Punctuation is Critical on a Resume | Use These Tips


When searching for a new job, your resume is the first impression you make on a hiring manager.

If they like what they see, there’s a good chance you’ll be called in for an interview, but if it’s peppered with punctuation errors, it will be sent directly to the rejection pile.

If you’ve applied for a number of jobs and are hearing crickets, your resume could be to blame. Take the time to thoroughly review it to ensure you didn’t miss a few punctuation errors that are portraying you in a less-than-ideal manner to hiring managers.

4 Key Resume Punctuation Rules

 Put One Space After a Period

You may have grown up abiding by the two spaces after a period rule, but that’s a thing of the past. Employers expect to see only one space after a period now, so take the time to carefully review your resume and delete that extra space!

Include Serial Commas

While some people are fiercely against the use of serial commas — putting a comma before the word “and” in a series — it definitely makes resumes easier to understand. You don’t want the hiring manager to misinterpret a sentence where you’re describing relevant experience or job duties.

Use Proper Capitalization

This may go without saying, but just as a reminder, you always need to capitalize proper names and words that appear at the beginning of a line or sentence. It’s also wise to capitalize your job titles when you list them on your resume. If you reference someone else’s job title, you’ll only need to capitalize it when used before their name, such as President Dan Johnson.

Properly Place Hyphens

Always use hyphens to join compound adjectives that precede a noun, such as part-time work. They should also be used after the first word when two adjectives modify the same base word, such as entry- and mid-level workers. Never use a hyphen in a compound adjective when the first word ends in “ly.”

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