Anyone is entitled to a writing mistake, especially when creating something as challenging as a resume. There are so many components to consider while writing that it can be difficult to account for small errors.
For the most part, a hiring manager reading a resume can forgive a couple of typos that anyone could fail to see. But there are some grammar mistakes that are simply deemed unforgivable. Here are five your resume simply can’t afford:
1. Contractions vs. Possessive Pronouns
A common grammar mistake your resume can’t afford is the improper use of contractions and possessive pronouns. For example, the sentence, “I ensured the company met it’s target goal,” is incorrect. Instead of using the contraction of the words “it is,” you want to write “its” to show the pronoun “it” possesses the goal.
Homophones are words that sound the same but have different meanings. For instance, “to,” “two,” and “too” are all homophones because they are used differently in sentences. If you accidentally use the wrong homophone in your resume, the reader may think you either have little knowledge of elementary grammar, or failed to edit your resume. No matter the reason, this mistake could be unforgivable.
3. Apostrophe Use
The correct use of an apostrophe is expected in any professional document, and your resume is no exception. An example of incorrect use would be, “I collaborated with multiple manager’s to facilitate top-level business projects.” In this sentence, “manager” was simply supposed to be plural, not take a possessive form. If this type of mistake was found on your resume, a hiring manager could penalize you for failing to pay attention to detail.
Using tenses incorrectly can also serve as a deal-breaker for some employers. Simple mistakes like confusing the present and past tenses of words like “manage” and “managed,” or “prepare” and “prepared” are easy to spot and can hurt your chances of being taken seriously as a candidate.
5. Subject-Verb Agreement
The general rule of subject-verb agreement is that the subject of a sentence should always agree with its verb in number and person. If the subject is third-person singular, you must add an “s” to the verb. And if the subject is plural, do not add an “s.” In the sentence, “They manage multiple budgets,” the verb “manage” requires no “s” because the subject “they” is plural.
Avoiding grammar mistakes like those listed above can work wonders in improving your eligibility as a candidate. By leaving superficial errors off of your resume, you give the employer more time to focus on the depth of your qualifications.
About the Author: A nationally recognized resume expert, Jessica Hernandez is President/CEO of Great Resumes Fast and a former human resources manager and recruiter. With more than ten years’ experience directing hiring practices for Fortune 500 companies, she has developed innovative and proven resume development, and personal branding strategies to generate powerful results for clients.
As a global resume authority and trusted media source, Jessica has been featured and quoted on CNN.com, Monster.com, Job Talk America radio, SmartBrief, International Business Times, and more. Jessica has her Bachelor of Science degree in Communications/Public Relations from the University of North Florida. Contact Jessica on Twitter!