Why are resumes written without pronouns?

 In Resumes and Cover Letters

Why are resumes written without pronouns?Resumes use a unique style of writing to emphasize brevity in order to maximize the reader’s time. This is especially important since the average résumé receives fewer than 30 seconds of the reader’s time upon first review.

Many people find this style of writing a bit confusing, so here is an explanation about “resume speak.”

  • Resumes use a version of first-person style, but omit the subject (“I” / “me” / “my”).
  • We use present tense for activities you currently perform, and past tense for past activities and achievements — particularly for older positions on your resume, but also to describe responsibilities you once performed in your current job, but no longer do.
  • To emphasize brevity, we remove most articles (“a” / “an” / “the” / “my”), except when doing so would hurt the readability of the sentence.
  • We write in a strong, active style, emphasizing action verbs (“direct” / “manage” / “lead” / “conduct”) instead of passive descriptions of activity.

Thus, this paragraph is incorrect:

I am a dedicated professional with extensive experience in corporate accounting, budgeting, and financial reporting. You will find me to be consistently successful in providing accurate information for management decision-making. I can develop and implement accounting training programs to increase staff efficiency and productivity. I am also an effective communicator with the ability to work with individuals at all levels of employment.

Here is that same paragraph, rewritten in “resume speak”:

Dedicated professional with extensive experience in corporate accounting, budgeting, and financial reporting. Consistently successful in providing accurate information for management decision-making. Develop and implement accounting training programs to increase staff efficiency and productivity. Effective communicator with the ability to work with individuals at all levels of employment.

Kathy Keshemberg is a Nationally Certified Resume Writer and Certified Career Management Coach. Since 1983, she has created thousands of interview-winning resumes and related job-search materials for satisfied clients around the world. Need assistance with your career? We’re here to help! www.acareeradvantage.com

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