By DebbieH 04 Aug 2019 3 min read

4 deadly CV grammar mistakes


When you’re applying for jobs in the aviation industry, it goes without saying that recruiters will be looking for experience, qualifications and someone that will fit right into the team.

But one area which is often underestimated is the importance of good grammar. Demonstrating a good level of grammar shows that you pay attention to detail and that you take your career seriously.

Avoid these deadly CV grammar mistakes when you are writing your CV:


Mixing up tenses

When you are writing your CV, everything apart from your current role details should be written in past tense – but candidates often mix them up throughout their CV.

Imagine that this is the description for a single job entry on a CV:

  • Maintained engines
  • Performing safety checks on planes
  • Designs new aircraft systems

The tenses here are all mixed, which leaves an unprofessional impression. Avoid this mistake by ensuring all your previous roles are written in past tense except from your current role, which should be written in the present tense.


Apostrophe confusion

The placement of apostrophes causes headaches for even the most proficient in the English language.

Its/it’s is a common cause of confusion regarding rules around possessive apostrophe use and plural after an s, e.g. the planes’ navigation systems (where more than one plane is being referred to). 

To clarify the its vs it’s argumentit’s means it is and its is used where something belongs to it e.g. the pilot of the plane lowered its wheels.

If you’re not sure about where to put your apostrophe (or whether one is needed at all) then spend time checking whether you have chosen the right option using authoritative online resources.


Homophone blunders

Hand-in-hand with the apostrophe confusion is homophone blunders. 

These include the use of their instead of they’re or there, or using your when you should have used you’re. Other common ones are to/too and using affect when you should have used effect

Whilst these can be very confusing, recruiters will often be put off by applicants who get these wrong, so make sure that you’re (you are) using the correct option in your CV. You could always ask someone else to check you’ve got it right too!

Your use of correct homophones could easily affect your chances, in effect, determining whether you get selected for interview.


Using passive voice

People often drift into passive voice without even realising it. Doing so in your CV can leave for a completely lacklustre read, so it’s worth taking the time to understand the concept a little bit better.

Recruiters will want to see the examples of the work that you were directly involved in delivering, as well as the results that you achieved.

But using passive voice can distance you from the task. For example, consider ‘Aviation health and safety processes were developed’ rather than ‘Developed a set of aviation health and safety processes’. The second written example shows the CV reader that you were the person responsible for the action rather than it just being done by nobody specifically mentioned.

Being grammar savvy doesn’t come naturally to everyone, so it’s important to triple-check your aviation CV to ensure yours is flawless. So, when proofreading your CV, make sure to scan through for these four common grammar mistakes to avoid losing credibility.