Résumé Help – Profile Polish…No Pronouns Please!

By Debra Wheatman

On February 20, 2012

In Resume Help

About resume


The first several lines of Ben’s résumé could be putting his job search on hold.  If Ben made changes using basic résumé guidelines, he could overcome this problem.  Résumé guidelines are not arbitrary.  They are based on an understanding how the human brain receives written communication and how recruiters and employers select candidates for an interview.  Every style used and every word chosen is either supporting your career goal or harming you in your effort to gain an interview invitation.

Looking at Ben’s profile, we notice that he begins every sentence with “I.”  Pronouns are never used on résumés.  Résumés are written in the staccato style and one aspect of that style is that the pronoun is omitted.  Why is this particular style used?   The staccato style facilitates a quick read. It enables a reader to get right to the heart of the issue.

Another problem using “I” throughout the profile is that it is redundant.  It has the same basic sentence structure.  It reminds me of a first-grader’s report on “how I spent my summer vacation.” So, not only is Ben boring his poor readers, he is showcasing a deficiency in writing skills. 

The profile is loaded with “I….I….I….I.” It truly is all about what Ben wants.  When I read this I know exactly what Ben wants.  It would more compelling to the reader to know the unique value that Ben offers the company.  The employer is reading the long queue of résumés to find someone to solve their problems and make them money.  They are not looking for ways to help Ben grow and become a manager.

In Ben’s defense, this is a common problem with résumés, especially candidates with limited work experience.  None the less, if Ben wants interviews, he must re-write the résumé profile.  If your résumé suffers from this affliction, start fresh and make a list of the skills and experience that you are bringing the employer.  How do you fill their needs?  Use that information to craft a succinct opening profile using less than 100 words.

Would you like to read more articles related to this entry? If so, please check out these entries:

Adding Impact to the Top Third of Your Résumé

Objective and Summary Format

Average Résumé s Don’t Get Job Offers

If you would like a résumé critique, please contact Debra Wheatman at debra@careersdonewrite.com or visit us at http://careersdonewrite.com. The Résumé Help blog appears weekly on Mondays. 

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