I know it sounds cool when you hear it on the radio or TV. I know it makes the person look important; but please, do not write your resume in 3rd person.
Your resume is basically you. It speaks about your professional -and sometimes personal- life.
Even if you hire a professional resume writer, refrain from having it done in the 3rd person.
For instance, take these passages I found in a resume on a job portal:
- His distinctive accomplishments and unrelenting perseverance during his distinguished 20-year career will prove him an asset to any organization.
- He performed brilliantly leading “X” division [...]
- Utilizing his superb skill and resourcefulness, he executed vital tasks as [...]
Instead of (someone?) telling me that you are relentless, distinguished, brilliant, superb and resourcefull… PROVE IT!
Show me numbers and concrete achievements. You patting yourself on the back does not tell me a thing about how you will perform if the company decides to hire you.
All these adjectives are purely subjective and on top of that I can infer from your rhetoric that you can be quite biased when it takes to your perception of yourself.
In defense of some, there’s an old school tradition of writing resumes in 3rd person but it’s not the norm anymore. Still, it sounds odd, impersonal and managers usually are reluctant to add oddity to their roster.
In the case I cited above, the problem isn’t that this guy wrote his resume in 3rd person; he did a really good job at showcasing his oversized ego.
I’m not saying that writing a resume in 3rd person will leave you side-lined, but my first impression will not be a pleasant one, unless the job description lists Narcissism and Egolatry as required traits for the job.
If you write about yourself, do it in 1st person. Leave the 3rd for when people talk about you on the radio or TV ;)
Second Issue: Narrative vs. List of achievements and experience
Another problem, not ususally seen but still not uncommon, is writing resumes as a narratives.
There are 2 reasons why writing resumes in a narrative form is not a good idea:
- It takes longer for recruiters to scan the resume for useful information: and trust me, their attention span when reading resumes is very short.
- That’s what the cover letter is for
The safest approach is to list your achievements and experience, use -but don’t abuse- bullets if needed and be concise. It’s also a good idea to follow these guidelines before submitting your resume.
Image credit, 365 China photo