Misuse of the words your/you're and its/it's are the most common - so are rogue apostrophes. Using the past or present tense is an easy mistake. And incorrectly capitalising the wrong letters is a common occurance on many CVs.
We've all spent hours checking over our CVs and covering letters, but sometimes there's just one tiny mistake that makes it on there.
It can mean the difference between getting the interview and getting a rejection email.
Here are five surprisingly common grammar mistakes that might still be lurking on your CV.
1. Your/ You're
It seems simple enough, but don't underestimate how easy it is to let one of these slip under the radar.
We all know "you're" is a contraction of "you are", and "your" is possessive. But something you should also look out for is overusing " you're" out of fear of getting it wrong.
For example: "I was excited about the prospect of joining you're company" . "Your no doubt going to get a lot of applications..."
2. Its / It's
This is a similar and just as common mistake that may sneak its way onto your CV.
Spell check will often autocorrect a missing apostrophe when it's needed, but you can't always rely on it to alert you when you've added one where it's superfluous.
For example: "It should be judged on it's own merits". "Its a demanding role in a fast-paced industry"
3. Changing tenses
This kind of mistake can be slightly trickier to notice, and often requires taking a look over your whole CV. Try to keep your tenses consistent, but ensure the correct ones are used when appropriate.
Any section of text about a previous role should be written in the past tense, but your current role should be in the present tense.
4. The rogue apostrophe
We all remember the grammar lessons in school, where teachers told us all about the genitive case and pluralisation. And yet, countless errant apostrophes find their way into CVs, covering letters and emails every day.
Like with the 'its / it's problem, there's a tendency to 'over-correct'. The grocer's apostrophe is a famous example, where apostrophes are added to just about any word which ends with the letter S.
For example: "Other duties included importing files onto CD's". "I left with my previous managers consent"
5. Random capitalisation
Since job titles are often stylised this way (e.g. HR Manager, Marketing Executive), the assumption may be that just about every noun has to follow suit.
They don't. Unless it's a specific job title, a proper noun or a title like Mr, Dr or Rev, it doesn't have to be capitalised.
For example: "I'm a keen Basketball player, and regularly enjoy watching Football". "I got my start in accounting at my Father's firm" .
Remember, grammar is the difference between knowing your stuff, and knowing you're stuffed!