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6 Common Grammar Errors in Job Letters

By Joyce Lain Kennedy

When writing a letter for a job application, your use of correct grammar is essential. Simple mistakes can indicate to your reader that you are careless in your writing. Here are some common errors to avoid and ways to fix them:

Error Term Definition of Term Don’t Do This Do This
Subject–verb disagreement Subject and verb don’t agree, resulting in a
grammatically incorrect sentence.
Our team, as well as the company, value ambition. Our team, as well as the company, values
ambition.
Active voice vs. passive voice Active voice relates an action (good); passive voice relates a
state of existence (bad).
I was trained in all aspects of public relations. U.C.I. trained me in all aspects of public
relations.
Sentence fragment Phrase lacks a subject and/or verb, revealing an incomplete
thought.
Unlike some applicants. Unlike some applicants, I bring talent and
diversity.
Run-on sentence Contains more than one complete thought; may lack
punctuation.
Every writer knows how important grammar is, I know that you
really value marketing, and sales skills, in your business
correspondence.
Every writer knows the importance of grammar. I also understand
that you value marketing and sales skills in your business
correspondence.
Subject–pronoun disagreement Pronouns don’t agree with subject, resulting in a
confusing or easily misunderstood sentence.
When someone reads, they should pay attention to details. When someone reads, he (or she) should pay attention to
details. Or: When people read, they should pay attention to
details.
Misplaced modifiers Incorrect placement of a description of one subject in a
sentence with two subjects; result is confusion.
Falling more than 500 feet, we watched the daredevil
bungee-jump off a cliff.
We watched the daredevil bungee-jump, falling more than 500
feet off a cliff.