The top 6 AP Style errors on resumesAug 12th, 2009 | By joegrimm | Category: Advice, The Package
Resumes in AP Style show you know your stuff
By JOE GRIMM
Journalistic resumes should generally be done in the style of the newsroom to which you are applying.
In a lot of cases, that still means the way the Associated Press does it, or AP Style.
Time and again, people claim on their resumes that they know AP Style, but they do not follow it. These are the top six style violations I see.
1. State abbreviations: This gets confusing because the AP asks for one set of abbreviations and the U.S. Postal Service uses another set. It is compounded by the fact that most resumes have a mailing address on them. You can go one of two ways: Use AP everywhere, including the mailing address or use the postal abbreviation in your mailing address and AP everywhere else. Do not spell out state names when they appear with cities and do not be inconsistent, bouncing all around.
2. Capitalization: A lot of job-seekers go crazy and become Excessive Capitalizers. AP says to capitalize titles only when they come directly before the name, and don’t do it with handles that are more descriptions than formal titles. Don’t capitalize majors, like journalism, that are not proper nouns, but do capitalize ones that are, like English.
3. Numbers: Spell out one through nine, then go 10, 11, 12 and so on. Why is this so hard to remember?
4. Punctuation: Colons introduce, dashes separate and hyphens join. But on a resume, people seem to run out of typographical devices and use these in all kinds of new and inventive ways. In many cases, there need not be any punctuation at all, as a little boldface and a line break signifies the change without extra typography.
5. Street addresses: AP tells us to abbreviate Avenue, Boulevard and Street when they are part of a numbered address. That’s all.
6. Seasons: Why do internships so often happen in Summer rather than summer? Is it to make seasons look like months? They shouldn’t.