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Key grammar tips for sprucing up your CV

By Martin Williams | January 30th 2015

NAIROBI: Sloppy spelling and grammar on your CV could cost you a job. Here are eight top tips for perfecting your writing.

Don’t rely on spellcheckers: A CV shows your employer what effect you will have on ‘their’ company. But it shouldn’t show your employer what affect you will have on ‘there’ company. Both of those sentences will fly through a spellchecker without a problem, but one doesn’t make any sense. Carefully checking your writing could make the difference between a great ‘new’ job and a grate ‘knew’ job.

Don’t over-use capital letters: Some People feel the Need to Capitalise every Important Word in a Sentence. OTHERS LIKE BLOCK CAPITALS, BELIEVING THAT THEY’RE CLEARER TO READ. In fact, research suggests that capitals are harder to read than lower case. For employers who care about grammar, adding capitals incorrectly to random words could be a reason to bin your CV.

Get your apostrophes right: Famed for their misuse, apostrophes are a real demonstration of your grip on grammar. While some people forget about them altogether, others try to make their applications more impressive by littering them all over the place. The truth is that the rules are fairly simple, so getting it wrong on your CV will not send a great message to employers. Use apostrophes to indicate missing letters, a possessive, time or quantity.

Use the singular for individual organisations: It’s easy to write accidentally about a single company in the plural if you’re thinking about the people who work there. But if you are talking about one company, use the singular. If you work at the BBC, for instance, you are part of its team, not part of their team.

Keep it in the first person: If I start my CV in the first person, he should not suddenly start talking about himself in the third person. Job applications are all about selling yourself, so using I, me and my is standard practice. Do not refer to yourself as he, she or they unless it’s a quote about you from someone else.

Get your tenses right and explain your abbreviations. -Guardian Professional

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