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Home > Blog: Resumes > Are You Smarter Than a Spell Checker? Part II

Are You Smarter Than a Spell Checker? Part II

"No spelling errors" is one of the first rules of resume writing. Yet the English language, with its non-standard spellings and exceptions to every rule, seems cruelly designed to thwart our efforts.

Take for instance the words Loose, Lose, Choose, and Chose.

Spell checkers can't catch all 'misstakes'Despite their similar spellings, loose does not rhyme with choose. No, no, no. Loose rhymes with goose, noose, moose, and caboose. So therefore, it follows that lose must rhyme with nose, rose, and close. Wait, what!? How silly of me. That would make too much sense. Lose rhymes with, well, choose. (Ain't no spell checker gonna help you with that one, either.)

Thanks to this particular phonetic glitch, I have a spam folder full of emails declaring things like "Loose the fat with acai berries!" They fail to mention where the fat goes once you turn it loose. (I can't help but picture it orbiting around me like the moons of Jupiter.)

But the loose/lose thing is just one example. Take this quiz to see how well you can recognize the right choices among these 12 other commonly misused and/or misspelled resume words.

Choose either "a" or "b" to complete each sentence. The answers appear below (don't peek).


a) advise
b) advice 
That was lousy _____ you gave me about the stock market, Martha.

a) moral
b) morale

Sincere praise from management is good for employee _____.

a) definitely
b) definately 
We can _____ find a suitable position for you in the Payroll Department.

a) ocassionally
b) occasionally

His supervisor _____ requested that he work late when a critical deadline was approaching. 


a) Ceasar
b) Caesar

The four customers at Table 12 all ordered a _____ Salad with their lunch.  


a) category
b) catagory

Jobs that fall into the part-time _____ can range from a few hours a week to 30 or more. 

a) rationale
b) rational
He reacted instinctively, without taking time to go through a _____ thought process.

a) consensus
b) concensus
The union is hoping to reach a _____ with management before the contract expires.

a) ect.
b) etc.

Our ideal candidate must have solid computer skills (e.g., Word, Excel, Dreamweaver, _____).  

a) fluxuates
b) fluctuates

The workload _____ seasonally, with more customers in the summer than the winter.

a) liaison
b) liason

Bob's advertising experience made him the perfect _____ between clients and copywriters.

a) restaurants
b) restaraunts
Food service can be a lucrative career option, but _____ typically require odd work hours.   

*#5 isn't really a typical resume word, but it's my pet peeve so I snuck it in :)
The correct answers are:

  1. b) advice
  2. b) morale
  3. a) definitely
  4. b) occasionally
  5. b) Caesar
  6. a) category
  7. b) rational
  8. a) consensus
  9. b) etc.
  10. b) fluctuates
  11. a) liaison
  12. a) restaurants

How'd you do? Share your results and your thoughts by posting a comment below!

Check Your Resume Before You Send It
How Do YOU Spell Resume?
The No-Excuses Way to Submit an Error-Free Resume

Coming Tomorrow...
Watch for Brianna Raymond's post on what to do if you discover a typo in a resume you've already sent. In the meantime, if you want some more practice, try your hand at the
first Are You Smarter Than a Spell Checker quiz


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