On a daily basis I read on average 30 CV per day; the CV is the first impression I usually have of a candidate’s suitability for the position that he or she has applied for.
It is infuriating and disappointing to see so many CVs littered with grammatical errors, spelling mistakes and typos.
I could analogise seeing one’s CV for the first time with going on a blind date. The mis-spelt words underlined in red that I spot when I open a CV on my screen are the equivalent to seeing for the first time an immaculately dressed woman wearing a pair of second hand Velcro shoes that she bought from a jumble sale. My point is that they stand out, they detract from the beauty of the CV and they are the reason why the blind date didn’t progress to a second date.
So aside from completely mis-spelling words what are the most common mistakes? Below are some examples of the most common offenders:
- Your and You’re
- Their, They’re and There
- Its and It’s
- Months’ experience and not month’s experience
- The law firm’s jobs (one law firm); the law firms’ jobs (two or more law firms)
- The claimant’s solicitors = one claimant
- The claimants’ solicitors = lots of claimants in a multi party action
- Plurals do not require an apostrophe – insured businesses = insureds, not insured’s, 4 A Levels not 4 A Level’s, 10 GCSEs.
- CVs, ABSs, PLCs, LLPs
- The company, the law firm, the practice, the department, the organisation, the family, the team IS not ‘are’
- If the collective noun (staff or law firm) is acting as a single unit, use the singular verb: “The staff / law firm is very efficient.”
- If the collective noun is meant to highlight the actions of discrete individuals (members of staff or partners in the law firm) who are all doing different things, use the plural verb: “The staff / team are working on many projects for the holiday party. I heard a rumour that the band is performing at that party.
Points of compass and regions – A region is in capitals but not the points of the compass
- She is seeking employment in the North West but not south of Altrincham
- When referring to a capital city – lawyers in the City (means lawyers in the City of London)
- In France lawyers working in the Capital denote Paris.
- It is always lower case for other cities – city of Birmingham or city of Leeds.
- Countries, languages, and nationalities always start with a capital letter.
- For acronyms – RTA means road traffic accidents, not Road Traffic Accidents
- Seasons are lower case – spring, summer
- Job titles as the heading/ title of the job advert needs to be in capitals but when talking about the job title within the job description this needs to be in lower case
- When referring to legal terms within a CV for example Defendant, Multi – track etc. capital letters are not required, so they would appear as defendant, multi-track etc.
- It’s called the Crown Court but there are no capitals for magistrates’ court.
- We often use capital letters in abbreviations such as LPC, BVC, BPTC. Don’t put full stops after any of the letters.
Judgement or Judgment
John always relied on his judgement, it had never let him down in the past.
Lord Justice Woolf’s judgment was delivered on 10 May
Counsel = advocate/advisor/barrister Council = Manchester City Council
Practice (noun) and Practising (verb)
The practice has four partners. She is a practising solicitor.
Too, Two and To
Company or Firm
It is incorrect to call a partnership a company. A company has directors, shareholders and can be limited or listed on AIM, stock exchange etc. A law firm (that is not a limited company) is made up of equity and often salaried partners, there are no shareholders, they hold equity stakes in the practice. They are very different business structures and should not be confused.
One – ten spell out.
Thereafter numeric – 11, 12, 13