Consider the following sample resume bullet points:
Wow, that was painful to type. Hopefully you noticed the unforgivable misuse of apostrophes in all three of these examples. Sadly, this is a resume mistake we see all the time. If you apply for a job with typos like these, your resume is pretty much guaranteed to go in the trash. But learning how to use apostrophes correctly goes beyond job applications -- it's also going to impact your career over the long term. If you're using incorrect forms of plural and possessive words in emails, presentation decks, or treatments, you make both yourself and your whole company look bad. As a high school graduate, you should have already mastered this skill, but just in case, here's a little refresher:
The first rule is that plural words have NO APOSTROPHE -- you "managed calendars." Apostrophes should only be used in contractions (don't, can't) or possessive words (except in the case of it -- it's means "it is," and its means that something belongs to "it"). But generally, in a singular possessive word, the apostrophe comes before the "s" -- you "covered one SVP's desk" -- and in a plural possessive word, it comes after the "s" -- you "covered two SVPs' desks." The rules can get a little more complicated with names ending in "s." When in doubt, look it up. And while you're at it, learn the difference between "your" and "you're" and "there," "their," and "they're." It's time to stop letting dumb grammatical errors distract potential employers from all the great qualities you bring to the table.
-- Angela Silak & Cindy Kaplan
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