Have you ever heard the old saying, “You only have one opportunity to make a first impression?” Or how about this one, “First impressions are lasting.” Did you know your first impression on a hiring manager is made through your writing? Most employers are introduced to potential employees through their resume’s. Grammar is a key component in setting the stage of the initial impression. Using proper grammar and punctuation are staples when wanting to impress the hiring manager.
When a potential employee can master effective business communication, writing and verbal, he or she achieves a higher chance of catching the hiring manager’s attention.
Here are some common mistakes potential employees make on applications and resumes.
It’s vs Its
There are a surprising number of employees who struggle when it comes to the proper use of “it’s” and “its.” Much of the confusion relates to how possessive pronouns are structured. The pronoun “it” doesn’t follow the common rule.
“It’s” is intended to be used as a contraction for “it is” or “it has”, mirroring a shortened version of the words. When using ‘it’ in a possessive form, use ‘its’.
- EX: It’s been two years since you’ve had a physical examination.
- EX: This license is past its expiration date.
There, They’re and Their
Homophone sets can be one of the most confusing words for potential employees. A great example of this is “there”,” they’re”, and “their”. A large number of job seekers chose the incorrect one.
“There” is used when referring to a location.
- EX: I suggest you go there and try to settle things before it’s too late.
“They’re” is a contraction, representing the words “they are”.
- EX: They’re writing down every suggestion made by the employees.
”Their” is a possessive, showing ownership.
- EX: He wanted their opinions on ways to increase productivity.
There are numerous rules when using commas. The following website explains the rules of comma usages.
Generally, an apostrophe is only necessary when forming a contraction, such as “aren’t,” or when showing possession (except for with the pronoun “it”).
EX: The hiring manager’s computer needed to be restarted.
In the vast majority of cases, an apostrophe is not required when making plurals. The only major exception most job seekers will encounter in regards to plurals is when referring to letters.
For example, “I received straight A’s throughout my college career,” is an appropriate use of an apostrophe for a plural.
Affect and Effect
When choosing between “affect” and “effect,” it is important to think of “affect” as a verb, or action word, and “effect” as a noun, representing an event or thing.
For example, the quality of your resume affects your success rate, and the effect of a great resume’ is that you could be hired.
For those who tend to struggle with grammar rules, it’s wise to use software to review your writing and have it reviewed by someone you trust. Grammar checks are not foolproof, so having someone else take a look can help you catch mistakes before you submit your application or resume’.
If you are looking for employment, the skilled staff at The Staffing People, Inc. can help make sure your resume’ looks professional and ready for employer review. This way your first impression will be lasting.