Using Good English In Your Job Applications


Here are a few English language pitfalls to be mindful of when you’re writing your CV and covering letter. 


An infinitive is the basic form of a verb, preceded by ‘to’ (egto live is to learn’). To ‘split’ an infinitive is stick a word between the ‘to’ and the verb. Although there’s actually nothing wrong with phrases like ‘to boldly go’, it’s advisable to go a little less boldly; some people despise split infinitives, and it’s never worth the risk of annoying someone.



We’ve all had cause to cringe at our own spelling at one time or another. Ideally you want to be doing the cringing before, not after, you’ve submitted your CV and covering letter.

One way to avoid spelling errors is to be vigilant for repeat offenders. According to a study conducted by the job advertisement site Adzuna, the top ten most commonly misspelled words on CVs are:

  1. Responsibility
  2. Liaise
  3. University
  4. Experience
  5. Speciality
  6. Communication
  7. Achievement
  8. Management
  9. Environment
  10. Successful


Me, Myself and I

In your CV and covering letter, you should use ‘myself’ only as the English language intended – that is, as a reflexive pronoun. Never say, ‘That was a challenge for myself and the team’; what you mean is, ‘That was a challenge for me and the team.’

Rosemary Proctor writes for Inspiring Interns, which helps career starters find the perfect job, in everything from sales jobs to marketing internships. To browse their graduate jobs London listings, visit their website.