Common Grammar Errors During the Job Search

April 17, 2013

Career Advice

You might find it hard to believe, but some companies will throw out a resume if they find a typo or a misspelled word. Why? Because of a few reasons. One, you didn’t take the time to copyedit or fact check, which means you might not be great at paying attention to details. Two, you rushed through this application which means the company may be one of 100 that received your resume — and you don’t care much about any of them. And three, the job market is so tough that even the tiniest mistake can get you placed in the rejection pile. Here are a few grammar lessons you may need to brush up on before sending out your next resume or cover letter.

You’re vs. Your
Think of this way: “you’re” means “you are.” Double check every time you used “you’re” and replace it with “you are.” Does it still make sense? If not, you need to replace it with “your.” “Your” is a possessive form of “you.” Read more about the difference at Grammar Girl.

Example 1: If you hire me, you’re getting an excellent candidate with outstanding skills.
Example 2: If your company is looking for an excellent candidate with outstanding skills, hire me.

They’re vs. Their vs. There
Here’s another contraction: “they’re” means “they are.” So go ahead and replace every instance of “they’re” with “they are” and see if it still makes sense. “Their” is used to show possession — try replacing every instance with “our” and see if it still makes sense. Finally, “there,” like “here,” refers to a specific place.

Example 1: “I love working with the marketing department. They’re a bunch of extremely talented individuals.”
Example 2: “I love working with the marketing department. Their talents are unmatched.”
Example 3: “I loved working there. The people were extremely talented.”

It’s vs. Its 
This is a hard one, but it shouldn’t be. Again, “it’s” is a contraction that means “it is” or “it has.” Replace each instance of “it’s” with “it is” and see if it still makes sense. “Its” is a possessive pronoun. Usually these have apostrophes within them, but not in this case. Commit it to memory.

Example 1: It’s a great company and I’d love to join the team.
Example 2: Its reputation is unmatched. I’d love to join the company.

About Spectrum Brands Careers

Spectrum Brands is a global $5 Billion Consumer Products company headquartered in Middleton, Wisconsin. While you may not be familiar with the Spectrum Brands name, there is no doubt you will recognize some of our brands.

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  1. Even More Common Job Search Grammar Errors | Spectrum Brands Careers Blog - April 26, 2013

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