Ask a Resume Writer: Do You Write Resumes in Third Person?

Ask a Resume Writer: Do You Write Resumes in Third Person?

There are certain elements every resume should have, such as contact information, skills, career history, and educational background. You know what to include in your resume, but you may be stuck on how to write it – Can you use “I” in a resume? Should you use personal pronouns in a resume? Do you write resumes in the third person or first person?

If any of these questions sound familiar to you, read on for expert advice from Erin Steiner, a certified resume writer at iHire.

 

What point of view should a resume be written in?

“Resumes should be written in first person with pronouns and filler words removed where possible. This clipped style of writing is also known as the telegraphic writing style or implied first person,” explained Steiner.

Review your resume and take out words such as I, my, our, a, an, and the. Your resume will become shorter, more direct, and easier to skim.

“Using third person on your resume sounds awkward, oddly formal, and even egotistical because you’re writing about yourself,” Steiner continued. “Plus, repeating your name over and over again will make your resume long and repetitive.”

 

What is the telegraphic writing style?

Here are examples of the same paragraph from a resume written in first person, third person, and first person using the telegraphic writing style:

Incorrect: First Person

I delivered in-home play therapy for children. I worked with 3 families each week and held weekly progress meetings with my supervisor. I created/presented follow-up reports every 4 months. I partnered with parents and fellow staff to devise and implement needs-specific interventions. In addition to my assigned caseload, I assisted with in-office play therapy whenever possible.

Incorrect: Third Person

Jane delivered in-home play therapy for children. Jane worked with 3 families each week and held weekly progress meetings with her supervisor. Jane created/presented follow-up reports every 4 months. Jane partnered with parents and fellow staff to devise and implement needs-specific interventions. In addition to her assigned caseload, Jane assisted with in-office play therapy whenever possible.

Correct: First Person Using Telegraphic Writing Style

Delivered in-home play therapy for children. Worked with 3 families each week and held weekly progress meetings with supervisor. Created/presented follow-up reports every 4 months. Partnered with parents and fellow staff to devise and implement needs-specific interventions. In addition to assigned caseload, assisted with in-office play therapy whenever possible.

“In some cases, using filler words will be necessary for accuracy and clarity,” advised Steiner. “But if you remove most of them, you’ll have a crisp and concise document that enables your reader to digest your unique skills, experience, and achievements quickly.”

 

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by: Natalie Winzer
June 28, 2022

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