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National Grammar Day

In the spirit of National Grammar Day, here is a quick reference guide to help you remember some of the basics that are easily forgotten. This is especially important if your CV says you have “excellent attention to detail”!

 

The Long Dash

Like a comma, you use a long dash as another form of break in a sentence.

“I found the volunteering hard but rewarding – it made me more confident when communicating with young people and I learned some great problem-solving skills.”

 

Capital letters for the right nouns

PowerPoint, Microsoft and Apple are all nouns (naming word) so they require capital letters. Note that PowerPoint has got two capital letters and no space because that is its brand name; the same rule applies to OneDrive and SharePoint. Other nouns you might encounter on a CV are the names of company’s you have worked for, their locations and your job titles, so a good way to remember if you need a capital or not, is if it is referring to something specific.

“Jane Bloggs - name of person

Office Manager - name of job

London - place name

I and the other managers attended regular meetings with the Director Peter Smith.”

In this example, the specific names have capital letters, but the word “managers” is generic and refers to lots of people that aren’t in the sentence, so it does not have a capital.

 

Hyphens

Hyphens are used to link words and to make it clear what you are talking about to the reader:

“I looked after 7 year old children” could be either “I looked after 7-year-old children” or “I looked after 7 year-old children” so it is important to put the hyphen in the correct place.

You also use hyphens with numbers (e.g. thirty-eight hours a week) and in something called an adjectival compound (e.g. 6-month contract).

 

Full stops after bullet points

Whether your put full stops after your bullet points depends on how much text you put in the bullet points and how much they continue the sentence on from the preceding sentence.

As a Manager, my main responsibilities were:

  • Motivating and mentoring the team to give great service.
  • Taking responsibility of daily ground operations.
  • Dealing with customer complaints.

Manager responsibilities:

  • Motivating and mentoring the team to give great service
  • Taking responsibility of daily ground operations
  • Dealing with customer complaints

As a Manager, my main responsibilities were:

  • Motivating and mentoring
  • Ground operations responsibility
  • Customer complaints

As a Manager, my main responsibilities were

  • motivating and mentoring the team to give great service;
  • taking responsibility of daily ground operations; and
  • dealing with customer complaints.

 

Abbreviations

The abbreviations of e.g., i.e. and etc. all have full stops after them, even when other punctuation follows.

e.g.:                   i.e.;                  etc.!

Let’s look at each one in a bit more detail:

For example (e.g.)

E.g. stands for the Latin term exempli gratia which means “for example” and should be written for example, in a sentence and the abbreviated form (e.g.,) when in brackets.

“I am confident in all forms of communication for example; email, telephone and postal enquiries”

Or

“I am confident in all forms of communication for example:

  • Email
  • Telephone
  • Postal

Or

“I am confident in all forms of communication (e.g. email, telephone and postal enquiries)

 

That is (i.e.)

"i.e." is from the Latin id est, meaning "that is” and should be written in long form as “that is”, in a sentence and “i.e.” when in brackets.

“I am trained to a high standard of Excel (i.e. advanced user)”

Or

“I am trained to a high standard of Excel, that is, as an advanced user”

 

Et cetera (etc.)

This is an abbreviation of “et cetera” and means “and the rest.” The long form of et cetera can be written in a sentence and the abbreviation is used when in brackets (etc.) however, the long form is rarely used.

“I have experience using and maintaining office equipment such as photocopiers etc.”

 

Knowing these rules well will make your CV look professional and are also good to know if you’re ever asked to proof-read or write documents for your job.

About the author

Kerry Baillie

Kerry brings drive, desire and determination to everything she does at Impact. An amazing role model, colleague and consultant, she’s always on hand to help. So much commitment to work deserves a break now and again, and Kerry loves travelling, socialising and going to the gym.