Monday, October 25, 2010

Is the Curly Apostrophe Playing Wicked Tricks on Your Resume and Cover Letter?

Did you know that curly apostrophes can create nonsensical gibberish in your resume and cover letter? Without realizing it, you could be sending an employer something that looks like a typo and makes a negative first impression.

In a previous post, "Smart" Quotes in E-Resumes, I explained how curly quotation marks (aka, "smart quotes") can translate into a series of nonsensical characters when transferred through email or posted on websites.

Turns out, curly apostrophes can pull the same wicked trick. For example, here's what might happen if you use curly apostrophes when you write your resume and then post it online:

ABC's products  
might turn into something like this "typo"
ABC & # 039;s products


The Solution to the Curly Apostrophe Problem

Here's how to fix the curly apostrophe problem and prevent both apostrophe and quotation mark "typos" from sneaking into your documents: Use straight quotes, not curly (smart) quotes.

Because the quotation mark and apostrophe functions are tied together somehow in the MS Word settings, when you choose to use straight quotes instead of curly quotes, you will automatically be telling Word that you want straight apostrophes instead of curly ones.

8 Steps to Replace Curly Quotes With Straight Quotes in MS Word 2007
  1. With MS Word open, click the Office Button in the upper left corner of your screen.
  2. Select Word Options (in the lower right corner of the window).
  3. With Word Options opens, click Proofing in the left column, then click AutoCorrect Options.
  4. Click the AutoFormat tab and unselect Replace Straight Quotes With Smart Quotes.
  5. Click the AutoFormat As You Type tab and unselect Replace Straight Quotes With Smart Quotes.
  6. Click OK to exit AutoCorrect Options.
  7. Click OK to close Word Options.
  8. Open your Word document and manually delete and retype each apostrophe and quotation mark in your document (or use the Replace option found in your Home toolbar).

No comments: