Do Resume Writers Need to Study Grammar?

By Marian Bernard.

Do we resume writers need to study grammar? Although we might knee-jerk react and answer “no” to this question, I would beg to differ. Just as our clients keep current on up-and-coming events in their respective industries, we are obligated to do so as well.

I speak from personal experience.

Let me take you back to 1996, the year when Prince Charles and Lady Diana divorced, the Summer Olympics took place in Atlanta, the Spice Girls and the Back Street Boys dominated the pop charts, and Microsoft released Windows NT 4.0.

It was also a time when I was adding to my knowledge base. You see, I had enrolled in a continuing education Medical Transcription program and was to graduate in the summer of 1996. However, the powers that be at my local community college decided – at seemingly the 11th hour – that we needed to take one more course in order to earn our certificates. The course was entitled  “Grammar Fundamentals.”

My immediate reactions:

  1. Mild frustration. I was SO primed to receive my newly-minted certificate sooner than later. Now, I’d have to delay that sense of accomplishment another three months or so.
  2. Dismissal. Throughout school, I had always earned high marks in my English grammar classes, and I knew (or so I believed) the rules of grammar like the back of my hand. I thought, “Why do I have to enroll in what appears to be a back-to-the-basics course and rehash what I’ve already learned?”

To say that I was humbled was an understatement. The subject matter was a breath of fresh air, and my teacher inspired me to learn even more than I already knew about the proper usage of nouns and verbs, active vs. passive voice, paragraphs, pronouns, parallelism, spelling, punctuation…and more! As a bonus, four of my classes focused on how to write proper letters, and I apply these theories in every cover letter I create…even to this day!

Thanks to “Grammar Fundamentals,” I confidently:

  • Abolish common writing errors when crafting resumes and cover letters.
  • Use fewer words with greater impact.
  • Make my clients “shine”on paper and in their email submissions.

Where do you learn your Grammar Fundamentals?

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Comments

  1. I, for one, spend time online looking to confirm whether or not I have used the correct grammar in the sentences and bullets I create for my clients.

    For those interested in learning about the semi-colon, here is a post with a few examples and a neat little video that explains its proper use.

    http://crafty.house/semicolon-guide/

  2. Maureen, I love that semi-colon primer. Semi-colons are valuable in resumes, especially when they replace coordinating conjunctions because space is a premium.

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