Should your resume be in the past or present tense?

When crafting a resume, consistency in verb tense is crucial for clarity and professionalism. Generally, the standard practice is to use past tense for past roles and present tense for current roles.

1. Past Tense for Past Roles:

  • For previous positions or experiences, describe your responsibilities and achievements in the past tense.

Example: “Managed a team of 10 employees and coordinated marketing campaigns for a multinational corporation.”

  • Use action verbs ending in “-ed” to denote past actions.

Example: “Developed a new software system that improved operational efficiency by 30%.”

2. Present Tense for Current Roles:

  • Describe your current responsibilities and ongoing achievements using present tense.

Example: “Oversee project management activities and collaborate with cross-functional teams to achieve project milestones.”

  • Use action verbs ending in “-ing” to signify ongoing duties.

Example: “Implementing innovative strategies to enhance customer engagement and increase sales.”

Consistency is key throughout your resume. Ensure that you maintain the chosen tense for each role consistently. However, when listing accomplishments or achievements within a role, it’s acceptable to use past tense even if the role is your current position.

Remember, while this is the typical convention, there can be exceptions based on industry standards or personal preferences. It’s always beneficial to tailor your resume to the specific job description and industry requirements.

When creating your resume, review it thoroughly to ensure all descriptions and tenses align with the established guideline. This attention to detail will enhance the professionalism and readability of your resume, making it more appealing to potential employers.

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