And: another thing.

July 17, 2015 at 7:27 am | Posted in copywriting | 5 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
When to replace 'and' with '&'.

Concise copy is sweet!

I just did the penultimate edit of a resume (CV).

My client asked why I changed most instances of ‘and’ to ampersands (&) in his many bullet points.

Here’s what I replied:

In the context of this document, using ampersands lets busy recruiters cut to the chase without having to trip over 50 or so connecting words.

The ampersands fade into the background, bringing keywords to the fore.

Also, the four pages you sent were pretty dense, so this change got some bullets onto fewer lines – and created more white space between them.

All for easier reading – in case it’s 5 pm, on a Friday, and yours is the 99th resume of the day.

And if the recruiter is using software to scan your resume for keywords, it won’t be interested in ‘and’ under any circumstances.

I also removed most instances of ‘the’ as it, too, usually adds nothing to bullet points.

These are both changes we can reverse if you prefer.



you have it!


Brought to you by The Feisty Empire.

Pic by abakedcreation.


RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

  1. Reblogged this on Desolie: thoughts about editing, writing and words and commented:
    Using ampersands? ‘No way! I’ll have to disagree with you there Paul.’ But…

  2. ‘I’m going to have to disagree with you on this one Paul,’ I thought when I read the intro.
    But your explanation makes blindingly obvious sense!
    I dips me lid.

    • Hi, Desolie. Man, you really had be hanging there with ‘But…’! I must remember to end my next serial blog post with that one. I was trembling at the prospect of our first disagreement. Then came the wondrous release of our continued concord. So much excitement before dawn. What other treasures with today bring?! With kind regards and many thanks for the ride, P.

  3. Greetings. I hate reading resumes and find myself thinking blah, blah, blah: we’re looking for a marketing person, not a super hero. What I find particularly annoying is this: I have had five (5) years experience and two (2) years in management. Do they really think that I may misunderstand ‘five’ so need it numeralised? So I read – I have five five years experience so that resume goes in the bin!

    Cheers Malcolm

    • Nice one (1) Malcolm! For years I wrestled with that bugbear in HR. I think it stems from the engineering practice of measuring twice before cutting once. And when engineers wouldn’t stop it, other ranks started, because they figured the smarties knew what they were doing. Wah-WOWWH! Kind regards and great to (2) see you. P.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Entries and comments feeds.

%d bloggers like this: