

When writing sentences for your resume, pay special attention that the subject matches the verb in number and person. This kind of an error is usually an easily-made, careless slip-up, but it's also one that can be avoided through simple proofreading out loud. You'll hear whether you may have added an unnecessary "s" to a first-person singular verb when you might overlook the mistake simply by reading it silently.

 Inconsistent Tense 

When writing a resume, you want to use the past tense when talking about previous jobs or positions you no longer hold. When referring to your current position, you can use the present tense. And be sure to stick with the correct tense throughout the resume. Switching from terms like "work" and "worked" haphazardly throughout the resume without rhyme or reason looks unprofessional and sloppy. It's a sign you may not take pride in the work you put out. 

If you want to avoid these common resume grammar mistakes, we welcome you to use our resume review service. It's an inexpensive way to receive an expert resume critique and to be sure simple grammatical errors don't cost you a chance at a fabulous career. 

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