Why’s My Resume in Past Tense?
Oh grammar. Some love you. Some hate you. Some school children run and hide at the mention of your name. Whatever we think of you, you’re anything but a linguistic luxury!
We without can’t sense make you.
That doesn’t mean we can’t bend or break your rules now and then. While helping clients build their best possible resumes, we’re often asked: “Why are all the bullet points in my resume in the past tense?”
The use of past tense for resume writing is a debated topic. Even so, consider what your resume is subjected to nowadays: Employers rely on an Applicant Tracking System (“ATS”) to filter their candidate pool. If your resume wins the machine’s approval and gets to a human, they’ll spend six seconds deciding whether to give yours closer attention.
We follow a longstanding resume-writing practice and use past tense verbs consistently. It’s easier on human readers and helps avoid ATS pitfalls. Is there an exception? Sure. Present tense is appropriate for bullet statements about an ongoing duty at your present employment.
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About The Author
Director of Writing Services
When she’s not buried in her 2021 reading list or rewatching Parks and Rec for the 17th time, Sara spends her time crafting custom content and developing compelling narratives that engage readers from start to finish. She’s a seasoned writer, Leslie Knope wannabe, and a job search expert with valuable insight into what works in the modern market. Connect with Sara on LinkedIn.