Don't Write Your Resume in the Third Person


Top Notch Executive Resumes Hiring decision-makers surveyed for the book, Top Notch Executive Resumes identified this as one of their Top 30 Executive Resume Pet Peeves: Resume is written in third-person. Survey respondents were surprisingly vocal in their irritation over this resume affectation. Although the pronoun “I” is generally not used in resume, it is the understood — but unwritten — subject of a resume’s bullet points. Note that “I” is the unwritten subject of this bullet point:
    [I] Facilitate restriction-removal processes on restricted/private placement securities. When the bullet point, however, is written with a third-person verb, as in the following, the subject becomes “he” or “she:” [He] or [She] Facilitates restriction-removal processes on restricted/private placement securities.
Some job-seekers are even more blatant in their use of third person, annoying employers with summary statements such as:
    George Jones is a globally experienced broker and trader with significant, progressive brokerage experience and expertise. As an Information Resources Management manager (IRM) at both the corporate and project level, Bob Smith has consistently demonstrated his ability to understand customer needs and develop and implement effective IRM solutions for both commercial and government contracts.

See all 30 peeves: executive resume peeves 1-10 in Part 1, executive resume peeves 11-20 in Part 2 and executive resume peeves 21-30 in Part 3.