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Resume Writing

Grammar Mistakes In Resumes

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If you’re like most people, you use your word processor’s spelling and grammar checker to correct errors as you type your resume. When you misspell a job title or abruptly change the verb tense, little colored squiggles appear beneath the error.

Regardless of technology’s progress, Word grammar checks do not catch everything. It means your resume could have many more spelling and grammar mistakes. These mistakes make a poor first impression on hiring committees.

Furthermore, misspellings of words may cause applicant tracking software (ATS) to ignore your application, resulting in you never making it past the first round.

What Do Your Resume Spelling and Grammar Errors Say About You as a Candidate?

Although grammar resume mistakes are common, most hiring managers react negatively to them, no matter how minor they appear. To some, a single blunder can completely disqualify a well-qualified candidate.

Unfortunately, I’d say that more than half of the resumes I see have misspellings and poor grammar. It is unacceptable, particularly at the executive and C-suite levels.

So, why do misspellings and poor grammar top the list of resume mistakes that cost you a job? Because they demonstrate to hiring managers that:

  • You Must improve your Communication Skills;
  • You’re not serious about the job;
  • You ignore details.

Biggest Grammar Mistakes on Resume

Here’s a list of the most common grammar mistakes on your resume, so you can double-check that your resume is free of them before applying for your next dream job:

  1. Sentences that continue indefinitely;
  2. Altering sentences;
  3. Mistakes with homophones;
  4. The use of apostrophes in plural words;
  5. Capitalization at random;
  6. Using first-person pronoun;
  7. Subject-verb agreement;
  8. Accidental misspelling of words.

Sentences That Continue Indefinitely

Some believe that bullet lists permit them to add lists of tasks, duties, and responsibilities separated by commas. However, if you’re writing in complete sentences, remember that it must sound coherent.

Don’t let your list of accomplishments or employment history deceive you. Break up your run-on sentences into smaller, more coherent sentences.

Altering Tenses

Altering tenses is common because people focus on the action part of the word rather than the tenses. You had to decide whether to write it in the past or the more neutral present tense—but not both.

Maintain consistent tenses throughout. It’s less strenuous to write your current job duties in the present tense, but if you want to write in the past tense, it’s better to keep it consistent. While this may go unnoticed at first glance, a closer inspection will reveal a lack of attention to detail.

It would help if you described the accomplishments and responsibilities in the past tense (e.g., developed, implemented, launched, etc.).

However, when describing responsibilities in your current position, you should use the present tense (e.g., create, program, oversee, etc.). Your branding statement and career summary should also use present-tense verbs to describe your skills, qualities, and value.

Avoiding grammar mistakes in your resume is crucial, but it’s equally important to present it right, especially if you’re considering a career change.

Mistakes with Homophones

You’re so eager to finish and submit your resume that you don’t notice you’ve mixed up “their” and “there.” It is one of the worst spelling mistakes on a resume. Alternatively, “two,” “to,” and “too,” or “you’re” and “your.”

These homophones—words that sound similar but mean different things and are spelled differently—are so common that even seasoned professionals mix them up in their resumes. The following are the most frequently confused homophones on job applications:

  • To, two, and too
  • There, there, and they’re
  • Lose / loose
  • Your / you’re
  • Accept / except
  • Affect / effect
  • Knew / new
  • Personal / personnel
  • Roll / role
  • Weather / whether
  • Counsel / council

Before submitting, thoroughly proofread it to ensure that it makes sense. If necessary, sound out each homophone to ensure you use the correct one.


The Use of Apostrophes in Plural Words

If your resume boasts that you “created the company website and performed IT’S maintenance,” an errant apostrophe will catch the hiring manager’s eye—and not in a good way.

The distinction between a plural and a possessive or contraction is straightforward: if you want to include an apostrophe to a word like “its,” consider whether it makes sense to read it as “it is.” If so, you have a contraction rather than a plural. Apostrophes are not used with plural words.

When referring to possession with the pronoun “it,” omit the apostrophe. To make your sentences shorter and bullet points more concise, use the pronoun “it” instead of a full name to refer to a company, campaign, or initiative. You don’t need an apostrophe to show ownership here.

Capitalization at Random

This prevalent error occurs when people intend to emphasize a specific word: “enclosed is my Resume for your consideration.” A resume is not a name or title that You must capitalize.

Using the First Person

Your resume is about you and only you. Isn’t that your name at the top? So you don’t have to waste space with pronouns like “I,” “my,” and “we.” Rather than saying, “I’m a dedicated self-starter,” use action verbs to demonstrate this to readers.

Please avoid referring to yourself in the third person (i.e., using they to refer to yourself), as this is extremely strange.

Subject-Verb Agreement

Make sure the subject matches the verb in both number and person when writing sentences for your resume. This type of error is usually the result of carelessness, but it can be avoided by proofreading aloud. You’ll notice if you accidentally added an extra “s” to a first-person singular verb, which you might have overlooked if you read it silently.

Random Misspelling of Words

Spelling mistakes on the resume is a significant turnoff for recruiters. These spelling resume mistakes usually come off as random misspelling of certain words or omission of some letters.

Public vs. Pubic

We guarantee you’ll never use the word “public”. Don’t forget the “l” or you’ll feel awkward!

Receiving vs. Receive

“I before E, except after C” should have been drilled into you in school, but it’s easy to forget. If you switch the “e” and “I” in, your resume will almost certainly be rejected!

Results vs. Resorts

Although this isn’t common, there’s a probability that it can happen too. You should exercise caution with your quick typing fingers!

Aside from grammatical and spelling mistakes on resumes, it would be best if you avoided other resume mistakes. You can read our article on common resume mistakes or funny resume mistakes for more details.


Job searching is tricky because you never know what one person will like. Everyone, however, values a well-written, consistently formatted, error-free resume.

Before sending your resume to a recruiter, the final step is to thoroughly re-read it to ensure there are no errors. If possible, have someone else double-check it to ensure it’s spotless. We can assist you in getting your resume to the finish line.

You can also check our article on resume writers’ cost.



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