Special Grammar Rules For Resumes

Don Goodman

After years of attending school and being educated on the English language, you’ll learn that a lot of the grammar rules don’t exist when it comes to writing the resume.

Your resume is a marketing tool, and your “advertisement” does not always follow the traditional grammar rules. Its only purpose is to grab the reader’s attention and cause them to want to know more about you.

Here are some ways the resume is different in its grammatical style.

Doesn’t include the special class of adjectives known as articles, like “the,” “a,” and “an.”

In resumes, every sentence is written like a headline.

For example,  English language: “I managed the inventory and deployment of….”

Ex. Standard US resume style: “Managed inventory and deployment of…”

Doesn’t include pronouns, like “I,” “he” or “she.”

Ex. English language: “I trained a staff of 10 on …”

Ex. Standard US resume style: “Trained staff of 10…”

Begins sentences with a verb, not a subject.

Ex. English language: “I was the top sales person of the year. Product revenue was up by 30%, compared to last year.”

Ex. Standard US resume style: “Ranked top sales person of the year increasing product revenue 30% over last year.”

Uses digits for numbers, even when it’s under 10.

Digits command a reader’s attention so resumes break traditional grammar rules and every number is shown as a digit.

Ex. English language: “Ran five workstations serving…”

Ex. Standard US resume style: “Ran 5 workstations serving…”

You can see from these examples how applying the standard US resume style to writing helps you get to the key points quicker and makes scanning the resume easier for employers.


A quick article with some good reminders of our days of High School English class.  Remember, the first impression a recruiter or potential employer has of you is your resume.  Details are important.