Use parallel grammar structures

This video is 9.5 minutes long. It explains what parallel grammar structures are, why they are important, and how to use them.

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Transcript:

Hello, my name is Matt Krause, and I am the CV Doctor in Istanbul, Turkey.

Today’s lesson is: Use parallel grammar structures.

What are parallel grammar structures?

Parallel grammar structures are phrases that all begin with a noun, or all begin with an adjective, or all begin with a verb.

Let me show you a couple examples…

This is not parallel:

•Confident when presenting to large groups.
•Raised $1,000,000 in venture capital.
•Manager of complex engineering projects.

This is parallel:

•Confident presenter who explains complex subjects clearly.
•Persuasive fund-raiser who can raise millions of dollars.
•Resourceful manager of complex engineering projects.

You might ask, Matt, why do you want parallel grammar structures?

Well, parallel grammar structures make your CV easier to read.

Every sentence uses the same basic structure, so it’s easier for the reader’s brain…

Okay, let’s look at my own CV, and find entries that are not parallel…

Look at the first three jobs, Business Communications Coach, Moda Jewels, and Eddie Bauer…

All the bullets start with past-tense verb + noun/object…

“Trained managers…”

“Coached team…”

“Created website…”

“Cut costs…”

“Allocated budget…”

“Improved planning…”

“Developed tools…”

Ah, but that breaks down under “Purchasing Supervisor”…

It starts out “Transferred functions…”, which is good…

But then it changes — it switches to a different structure…

“During acquisition…” “of a California-based company…”

Huh? Now the reader is confused. All along, since the beginning, every bullet point was predictable. Past tense-verb + noun/object. Past tense verb + noun/object. Past tense verb + noun object…

But now there’s this “During acquisition of a California-based company…”

It breaks the pattern. When you break the pattern, you confuse the reader.

So, how can we fix it…

Well, fortunately, that same sentence has a past tense verb + noun/object. See the “…managed transition”?

So let’s just move that up front…

And then read it to see if it still sounds okay…

“Managed the company integration for merchandising and purchasing departments during acquisition of a California-based company with $6,000,000 annual sales.”

Now, “the” is not necessary. It’s not wrong, it’s just not necessary. So let’s get rid of it…

“Managed company integration for merchandising and purchasing departments during acquisition of a California-based company with $6,000,000 annual sales.”

Okay, now let’s move on and find example #2…

Remember, every bullet point should start with “past tense verb + noun/object”…

Whoa, here’s the next problem, right here, at the next bullet point…

“Throughout installation of a new ERP system…”

Fortunately, the solution for this one is just like the solution for the previous one, because we already have a “past tense verb + noun/object, we just need to move it to the front.

See “…managed the transition…”? We’ll just bring that to the front now…

And read it to see if it sounds okay…

“Managed the transition for merchandising and purchasing departments throughout installation of a new ERP system.”

“The” is not necessary. It’s not wrong, it’s just not necessary, so let’s get rid of it…

And now it reads…

“Managed transition for merchandising and purchasing departments throughout installation of a new ERP system.”

I see a couple other examples, but we only have time for one more. So let’s do Example #3…

I’m going to skip ahead to the Inventory Planner position. Remember, our pattern is “past tense verb + noun/object”…

See this, “Kept…”, “Worked…” “Negotiated…” “Traveled”…

But see the first bullet point, “Responsible for…”? That’s not a past tense verb. So let’s change it…

For now, I’ll change it to “Managed inventory turns…”

I’ve used the verb “to manage” a bunch of times already, so I need to find another word. But I’ll do that later.

Okay, that wraps up today’s lesson.

Remember, the goal of this lesson was: Use parallel structures. Whatever grammar structure you use, use it over and over and over. The reader will appreciate it, because it makes his life easier.

Also, remember that your CV can ALWAYS be improved. You can ALWAYS apply these lessons. They will never get old. Improve your CV, and then improve it again, and then improve it again, and then improve it again.

Thank you for watching, good luck to you, and remember, I am always here to help. Take care.