What is a CV or Resume

CV Grammar & how to ensure correct use of an apostrophe on your CV

CV Grammar Lesson 2

CV Grammar and poor spelling on a CV is often said to have the potential of ruining the chances of the candidate progressing further than the application stage. Another issue is punctuation. Punctuation is a difficult, sometimes subjective subject, and a particular area of difficulty is the dreaded apostrophe. I have taken the following article in its entirety from the site mentioned. It’s effortless to understand and an easy reference for those of you that labour sometimes with where to put the apostrophe. For a professional cv follow these directions:

CV Grammar

The apostrophe:
(All of the following content from this article is taken from http://www.eng-lang.co.uk/apostrophe_rules.htm)

Rules for the correct use of the apostrophe.

The apostrophe is used:

To indicate the possessive.
To indicate missing letters.
Sometimes to indicate the structure of unusual words.

1. To indicate the possessive.

This is Peter’s book.
This book is Peter’s.
The dog’s dinner looks disgusting.
Diana was the people’s princess.
I tore up the men’s shirts.
One should choose one’s words carefully.
It is everyone’s duty to protest.
It is no-one’s responsibility.
Personal pronouns (words like I, you, he, she, it, we, they) indicate the possessive by becoming a whole new word. These new words are already possessive, so they don’t need an apostrophe: my, mine, your, yours, his, her, hers, its, our, ours, their, theirs. Note that none of them has an apostrophe.

The house is yours.
The dog broke its leg.
She said the book was hers.
They claimed it was theirs.
But really it was ours.
It’s means it is or it has. There’s no such word as its’.

2. To indicate missing letters in the middle of words or phrases.

You can’t have it.
Don’t do that!
I’d like an ice-cream, please.
We’d better hurry.
But we don’t always use apostrophes:

15, Elm Rd.
St Matthew Passion
Photo is short for photograph.
It is easier to say CD than Compact Disc.
In the cases where you wouldn’t use an apostrophe in the singular, don’t use it for the plural:

I had one photo.
They had two photos.
We sell CDs and DVDs.
I was born in the 1960s.
But we say this CD’s broken because it’s a short form of this CD is broken.

3. Sometimes to indicate the structure of unusual words.

A few words are sufficiently confusing that we want to indicate to the reader how the word is constructed. The apostrophe can be used for this if it is really necessary, but mostly it isn’t.

He bcc’d a copy to all the managers.
Mind your p’s and q’s.
Cross your i’s and dot your t’s.
A list of do’s and don’ts.
But you might consider:

He sent a blind copy to all the managers
Mind your ps and qs
Cross your is and dot your ts
A list of DOs and DON’Ts.
There’s no need for it in:

She got three As in her exams.
All our CDs are perfect.
We sell videos.
I’d like two cappuccinos, please.

Childrens’ shoes or children’s shoes?

The apostrophe goes directly after the thing doing the possessing:

The sun’s rays = the rays of the sun.
The table’s leg = the leg of the table.
The archbishop’s palace = the palace of the archbishop.
The archbishops’ palace = the palace of the archbishops.
The men’s shirts = the shirts of the men.
Children’s T-shirts = T-shirts of children.
The people’s princess = the princess of the people.
The American peoples’ inheritance = the inheritance of the American peoples.
My mother’s photo = photo of my mother.
One week’s notice = notice of one week.
Two weeks’ notice = notice of two weeks.
Three years’ experience = experience of three years.
Everyone’s help = help of everyone.
Note that we can often use for instead of of – shirts for the men. The possessive is much a looser concept than ownership: the girls may not own the school, but it’s still a girls’ school.

The apostrophe is used to show a connection between two things: if a dog has a bone, it’s the dog’s bone. But sometimes there is no possessive connection.

Sometimes the relationship is adjectival, not possessive:

Accounts department
Sports car
The accounts don’t have the department, and the sports don’t have a car – it’s a department of type “accounts”, and a car of type “sports”. We could just as well have written:

Marketing department
Two-door car
A department of type “marketing” and a car of type “two-door”. Clearly not possessive.

Sometimes there’s no thing to possess or be possessed:

Twelve weeks pregnant
There’s no such thing as a “pregnant”, and the twelve weeks can’t have one, so the phrase is not possessive. We could say twelve weeks’ notice and two years’ experience, because there are such things as notice and experience, and in some sense they are linked to (“given by” if you like) the twelve weeks and the two years. (Technically, pregnant is an adjective, notice and experience are nouns. Possessive phrases need two nouns – one to possess and one to be possessed.)

A forty-week pregnancy
The pregnancy is not linked to a “forty-week”. In forty weeks’ pregnancy, the pregnancy is linked to forty weeks.

