Past or present tense in a resume? - Design Resumes

I would not look favorably on a native English speaker who described past work in the present tense. I'm more forgiving when English is not the candidate's mother tongue.

Present tense is the verb by itself without any

3. In cases where it is useful to contrast different ideas that originate from different periods, you can use the past and the present or present perfect tense to do so. The past tense implies that an idea or a theory has lost its currency or validity, while the present tense conveys relevance or the current state of acceptance.


Should I use present tense on an English CV/resume

However, in your present job or position, you may have a mix of past and present tense verbs. Huh? You're thinking, that's impossible!

Resume writers can differ. One resume writer may choose to always use the past tense. For me, if you are still doing it, it belongs in present tense. In your past jobs, you need to make sure everything is past tense.


When writing your resume, remember the Top 10 qualities that employers seek are:

Communication skills (verbal and written)
Honesty/integrity
Teamwork skills (works well with others)
Interpersonal skills (relates well to others)
Motivation/initiative
Strong work ethic
Analytical skills
Flexibility/adaptability
Computer skills
Organizational skills

Is it enough if I use the Auto Spell Check on my resume?

No. You should always proofread your resume since Spell Check will not catch errors on all capped words and words that are misused. For example, Spell Check does not know if you've misused the words "they're", "their", or "there".

Should I use past or present tense throughout my resume?

It's recommended that you used present tense for a current position and past tense for all previous positions.

Should I write an objective on my resume?

Absolutely. This will let the employer know that you know what you want and are goal oriented. Be specific and tailor your objective to the job you're applying to.

Should I include a cover letter with my resume?

Yes. A cover letter can't hurt - even though not everybody reads it. However, for those employers who do read a cover letter, it could make the difference between getting them to call your or not. A cover letter should always indicate which position you're applying to, a brief summary of your background, and most importantly, why you're a good fit for the position. I think present tense diminishes any accomplishments as it sounds like the person is involved in some activity that may or may not be fruitful.