You’ve probably heard how important it is to include keywords in your resume. This is especially true with the rise of the Applicant Tracking System (ATS). And maybe you’ve already followed the standard advice of filling in gaps on your resume and keeping your skills up-to-date. But there’s one key area you may not have paid enough attention to, proper grammar.
Unfortunately, here at Akraya, we see many candidates submit resumes that are poorly written and full of spelling and grammar errors. At the very least, errors are distracting and annoying to hiring managers, and at worst, errors can immediately disqualify you from ever being considered for a position. Here are a few ways to ensure that your resume is grammatically perfect.
Capitalizing “Important” Words
It can be tempting to capitalize certain words to emphasize their importance. But only the first word and any proper nouns should be capitalized in a sentence. For example, you should definitely capitalize the names of software products or companies. But you should NOT capitalize words like “mission critical” or “disaster recovery” since they are ideas or processes, and not names of people, companies or products. To avoid this mistake, always ask yourself if the word you want to capitalize is a proper noun (like Amazon Web Services) or part of someone’s title (like the Director of Finance). Otherwise, you should leave these words as lowercase.
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Mixing Verb Tenses
Every time you update your resume with a new job description, you have to switch all your verbs from present tense to past tense in the prior job description. Many people either forget this step or do their editing in a rush, and soon there are mixed verb tenses all over the place. It’s always important to reread your entire resume and make sure that you are using the correct verb tenses for current and past positions.
(Read The Anatomy of an IT Job Search)
Thankfully, technology can help with proper grammar and spelling. There are a few things you should do related to technology. For one, if you create your resume in Microsoft Word, upload it to Google Docs as well. Both softwares have spelling and grammar checks that work slightly different. Using both will help you catch all of the errors. Also, Grammarly is a great software that has extensions for both Word and Google Docs. There is a free version that is more powerful than anything you will find built-in to any word processing software.