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Using correct verb tense

Dear Deb,

My sister helped me by writing my first résumé last weekend.  In my current job she used the verbs, “supervise,” “control” and  “write.”  Shouldn’t it be “supervises,” “controls” and “writes?”   I don’t want to insult her because I know she spent a lot of time writing it for me.  But, I would be embarrassed if an employer caught her error. 

Darius B.

Dear Darius,

Your sister is correct.  Résumés are written in the first person, which means it is as if you speaking from your point of view.  Also, résumés are written in the staccato style to facilitate a quick read. In the staccato style, pronouns (such as “I”) are omitted as well as any articles (the, an, a).  Additionally we do not spell out numbers (9 instead of nine).  So, in a standard style statement, you may say, “I supervise a staff of 9.”  In a résumé, we would write, “Supervise staff of 9.”

Thanks for sharing your question.  That is a very common concern for individuals not familiar with résumé standards.


If you have a question for Deb, please email [email protected]. The Ask Deb column appears every Friday on our blog at the Careers Done Write website.  

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Dear Deb,

My sister helped me by writing my first résumé last weekend.  In my current job she used the verbs, “supervise,” “control” and  “write.”  Shouldn’t it be “supervises,” “controls” and “writes?”   I don’t want to insult her because I know she spent a lot of time writing it for me.  But, I would be embarrassed if an employer caught her error. 

Darius B.

Dear Darius,

Your sister is correct.  Résumés are written in the first person, which means it is as if you speaking from your point of view.  Also, résumés are written in the staccato style to facilitate a quick read. In the staccato style, pronouns (such as “I”) are omitted as well as any articles (the, an, a).  Additionally we do not spell out numbers (9 instead of nine).  So, in a standard style statement, you may say, “I supervise a staff of 9.”  In a résumé, we would write, “Supervise staff of 9.”

Thanks for sharing your question.  That is a very common concern for individuals not familiar with résumé standards.


If you have a question for Deb, please email [email protected]. The Ask Deb column appears every Friday on our blog at the Careers Done Write website.  

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