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Tips and tricks how to use proper grammar on a resume

Tips and tricks how to use proper grammar on a resume

  • Why is proper grammar important on a resume?
  • How to avoid spelling and grammar errors 
  • Proofread in more ways than one
  • Use technology to your advantage
  • Take breaks between revisions
  • Call in reinforcements
  • Look out for proper nouns
  • Resume grammar rules you should follow
  • Tenses
  • Pronouns
  • Abbreviations
  • Punctuation
  • Spelling
  • Key takeaways

Uncover the secrets to using proper grammar on a resume. Avoid common errors and showcase your attention to detail with a flawless, error-free resume every time.

After hours of meticulously writing your resume, you eagerly hit the "submit" button, confident that it's the golden ticket to your dream job. Days later, as you anxiously await a response, you revisit your masterpiece only to realize you made a grammatical error!

Horrified, you realize in that moment how important it is to make sure you use proper grammar on a resume. Mistakes like this happens to the best of us, but there are strategies to ensure you avoid these blunders in the future. This guide will explain how to use proper grammar on a resume so you put your best foot forward and submit a grammatically correct resume every time.

Read more as we cover:

  • Why grammar is important on a resume

  • How to avoid spelling and grammar errors

  • Which grammar rules should you follow

Why is proper grammar important on a resume?

We all know crafting a compelling resume is a crucial step in landing your dream job. But it's not just about listing your past experiences; it's also about presenting them in a way that showcases your professionalism, intelligence, and capabilities in written communication.

Proper grammar not only enhances the readability of your resume but demonstrates your attention to detail, underlines your commitment to excellence, and enhances your credibility.

Bad resume grammar opens the door for employers to question your ability to perform tasks accurately and professionally if the document serving as your representation in the workplace contains errors. When assessing your candidacy, it also puts into question your knowledge of elementary grammar, your attention to detail or level of diligence.

In fact, a recent study showed, 59 percent of recruiters will reject a candidate because of poor grammar or a spelling error. To avoid getting kicked out of the running for a job you deserve because a recruiter was distracted by grammatical issues, use these five tips for avoiding resume grammar errors.

How to avoid spelling and grammar errors 

A small error may mean the difference between the job opportunity of a lifetime and a rejection email. To avoid grammatical errors and maximize your chances of an interview, follow these tips.

Proofread in more ways than one

After writing your resume, take the time to proofread it multiple times. Read it slowly and read it out loud to catch any overlooked errors. You may identify awkward phrasing and catch errors that you may have missed by reading in your head. Print a hard copy and review it on paper. Errors may be more noticeable in print than on a screen.

Use technology to your advantage

Leverage spelling and grammar check tools provided by applications like Microsoft Word, Grammarly or artificial intelligence tools like ChatGPT. Although they can highlight potential errors, make sure you double check the validity of their suggestions and do not solely rely on them to catch everything.  

Take breaks between revisions

Step away from your resume for a few hours or even days between revisions. This break allows you to approach the document with fresh eyes, making it easier to spot errors.

Call in reinforcements

Go to friends, family, or colleagues for a different perspective. A third party can uncover errors you might have missed and can provide valuable insights into the clarity and effectiveness of your writing.

Look out for proper nouns

Ensure that names of companies, schools, and other proper nouns are spelled correctly. Mistakes in this area can easily be overlooked by spell check.

Expert Tip

Instead of reading your resume from beginning to end, trick your brain by avoiding anticipation of what comes next by reading each sentence from the end to the beginning to catch more errors. This forces you to treat each sentence as a standalone entity and increases the likelihood of spotting mistakes that might be overlooked in a conventional review.

Resume grammar rules you should follow

In general, your resume should follow standard grammar rules, but there are a few rules that may not be absolute. Here are some grammatical rules you should follow when writing your resume.


Maintain consistency in verb tenses throughout your resume. If you describe a past job responsibility, use past tense (Managed team). For current roles, use present tense (Manage team).


Avoid use of pronouns like "I" or "me" in your resume. Instead, focus on concise statements that begin with action verbs. For example, replace "I implemented a new project management system" with "Implemented a new project management system."


You may be limited on space, but simplifying and being concise with your descriptions is better than substituting ‘w/’ for ‘with’ or ‘&’ for ‘and’.


Bullets don’t necessarily need periods at the end; the key is to be consistent in either using periods or omitting them. Also look out for comma splices where you separate two complete sentences with a comma instead of using a conjunction like “and” to combine them.


Some of us never made it very far in the spelling bee back in grade school and that’s OK. Words that sound alike but have different meanings and spellings (homophones) can be tricky. Common examples include "to" vs. "too" and "their" vs. "there". Pay close attention to these during proofreading. Watch out for these other common spelling mistakes made in resumes:

  • definitely vs. defiantly

  • manager vs. manger

  • identify vs. identity

  • its vs. it’s

  • compliment vs. complement

  • led vs. lead

  • affect vs. effect

  • ensure vs. insure

If grammar is just not your forte and you find it challenging, consider seeking support from our professional resume writers or career coaches. They can provide valuable insights and help refine your resume.

Key takeaways

  1. Proper resume grammar is essential for portraying credibility, professionalism, and diligence. Recruiters may reject candidates with poor grammar, as it raises doubts about competence. 

  2. Proofread diligently, using methods like reading aloud and reviewing a printed copy. Use spelling and grammar tools cautiously and seek external feedback for fresh perspectives.

  3. Be vigilant with homophones, maintain consistent verb tenses, minimize pronoun usage, avoid unnecessary abbreviations, and ensure uniform punctuation.

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