resume tense example

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Resume tense example

Grammar rules can be a pain, but don't ignore them—you can be sure hiring managers will be paying close attention! Choosing the right tense is important when you're starting to write a resume and apply to jobs. As with so many elements of a good resume , the ultimate choice comes down to your individual style and preferences.

Use these guidelines to help you choose the right approach. Nearly every resume will have at least some responsibilities that are in the past tense. If you're listing a previous employer that you're no longer with, you should list every responsibility and accomplishment in the past tense. The same is true for extracurricular activities or volunteer positions that you held in the past but are no longer a part of. To simplify things, some people choose to list all their resume elements in past tense.

If you're struggling to decide where you should switch to present tense or you're worried about keeping a sense of consistency throughout, this is a fine strategy that will alleviate some of the stress of putting together your resume. If you'd like to include some present tense verbs on your resume, you should use these exclusively for responsibilities that you still perform.

Thus, you may choose to list all your responsibilities for your current job in present tense while listing the responsibilities for past positions in past tense. If you're filling out a resume with minimal job experience , you may choose to include extracurricular activities or work on volunteer projects.

You may mention these in the present tense only if you're still involved in them. If you've graduated from college, any activities you participated in while there would remain in past tense. However, if you're mentioning your work with, say, Habitat for Humanity and you're still active in the organization, it's appropriate to use present tense. In general, you should avoid mixing past and present tense under a single heading.

The one exception is a current position for which you're listing both responsibilities and accomplishments. Responsibilities like "Oversees sales associates" would remain in present tense because they're ongoing. The most important part of using past or present tense in your resume is maintaining consistency.

An employer won't judge you harshly for sticking to a safe past tense throughout, but it's sure to cast a poor light on your professionalism if you go back and forth with abandon. Pick a strategy, stick with it, and proofread carefully for an impressive resume. Related: How to List Education on a Resume. In the following employment history example, a fashion designer worked at a design house for nearly three years. This person has listed their responsibilities in bullet points. Once again, write all summaries in the present tense for current work positions.

Here is an example of a summary written by a certified registered nurse:. I pride myself on my ability to calm patients and ensure they are given the best care possible. In this next example, the resume writer works at an elementary school. This person has been with Forest Hill Elementary since February and teaches the sixth grade. All responsibilities are listed in this entry. In this work history example, we can list all the responsibilities the head chef has.

However, we will also include the promotion this person received months after starting at the restaurant. The past accomplishment should probably be listed at the bottom, but the promotion is somewhat indicated by the listed position of head chef.

Indeed Home. Find jobs. Company reviews. Find salaries. Upload your resume. Sign in. When to use past tense in a resume. Past awards and accomplishments. The name of a school you attended, business you worked for or organization of which you were a part The city and state where the school, business or organization was located The years you attended the school, worked for the business or were a part of the organization Bullet points or a summary paragraph detailing what you accomplished at the school, business or organization, with each bullet point or summary starting with an action verb.

Include the full name of the school you attended. You may put the year you graduated in parentheses next to the name of the school. Show the city and state where the school was located underneath the name of the school. List the type of diploma you earned from the school. Include the GPA underneath the diploma you earned optional. Work experience. When to use present tense in a resume. List your profession, skills and experience in the first sentence.

Current work positions. List your position and include the years you worked at the business in parentheses. When to use present and past tense in a section of your resume. The name of the business you are working for. The name of the city where the business is located.

Your position, plus the years you worked for in parentheses. Examples of resume entries in the past tense.

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This section should include a third-person introduction that highlights your current skills and qualifications, as well as the company to whom you are applying to. The other area where it is recommended that you use the present tense in your resume is that of current employment, more specifically, in your description of current job responsibilities within your position. You should begin each bullet point with a present-tense action verb that highlights your job duties and use present tense language throughout.

Indeed Home. Find jobs. Company reviews. Find salaries. Upload your resume. Sign in. Present vs. Tips for choosing the right tense. Check uniformity. Consider current relevance. Review job description keywords. When to use the present tense in your resume. Objective statement or resume summary. Current employment.

To optimize your resume for ATS, you have to include the search terms that the employer or recruiter is likely to put into their ATS. To figure out these search terms, read the job description closely. Look for keywords that the employer uses in the job description and use them in your resume.

For example, when the employer uses the verb "train" in the present tense, you can change your resume phrase from "trained customer support agents on company policies and procedures" to "managed to train new customer support agents on company policies and procedures.

Related: Words to Avoid and Include on a Resume. Some candidates use verbs in their present participle form verbs that end with -ing rather than in their past participle form verbs that end with -ed when describing their previous job responsibilities.

It seems much easier to write "training the team of customer support agents" in your past or current duties than to decide between "managed" or "manage. However, using this method may leave an impression of incompleteness. Verbs used in the past or present tense, on the contrary, provide a sense of achievement and active involvement, giving it a sense of authority. Here's a template to help you draft a resume that uses the correct tense:. Here's an example of a resume that uses the correct verb tense:.

Josh Sanchez Crest Ct. Summary IT Professional with over 15 years of experience specializing in IT department management for business process outsourcing companies. I can implement effective IT strategies at local and international levels. My greatest strength is business awareness, which allows me to permanently streamline applications and infrastructure. Seeking to use my IT management skills in Microsoft, Inc.

Senior Project Manager present St. Lukes Medical Center, ME. Junior Project Manager St. Indeed Home. Find jobs. Company reviews. Find salaries. Upload your resume. Sign in. Why is resume tense important? List of tenses. Present tense: Use this tense when describing the work you're currently doing. Past tense: This tense is appropriate when describing positions you have had in the past and are no longer doing. Future tense: This tense is rarely seen in resumes, but students could use it when applying for educational internships.