She walks the dog
You sometimes see She walk’s the dog, but this is wrong. The walks here is not the possessive of a walk, but the present tense of the verb to walk. Verbs never take possessive apostrophes. It should be she walks the dog.

CD’s and video’s for sale.
This is also wrong – there’s nothing in the sentence to be possessed by the CD or the video. It should be plural, not possessive: CDs and videos for sale. It would be OK to say the CD’s label was coming off, and the video’s price was wrong, because the CD does have a label, and the video does have a price.

Sometimes it’s just a plural:

I own three Fords.
I reckon Sonys are the best DVD players.
I’ve sold three Ford Mondeos and two Ford Kas.

For lesson 1 on CV Grammar please click here

CV Grammar Lesson 2 Read More »

3 reasons you should not lie on your CV

3 Reasons why you should NOT lie on your CV.

Why you should not lie on your CV. For a start, lying on your CV IS illegal; Lee McQueen, ex Apprentice winner/liar raised his head early to be on the BBC breakfast show. Lee infamously lied on the CV he had provided to the programme makers and was found out. His lie had been to state on his CV that he had been at University for two years when he had only managed 4 months. The story then referenced remarks that Baroness Deech had made in regard to the validity of references for job candidates. The Baroness was quoted as saying, “references are not worth the paper that they are written on” because the Data Protection Act revision of 1998 makes it difficult for those writing a reference to be honest as the content can be seen by the person concerned.
Lee was made to feel uncomfortable by BBC presenter Sian Williams while Lee tried to plug his latest venture. Angel Baron was also a guest and added an opinion from a HR perspective suggesting that the DPA prevents/discourages what she deemed subjectivity/conjecture behaviour from previous employers or educational bodies.

But what does it all mean to you?

3 reasons why you should not lie on your CV are:

1. The first issue is that lying on your CV is illegal.
It’s a crime under the 2006 Fraud Act (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) and the maximum penalty is 10 years. The first person to be jailed was a Stoke-on-Trent man in 2009, who falsely claimed to have a doctorate and masters degree when applying for an NHS job.

2. It can taint your reputation:

Take Lee as the example. His lie could be described as innocuous. He stretched a period of time to disguise a chronological hole in his CV. As lies go it could be said that it’s not a big one. It certainly wasn’t a deal breaker for Lord Sugar as Lee won and became the Apprentice. Probably because it does not have any perceived relevance to events after. Did Lee benefit in his career? Is Lee’s career success significantly more important than him masking time when he was just kicking his heels? Probably. Did Lee win the competition on merit for being the consistent individual in the process? Lord Sugar thought so. Will Lee always be reminded of his Lie? Yes.

3. Can you live with your lie or will your moral compass spin infinitum?

This is, for most of us, the crux of the issue. The weight (or mass – depending on your mindset!) of a lie and how it sits in your psyche is directly linked to time. The further back in time the less of a perceived threat and thus less of a concern. The shorter a time period is the more of a threat the lie becomes. Think of it in forensic terms. The fresher it is, the easier to reference it becomes. And this is what Lee had hoped for, what has now become the irony that will continue to gnaw at him and shadow his current venture and future endeavours. Sian Williams knew it was a weakness and Lee squirming confirmed this.

Therefore, the reason why you should not lie on your CV is simple. There is no reason to do so, ever. It really can cause you problems. In the morning when you stumble into the bathroom to clean your teeth or to have a shave, and you look in the mirror are you ready for the doubts that you can see in your minds eye? Personally, I’m with the Baroness on this argument, and the more I consider it, the more the ramifications seem to be positive.

3 Reasons why you should NOT lie on your CV. Read More »

Professional CV

2012 Is your Career & CV ready for the Apocalypse?

It’s quite funny how the doom merchants gather around websites, blog’s and news feeds in a way that our ancestors would have gathered around a fire; All sitting there poking it with a stick or in today’s world a pithy remark. The reality is that nothing has changed, look into a fire for long enough and you will see, wait for it, a fire. Not some grand revelation, just a fire! Although it is startling how we seem segue from one social or economic disaster to another it would be naive to think that while its doubtful that the 4 horsemen will turn up on 21/12/12, its not impossible to consider that we will still be in the throes of serious instability.

Here is the good news;

The 2012 thing is all a bunch of hokum that was made up around the turn of 19th century, referenced and twisted ever since by author and scholar ever since.

How can you ensure your CV is Professional and ready for 2012: Read this and prepare!

2012 Is your Career & CV ready for the Apocalypse? Read More »

Frankenstein pumpkin carving

They're, their, there; A Halloween Horror CV Grammar Special

It’s an abomination that Victor Frankenstein would be proud of. If the parts are put together incorrectly, much like Victor’s early efforts, it will die, a quick and horrible death. It is, of course, poor CV grammar and the incorrect use of they’re, their and there.
To make this quick and easy to understand I have put together some simple examples of how the words should be used. I have also put some links at the bottom of the article for those of you that would like to learn more and even a link to the template that I used yesterday to create the Frankenstein pumpkin carving in the picture!

They’re: A contraction of: they are.
Usage: They’re going to the cinema. If they’re about to order food.

Their: A pronoun and not the same as they’re.
Usage: It was their car. The board will meet with you but it will be at their convenience.

There: An adverb and not the same as their.
Usage: Your CV is on the desk over there. When you get there. It is there.

These three words are regularly confused and can have the same damaging effect (not affect! I will cover this later.) as poor spelling. If you find yourself forgetting which word you should use then please bookmark this page and refer back to it when you wish.

Reference: Wiktionary
Pumpkin Carving: Frankenstein Pumpkin Carving Template


They're, their, there; A Halloween Horror CV Grammar Special Read More »

We are on Squidoo

The article is up and ready to read.
Due to the global economic climate over the last 4 years, there has been a dramatic change in recruitment; the net result has seen the employment market become a fiercely competitive and often brutal arena. If you do not have creative writing skills,an understanding of how to convey yourself in a succinct way which draws the reader in you are at risk of wasting valuable time and losing out on great work opportunities. If your CV doesn’t retain the interest of the reader, they will switch off and you will quickly find that all your job hunting efforts have been in vain. Read this guide for how YOU need to adapt and change.
Just visit Squidoo.

We are on Squidoo Read More »

How to write a Linkedin profile

Linkedin. Is it CV, Resume or Balancing Act and Business Card?

Beyond being just a cold callers dream come true, Linkedin has jostled and elbowed its way to the top of an unsteady pile of business networking sites. Often referred to as Facebook for grownups, what is its actual use?

Is Linkedin a Facebook for grownups?

From an outside perspective, it can have the appearance of a CV or Resume. But this is also what it is not. The owner of any profile controls their own page content, appearance and accuracy. This, quite regularly, becomes a long list which includes all sorts of information that should not be included:

1. Job descriptions
2. Business financials
3. Assorted other detail

Should you be using it and how?

Consider your audience.
Who will be trying to look at your Linkedin profile?
[list style=”list3″ color=”magenta”]

  • Competitors
  • Colleagues (including your management)
  • Like minded individuals
  • Researchers
  • Recruiters


You have to view the profile page as a Balancing Act, an extension of a Business Card . Give enough detail to entice and draw attention but be mindful about being to open with intrinsic corporate information, financials or even personal detail.

Never copy and paste your CV into your Linkedin profile. Think about it. Would you print off a couple of thousand copies of your CV and mail them to random people around the globe?

Use Linkedin as an extension into the digital business world but think about the content first.

Linkedin. Is it CV, Resume or Balancing Act and Business Card? Read More »

CV or a Resume? Did Napoleon read the first CV?

Is it a CV or a Resume (aka Résumé)

Blame the French!

Résumé (or resume, without accents) appears to have its origin in France somewhere between 1800 and 1805. It is the term most commonly used in North America for what is known in the UK as a Curriculum Vitae in full(a Latin phrase and first appears to have been used a century later than Résumé.), shortened to CV which is then also interchanged with Resume in the USA!

Clear as mud?

The CV or a Resume, that is the question;

The easiest work around is to remember that in the UK the most widely used term is CV and in North America the most common term is Resume. Further reading from Wikipedia here

The difference between the CV or a Resume is becoming wider. Once upon a time, both would have been career snapshots but in the UK this has started to change over the last decade and the last couple of years has seen this change gathering momentum. The CV is now becoming less snapshot and more highly condensed career history with a SPECIFIC clear definition of responsibilities and achievements for positions held with past employers.

The CV that would have been written (and still written by the majority), used to be more of a description of your career. The CV of today is a document that helps recruiters and employers rapidly funnel down to the strongest suitable individuals for a job. The information on the CV then forms a much greater part of the interview process.


If you have taken the effort to highlight the key areas of your past employment and match these as closely as possible to a position you have applied for then your future employer will want to know more. It’s the honey pot trap. You have alluded to something the employer needs and without the ambiguity of the CV from 10 years ago. This makes the employers life that much easier but also helps focus the interview around your CV, and importantly, your facts and figures. See our CV Tips page for more, here


Is it a CV or a Resume (aka Résumé) Read More »

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