Resumes and cover letters that include spelling and/or grammar mistakes are often tossed aside by employers. Errors in spelling and grammar lead employers to believe that you are not interested in detail or unable to put in the effort required for a potential job. Some of the most common spelling and grammar mistakes found in both resumes and cover letters are:
It’s vs. its
- “It’s” is a contraction of “it is” or “it has” and should not be used in a resume (always spell out verbs).
- “Its” means “belonging to it”; for example, it is correctly used in the sentence, “Recruited by owner of company to improve its turnaround time and customer satisfaction.”
- Handy clue: Its’ is not a word.
There vs. they’re vs. their
- “There” shows direction or placement; for example, it is correctly used in the sentence, “Consulted with HR at University Hospital. Improved employee retention there by 15%.” In that sentence, “there” means “at the hospital.”
- “They’re” is a contraction of “they are” and should not be used in a resume (always spell out verbs).
- “Their” means “belonging to them” and is correctly used in this sentence where it means “the hospital’s”: “Consulted with radiology team at University Hospital. Improved their employee retention by 15%.”
- Handy clue: When you read “there” (or “they’re”) in a sentence, substitute “the company’s.” If the sentence does not make sense, use “their” instead.
Effected vs. affected
- “Effected” means “brought about” as in the sentence: “Effected a 10% improvement in patient outcomes.”
- “Affected” means “influenced” or “impacted” as in the sentence: “Reviewed all procedures that affected patient outcomes.”
- Handy clue: Most of the time, you want effected.
Ensure vs. insure vs. assure
- “Ensure” means that you are making sure of something: “Ensured protection of client’s valuable possessions.”
- However, if you “insure” something, you are providing insurance coverage: “Interviewed insurance companies and insured antiques, art collections and collectibles for client.”
- “Assure” means that you are telling someone something in a confident or positive way so as to get rid of any doubts that they may have had: “Assured clients that their possessions would be protected through insurance and security services.”
- Handy clue: Unless you work in the insurance industry, most of the time you want ensured.
Eliminating spelling and grammar mistakes is crucial in resumes and cover letters. At Robin’s Resumes® we make sure that your resume always meets the highest standards of grammar, spelling and punctuation, while showcasing your value to potential employers.