It can also be used in a resume objective to show what you hope to achieve in a specific role or at a specific company. How to choose a resume tense. Use past tense for past jobs. Use present tense for current jobs. Avoid combining present and past tense under one heading.

Use future tense when applying for an internship or when referring to your goals in your resume objective. Supervise the team of 10 customer support agent Manage the work of the sales department Carry out strategic development Trained 10 new employees Developed a performance appraisal system Implemented an effective employee training program. Use future tense when applying for an internship. Examples of past tense resume verbs. List of present tense resume verbs. Management skills. Organizational skills.

Technical skills. Helping skills. Financial skills. Creative skills. Create Conceptualize Act Fashion Revitalize. Additional tips for choosing the right resume tense. Optimize your resume for ATS. Avoid verbs in their present participle. Resume template. Begin with your most recent. Resume example.

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If you are referring to previous employers that you're no longer with, use the past tense. List every accomplishment e. The same is true for volunteer positions or extracurricular activities that you have had in the past but are no longer a part of. To keep things simple, some people prefer to list all the elements of their resume in the past tense.

If you don't have an idea where you should switch to the present tense or you are worried about the consistency of your resume, listing all resume elements in the past tense is a good strategy that reduces some of the stress of putting together your resume.

Related: 6 Universal Rules for Resume Writing. If you want to include present tense verbs on your resume, use these exclusively for work that you still perform. You may list all your responsibilities for your current position in the present tense while listing the responsibilities for your previous positions in the past tense. If you are writing a resume with little to no job experience, you may include work on volunteer projects or extracurricular activities that you're still involved in and mention them in the present tense.

If you have graduated from college, any activities you participated in during your stay would remain in the past tense. However, if you are mentioning your work with an organization that you are still a part of, it's best to use the present tense. To keep a sense of consistency throughout your resume, avoid combining past and present tense under the same heading. For instance, if you've had two or more positions within the same organization or company, it can sometimes look confusing to have both present and past tense for a position that has basically the same job title but different roles.

In this case, it would be best to keep your resume to the past tense only. You may only combine past and present tense if you have a current job for which you are listing as accomplishments and responsibilities. Keep specific accomplishments in the past because you completed it. Job responsibilities would stay in the present tense because they are ongoing.

List the current responsibilities first, followed by your past accomplishments, as this mirrors the way you demonstrate your entire career history in the chronological order. Here's an example of how a list of past accomplishments and present responsibilities should be listed:.

You can use both tenses in a resume as long as you adhere to the rules for resume tense usage. Using this approach creates a sense of commitment and carefulness, which an attentive hiring manager is likely to notice. The future tense is rarely used in resumes, but it could have possible benefits for college students. For instance, if you are applying for a summer internship and you want to emphasize that you will be doing something else during the fall that will help your application, you can include a brief description of it in the future tense.

Keep in mind, however, that mentioning work experiences that you will expect to have can hurt you when looking for a job. If you're applying for a position in a company that looks for part-time employees or interns to later transition into full-time, saying that you have something lined up may not work in your favor.

If you're applying for educational internships, however, this may be a good option. Here are some examples of resume action verbs in the past tense you can use to highlight past accomplishments:. Instead of using common past-tense phrases like "served as," "responsible for," "duties included" or "actions encompassed," try the following verbs:.

If you want to demonstrate your communication skills, try the following verbs in the past tense:. Here are some examples of resume action verbs—categorized by skill type—in the present tense you can use to highlight current responsibilities and skills:. If you want to demonstrate your management skills, you can try the following present tense verbs:. To demonstrate your technical skills, use the following:.

To demonstrate your helping skills, use the following:. Here are additional tips to help you choose the right resume tense:. It turns out that even the resume tense can affect the way the system searches for results. If the job description mentions "research," which is in the present tense, and you used the word "researched," which is in the past tense, ATS may overlook your resume.

To optimize your resume for ATS, you have to include the search terms that the employer or recruiter is likely to put into their ATS. To figure out these search terms, read the job description closely. Look for keywords that the employer uses in the job description and use them in your resume. For example, when the employer uses the verb "train" in the present tense, you can change your resume phrase from "trained customer support agents on company policies and procedures" to "managed to train new customer support agents on company policies and procedures.

Related: Words to Avoid and Include on a Resume. Some candidates use verbs in their present participle form verbs that end with -ing rather than in their past participle form verbs that end with -ed when describing their previous job responsibilities. It seems much easier to write "training the team of customer support agents" in your past or current duties than to decide between "managed" or "manage.

However, using this method may leave an impression of incompleteness. Verbs used in the past or present tense, on the contrary, provide a sense of achievement and active involvement, giving it a sense of authority. Here's a template to help you draft a resume that uses the correct tense:. Here's an example of a resume that uses the correct verb tense:.

Josh Sanchez Crest Ct. Summary IT Professional with over 15 years of experience specializing in IT department management for business process outsourcing companies. I can implement effective IT strategies at local and international levels. My greatest strength is business awareness, which allows me to permanently streamline applications and infrastructure.

Seeking to use my IT management skills in Microsoft, Inc. Senior Project Manager present St. This also applies to a short sentence blurb you might include as a quick overview of your current job — overviews of past jobs should be written in past tense. Always write in simple past or present tense — analyzed, led, increased, manage.

Never use the present participle form eg. The other thing to consider when writing your resume is point of view. This means your bullet points should sound like they were written by you. Curious about what past vs present tense looks like in action? Here are some examples to guide you. In general, using past tense is always correct. This applies even to your current job.

Even in cases where present tense may be more appropriate, past tense is never wrong and is unlikely to look strange to a hiring manager. Using present tense incorrectly, on the other hand, may raise a few red flags.

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