CV Spellings

Here are some quick tips to avoid mistakes that could be detrimental while editing your CV.

Master’s is always spelt with an apostrophe. Easy. This is because the apostrophe indicates that a person has obtained their master’s. Now, I said always… the exception is when you write Master of Science or Master in Creative Writing with no possessive form required.

I used to think we wrote PhD to represent Doctorate of Philosophy. Yet that would be DoP?!

PhD is an abbreviation of the Latin: Doctor Philosophiae. Latin does not have a set word order hence PhD.

A useful abbreviations list for your CV:

MSc (Master of Science)

MBA (Master of Business Administration)

BA (Bachelor of Arts)

BSc (Bachelor of Science)

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Capitalisation for your CV

It would be incorrect to capitalise degrees unless using their official title:

I have a bachelor’s degree in biology. I have a master’s degree in literature.

I have a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. I have a Master of Arts in Education.

Things to capitalise:

  • A noun such as the name of a company
  • Brands
  • City names
  • Months and days of the week
  • University names
  • Your job title, but not in a sentence or when it follows your name.
Verb tense

This should be past tense for previous positions and present tense for your current role.


Pay attention to the following homophones that are commonly spelt wrong because they sound alike






Who is Emma?

Emma Parfitt Editing Proofreading

Emma is a proofreader with 18 years of writing experience with businesses, academics and creative writers. She obtained a Creative Writing MA (St Andrews University) and a PhD in Storytelling (Warwick University). Then set up her own proofreading business and became a published author of fiction as well as academic literature such as Young People, Learning & Storytelling (Palgrave Macmillan).

Get in touch.

Emma Parfitt

Proofreader for business and academic documents, translations, and English writing.


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