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How to Write a Better Résumé

Fix the most common mistakes that can keep you from getting the job you want.

By
Mignon Fogarty
3-minute read
Episode #248

What Should You Capitalize on a Résumé?

Make sure you get that interview by double-checking that the list items on your résumé match.

And on a note completely unrelated to parallel construction, the second most common mistake I see on résumés is people capitalizing words willy nilly.

We capitalize words because they are proper nouns—the name of something. That means you capitalize the official name of your department, but you don't capitalize the name of your position when you use it in a sentence. You also don't capitalize words that describe your department, a project you worked on, or your coworkers.

As a salesperson in the Department of Desserts, I handled the gumdrop and jelly bean accounts at the request of the marketing group.

The only words in that sentence that should be capitalized are “department” and “desserts” because “Department of Desserts” is the official name of the department, which makes it a proper noun. There's no reason to capitalize “salesperson,” “gumdrop,” “jelly bean,” or “marketing,” but I see people do it all the time on résumés. Capitalizing unnecessary words doesn't make them seem more important; it just makes it seem like you don't know how to use the language.

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About the Author

Mignon Fogarty

Mignon Fogarty is the founder of Quick and Dirty Tips and the author of seven books on language, including the New York Times bestseller "Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing." She is an inductee in the Podcasting Hall of Fame, and the show is a five-time winner of Best Education Podcast in the Podcast Awards. She has appeared as a guest expert on the Oprah Winfrey Show and the Today Show. Her popular LinkedIn Learning courses help people write better to communicate better.