Common Grammar Rules for Resumes

See also: Grammar: An Introduction

Your choice of words, language, and grammar speaks volumes about the kind of person you are. It reflects on your level of professionalism as well as your personality. Your level of qualification can be disregarded easily based on just a few grammatical errors.

Recruiters will tend to disregard applications due to poor grammar and even poor vocabulary because of the level of competition in the current job market.

Writing a resume is not an easy task. Many applicants are overwhelmed when looking for new job opportunities. Looking for a reliable writer to help them complete their resume is also quite daunting. By checking top resume writers reviews, you can easily identify which service suits you best. Before hiring any writer, check on their experience and reviews as amateur writers can easily miss grammatical errors in a resume.

Blank resume, pen and laptop.

Why Are Grammar Rules for Resumes Important?

Always make sure that you submit a resume that is unique, polished, and formal.

Proofreading and editing your resume will ensure that your CV is professional and with an added advantage over other applicants. If you have formidable writing skills and extensive English or other language knowledge, put them on your resume and you will have an easy time job hunting.

Bad grammar reflects poorly on your credibility. Recruiters frown upon grammatical errors as they showcase someone as careless, sloppy, and a poor communicator. Proper language use reflects positively on the applicant. They are regarded as competent, an excellent communicator, organized, and meticulous.

A well-written resume is not only aesthetically pleasing, but it also is much easier to read. This can make you stand out easily among other applicants who may have poor grammar.

Basic Grammar Rules For Resumes

One needs to follow the proper rules when writing their resumes. A resume is the most formal document that outlines your work experience, skills, and qualifications. The essence of a resume is to get appropriate attention from recruiters. It is therefore paramount that you make the attention positive by following these simple rules:

1. Use First Person

Your resume is supposed to inform recruiters about who you are as a person professionally. You are not to use any other directive apart from 'you.' Avoid at all costs incorporating 'she' or 'he' in your resume. Make sure you consistently approach the document in the first person. Do not switch to any other pronoun as you continue to write.

2. Don't Use Personal Pronouns

Your resume has your name already. There is no need to keep referring to yourself all the time. The recruiters are already aware that the skills, educational background, and qualifications belong to you. Continually referring to yourself makes you look pompous and out of sorts.

3. Maintain One Tense

It can be quite a nuisance for recruiters to read a resume written in multiple tenses. Make sure that you talk about your achievements in just one tense as this will enable the recruiters to gauge the time frame of your accomplishments.

You can use the present tense if you are currently performing those particular duties. Switch up to past tense when talking of past accomplishments. The recruiter will be able to identify your long-standing skills if you do this.

4. Use Short Sentences

Recruiters, on average, spend at least 20 seconds reading through a resume. During this time, they decided whether you are the right fit, or throw your resume into the trash pile. The easiest way to keep them engaged is to write short sentences. The average sentence length should be a maximum of 20 words. If you can keep your words a few, then your sentences will be easier to read.

Do not minimize your words too much that the sentences stop being coherent. Always be concise and short, making your resume more interesting to read.

5. Tone of Voice

A resume should be a professional representation of who you are as a person. For this reason, it is key that you write in a professional tone. Avoid using humour, slang, or profanity regardless of how casual the recruiting company is.  Use words that communicate properly and are understandable. The recruiter is not your friend. Do not make any attempts to be casual.

Always opt for active voice as opposed to passive voice. An active voice gives a sense of strong will and delivers the message properly. Passive voice tends to alter the meaning of the message ever so slightly, and it also loses the impact. However, beginning sentences with words like developed, organized, or authored presents clearly and concisely.

6. Avoid Articles

There is no need to use articles within your CV. Avoid 'a,' 'an,' and 'the' in your resume at all costs. This will help free up space and prevent boring your readers. There is no need to use articles in your resume when applying for a job.

7. Don't Overly Rely on Spellcheckers

The biggest mistake applicants make is over-reliance on spellcheckers. They tend to forgo any attempt to personally edit their work and rely on apps to help them. These apps are not entirely efficient in checking for grammar and spelling mistakes and even the most reliable software can easily miss certain typos. For instance, 'Writing and dieting skills'.
A spellchecker will not highlight the mentioned sentence because it has no grammatical errors. However, if you read through your work, you can easily identify such mistakes.

Once you have written your resume, read through it. Make sure you have read through your resume at least three times in order to spot any mistakes that may avail themselves. This may seem a bit too extreme, but it is necessary to secure your dream job. You can also consult a friend to help you edit your resume properly. A fresh pair of eyes is key in spotting minor errors.

Woman's hand passing a resume to a man's hand.


A resume is a vital document for showcasing who you are professionally. It is paramount you follow the above rules to have an added advantage over other applicants. You can easily increase your chance of recruitment by using proper grammar and spelling. Present yourself well by considering the above factors and secure your dream job.

The Skills You Need Guide to Getting a Job

Further Reading from Skills You Need

The Skills You Need Guide to Getting a Job

Develop the skills you need to get that job.

This eBook is essential reading for potential job-seekers. Not only does it cover identifying your skills but also the mechanics of applying for a job, writing a CV or resume and attending interviews.

About the Author

Aren is a renowned reviewer with several content analysis articles on different sites. His skills are quite formidable when it comes to writing, editing, and reviewing.