National Punctuation Day: Tips for Resume Grammar

national_punctuation_day_webIf you’re searching for a job, you’ve likely spent a lot of time creating a resume that shines and sets you up as a prime candidate.

The last thing you want is to ruin that sparkling resume with poor grammar or misspelled words. In order to stand out to hiring managers and beat the job search competition, it’s important to have a well-crafted, well-written resume.

Thursday, Sept. 24, is National Punctuation Day, and in honor of this important day, we’ve compiled some tips on proper spelling, grammar, and punctuation to help you review your resume.

Don’t crowd your sentences with unnecessary words. Keep it short and simple. For instance, don’t write “I reorganized the billing process;” instead say, “Reorganized billing process.”

Don’t use pronouns, especially third person. Your name should be at the top of each resume page, so the recruiter knows the resume is talking about you. Start sentences with a verb, leaving out pronouns. Example: “In charge of billing software” as opposed to “I am in charge of billing software.”

Use active power verbs. Passive verbs weaken your accomplishments. Always use active power verbs. For example, write “managed a staff of five” instead of “did manage” or “was a manager of.”

Be tense-aware. If you describe the job you are currently in, use present tense. If you are describing jobs in the past, use past tense.

Break up your sentences. Keep sentences lean and clean, and avoid complex sentences. Don’t write a sentence like this:  “Managed a team of 15, who worked in various areas of a project like planning and fundraising, and instituted a new teambuilding program that, according to my employer, improved productivity by 50%.”

Instead, break up the sentences: “Managed a project team of 15. Instituted new teambuilding program that improved productivity by 50%. Led all aspects of project from planning to fundraising.”

Use your own words. Never copy and paste the job description.

Spelling counts. If you’re ever in doubt, turn to a dictionary. Utilize your computer’s spell-check and have a friend double-check your spelling. Also, make sure you have the recruiter’s name spelled correctly in your cover letter.

Read your resume aloud. Before you send your resume, read it aloud to yourself or a friend. This will help you identify bad verb tenses, odd phrases, or awkward sentences.

Celebrate National Punctuation Day by going over your resume and following these tips to make sure it’s clean and stands out.

What other tips do you have for grammar and spelling on a resume? Share with us in the comments section below!

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.

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