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Tandem Powered offers a full suite of Professional Resume Writing, Career Development, and HR / Business Consulting services.

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Tandem Powered's blog is dedicated to empowering readers by highlighting best practices in the arena of resume writing, career development, and organizational effectiveness, as well as by providing readers with an insider's view of the corporate hiring process.

Do You Use Proper "Resume Speak"

Kent Nolen

From the archives - common questions worth re-addressing. Q: Is it still standard to refrain from using words such as “a” and “the” on a resume?

A: You are referring to a often frustrating resume convention – implied articles – that is still a respected standard (although it is not the hard-and-fast rule that it used to be).

For instance, you’d want to write: “Earned Best in Class award for increasing sales 16% over previous quarter.”  instead of ”Earned the Best in Class award for increasing sales 16% over the previous quarter.”

As we move (slowly) towards a recruiting and job search environment that relies more and more on candidates’ Ideas and the real value they bring to the table, resume content is shifting. With that, there’s a bit more flexibility, but you still want to avoid overusing articles.

You’ll find that great resumes will have more articles than they used to. That’s not a big deal. Sometimes articles make something “read” more effectively or they anchor an especially complex bullet.

This is also a good time to speak to another convention – implied first person – that is also the norm.  Never use “I” or “my” on a resume but always write from the first person. These pronouns are always implied. No exceptions. Some people make the mistake of taking a third person voice on their resumes. This is a big no-no and sends the wrong message.

These can be especially tricky concepts to understand, so be sure to send off an e-mail if you need clarification.