Common Resume Typos and Grammar Mistakes to Avoid

Common Resume Typos and Grammar Mistakes to Avoid

You’ve invested the time in creating a masterfully written and customized resume and cover letter. And, of course, you’ve proofread everything and maybe even had a few trusted advisors comb through your application materials.

Before you hit “apply,” though, take one more look at your materials for these common—and sometimes overlooked—resume typos.

Resume Typos: Misused Words

These are commonly misused words on resumes and cover letters. What’s tricky about them is that they are spelled correctly but not used correctly, which means that even the best spell checker may overlook these resume typos because they are right—even when they’re wrong.

Everyday vs. Every Day

Use “everyday” as an adjective to describe something common: Use the everyday dishes, not the special china.

Use “every day” when you mean “each day”: Every day at work is better than the last.

Its vs. It’s

“Its” shows possession: The company has its marketing plan in place.

“It’s” is a contraction for “it is”: The company has its marketing plan in place, and it’s awesome!

To help you remember the difference, think of the apostrophe in “it’s” as the “i” in “is.” When in doubt, try writing the sentence out using “it is” instead of “it’s” and see if it still makes sense: The company has it is marketing plan in place. (That doesn’t sound right, so “its” must be right!)

Less vs. Fewer

Fewer is used for things you can count or that are numbered: 59 fewer people showed up to the event, or we sold 200 fewer units that month.

Less is used for things that can’t realistically be counted, or when you measure distance, amount, or time: There are less visible stars in the sky now, or we traveled less than 20 miles to get there.

Then vs. Than

Use “then” when you’re talking about time: I’m going to finish up this report, then head home.

Use “than” when you’re comparing things: This report is more detailed than the last one.

There vs. Their vs. They’re

“There” is a location: The car is parked over there.

“Their” is a plural possessive, meaning more than one person owns the object: The blue car is their car.

“They’re” is a contraction for “they are”: They’re going to the zoo today.  

Your vs. You’re

Another possessive vs. contraction resume typo, “your ” is the possessive form of “you”: I’d love to talk about how my skills can help your company.

“You’re” is the contraction of “you are”: You’re going to be amazed and impressed.

Advice vs. Advise

When you give someone “advice,” you’re giving them an opinion or recommendation about what course of action to follow: Thanks to my advice, the company saved $50k that quarter.

When you “advise” someone, you’re giving them your counsel and offering your opinion or suggestions: I advise mentees on navigating the exam system.

i.e., vs. e.g.

“i.e.” is the abbreviation for “id est,” which means “in other words” or “that is”: As a digital nomad, I’ve mastered the art of minimalism, i.e., living out of one suitcase.

“e.g.” is the abbreviation for “exempli gratia,” which means “for example.” Use it when you want to introduce an example or two: As a digital nomad, connection is the key to my success, e.g., reliable internet and making friends with the locals. 

Principal vs. Principle

The “principal” is the leader or the head of something: As the principal of the marketing practice, I…

The “principle” is a rule of conduct: One of the principles of good marketing is…

Affect vs. Effect

Use “affect” when you’re talking about influencing or feelings: The quarterly report affected everyone’s mood the rest of the day.

Use “effect” when you’re talking about the result of a change: The effect of the quarterly report on productivity was negligible.

Resume Typos: It’s Spelled Correctly, But…

These are words you likely know the definition of and wouldn’t misuse or confuse. But, because they are spelled correctly, they might get overlooked and accidentally make it into your application materials.

Manager vs. Manger

It’s easy to overlook that second “a” in the middle. A “manager” is one who manages. A “manger” is a place that holds livestock.

Defiantly vs. Definitely

Mistype a few letters or hand it over to autocorrect, and you may accidentally imply that you’re resistant to doing things (defiantly) instead of without a doubt (definitely) perfect for the job.

To vs. Too (and Two)

One small “o” makes a huge difference.

“To” is a preposition. It indicates a direction toward something: I went to the store. 

“Too” is an adverb and usually means “also” or “in addition”: I went to the store, too.

And, of course, “two” is the number between one and three: Easy as one, two, three!

Role vs. Roll

In an attempt to liven up your resume, you may decide to swap the word “position” with something else. “Role” is an excellent choice and the correct word. “Roll” means something balled up or a list (also, a tasty side dish!).

Farther vs. Further

“Farther” refers to distance: That pond is farther away.

On a resume, you’d use “further,” which means to advance something: To further the team’s goals…

Lead vs. Led

“Lead” is present tense, “led” is past tense. Use “lead” when you’re talking about your present position and “led” when you’re talking about a prior position.

  • I currently lead a team of 10 people.
  • In my last role, I led a team of 10 people for over four years.

Avoid Resume Typos: That’s Rite, er, Right!

These common resume typos can slip past anyone. To get an expert once over, have one of our expert career coaches review your application materials. They can help you spot typos, understand when to use which word, and help you create a resume that gets results.

Meet With a Career Coach

By Rachel Pelta | April 9, 2021 | Categories: Work Remotely


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