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Common Grammar Mistakes to Avoid on Your CV

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Common grammar mistakes to avoid on your CV

Are you ready to hit the market for the job of your dreams? Let us remind you that preparation is everything! And before you start brushing up on your skills, your first step should be to review your CV. A CV or a cover letter filled with grammatical errors can put off the interviewer and turn down your chance to showcase your skills. Avoid these common grammatical errors people tend to make in their CV and showcase your skills and not mistakes.

  1. Using First Person Style 

Your CV should always be in the first person form (referring to the candidate), but without the use of pronouns like ‘I’, especially in the career objective, or project experience details.

For example:

✘ I am a software engineer with expertise in Data science and machine learning 

✔ Software engineer with expertise in Data science and machine learning

  1. Tense used should be consistent

While preparing your CV, another common grammatical error is switching in between the tenses that may look unprofessional and should be avoided.

  • Use past tense for most of the project work you have done, education or work experience.
  • Use present tense for current or ongoing job or responsibilities you wish to list
  • Mixing both the tense is a strict no-no!
  1. Use of singular/plural verb

While explaining your projects or experience in the cover letter or CV make sure you use verbs with ‘s’ only for the singular noun and not plural nouns.

For example:

✘ The model require continuous input of real time data.

✔ The model requires continuous input of real time data. 

  1. Unnecessary use of full stops

Refrain from using full stops in the bullet points if they are just a list of your skills.

For example:

Tools and languages used:

  • Eclipse.
  • Java.

✔  Tools and languages used:

  • Eclipse
  • Java
  1. Exclamation marks are not for CV

Refrain from using ‘!’ exclamation marks in your CV. It is grammatically wrong to place exclamation marks in bullet points, achievements or objectives; it’s not a place to express your expressions and emotions.

  1. Do not use contraction

Contractions make your CV or cover letter informal or unprofessional for the reader and is preferred usually for informal communication or documents.

For example:

✘ Can’t, I’ve

✔ Can not, I have

  1. Words with apostrophe

It is imperative to be careful with the use of apostrophe for words that may create confusion and hence it is the most common grammatical error noticed in the CVs.

For example:

– You’re and your

– It’s and its

The best practice is to write properly and refrain from using the apostrophe if not required.

  1. Bullet points

The bullet points in your CV should be short and crisp; these are intended to give important details and not lengthy or explained information. Moreover, if your bullet points are in continuation, always end your bullet points with ‘;’ or ‘,’

  1. Run Spell-check/Grammar check

Do not forget to run your CV through a spell check to avoid silly spelling mistakes that may go unnoticed. A lot of free web tools are available for checking spellings and sentence construction in the documents.

Even though language and grammatical errors in your CV may seem trivial but can damage your impression and reduce your chance to grab the opportunity you have worked so hard for. Added advantage of a well written and an error free CV is that it gives your impression of a careful and diligent person. So, next time you apply for a job you may not want to overlook these silly but damaging grammatical errors.

For more professional help, check out Great Learning Academy where you will find free courses to help your presentation skills, communication skills, interview preparation and more. Good luck!



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