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Common grammar mistakes to watch out for on your CV!

By Fiona Frudd

When an employer reads your CV, it is completely different to an interview, as you cannot win them over with your charm, humour or good looks; you only have words on an A4 sheet of paper. Unfortunately, no matter how suited to a certain role you may be, your words can sometimes be the downfall to be unsuccessful in an application.

The main purpose of a CV is to detail your experience, job history, and suitability for a position. However, a lot of the time some of what you actually end up saying to the reader may be unintentional, and the reader could take some of what the candidate is saying in the wrong context dependant upon how the CV is written.

Your CV should not only be informative, it should also be professional and well-written. The person reading the CV might not be as picky as others about punctuation, it can still often cause the end of your chances, as no company is going to want an employer that cannot use the correct spellings as grammar as it is not professional in the slightest.

Although this is quite a narrow list, we’ve gathered some of the repeat offenders below, to help you take control of those all-too-often glaring grammatical errors.




Your – Relating to/owned by you (‘your blog’, ‘your job’, ‘your delightful suburban semi-detached abode’).

You’re – You are


Possible CV Example:

Thank you for your application.

I am aware that you’re currently looking for a Finance Director.  



Its – Not it is

It’s – It is

Always check any uses of apostrophes, especially when it comes to the its/it’s rule.


Possible CV Example:

When the company reviewed its social media strategy, the changes I instigated had a positive impact.

I enjoy correcting people’s spelling mistakes. It’s something that gives me a great sense of superiority.



The there/their/they’re is probably the most common grammatical issue to go against a candidate’s CV.

There – Used when referring to a place or object (whether physical or abstract)

Their – When something belongs to them

They’re – They are


Possible CV Example:

Whilst working there, I learned a lot.

Unfortunately, their decision to downsize meant that I lost my job.

They’re really going to regret that decision.



Affect – To influence something

Effect – The result of something


Possible CV Example:

Completing the AAT qualification had a major effect on my daily work tasks.

Taking a CIM course is positively affecting my knowledge on social media and marketing strategies.

Other grammatical errors to avoid: loose/lose, im/I’m, i.e./e.g.


Final thoughts    

Don’t rush your CV. A day spent on your CV is better than six months of waiting for a reply.

Do not rely on spellcheck. It will not pick up any of the mistakes highlighted above.

Make sure you’re reading your CV through, and not reciting it. If you keep saying it out loud without thinking, you might not spot the mistake.

Always get someone to proofread your CV when you’ve finished. Something which makes sense to you may not make sense to the person reading it. If in doubt, avoid abbreviations in general. Not only will you cut down on mistakes, you’ll also make what you’ve written more formal.

Fiona Frudd
Fiona Frudd
Head of Marketing