We've all spent hours checking over our resumes and cover letters, but sometimes a mistake slips through the cracks. An easy mistake can mean the difference between getting the interview and getting a rejection email.
In business writing, contractions (it’s) are considered less formal; however, in a resume space is limited, and it’s more important to stick to two pages or fewer. If you are going to use contractions to save space, please look out for these common grammar errors.
1. Your/ You're
It seems simple enough, but don't underestimate how easy it is to miss this one.
We all know "you're" is a contraction of "you are," and "your" is possessive. But something you should also look out for is overusing "you're" out of fear of getting it wrong.
For example: "I was excited about the prospect of joining you're company"
"Your no doubt going to get a lot of applications..."
2. Its / It's
This is a similar and just as common mistake that may sneak its way onto your resume.
Spell check will often autocorrect a missing apostrophe when it's needed, but you can't always rely on it to alert you when you've added one that’s superfluous.
For example: "It should be judged on it's own merits"
"Its a demanding role in a fast-paced industry"
3. Changing tenses
This kind of mistake can be slightly trickier to notice, and often requires a closer examination of your whole resume.
Try to keep your tenses consistent, but ensure the correct ones are used when appropriate.
Any section of text about a previous role should be written in the past tense, but your current role should be in the present tense.
4. The rogue apostrophe
We all remember the grammar lessons in school, where teachers told us all about the possessive case and pluralization.
And yet, countless errant apostrophes find their way into resumes, cover letters and emails every day.
Similar to the “its/it’s” problem, there’s a tendency to over-correct. The grocer's apostrophe is a famous example, where apostrophes are added to just about any word which ends with the letter S.
For example: "Other duties included importing files onto CD's" (no apostrophe needed)
"I left with my previous managers consent"
5. Random capitalization
Since job titles are often stylized this way (e.g. HR Manager, Marketing Executive), the assumption may be that just about every noun has to follow suit.
They don't. Unless it's a specific job title, a proper noun or a title like Mr. Ms. or Dr., it doesn't have to be capitalized.
For example: "I'm a great Basketball player, and regularly enjoy watching Football"
"I got my start in accounting at my Father's firm"
So before pressing enter to send through that resume, be sure you’ve checked it for these common errors. Don’t let all your effort applying go to waste!