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Resume Writing: Verb Tenses Used in Resumes

FAQs For Resume Writing and Cover Letters


Q: I have a current job, but I am not sure how to present this job the most effectively when I list my achievements on my resume. What verb tense should I use for a current job? ~  Eric H., San Jose, CA


A: Good question Eric. When you have a current job, the best strategy is to use past tense verbs to showcase your achievements and job duties. When you use past tense, it shows an active sense of completion. This means that you accomplished those things listed on your resume and you mastered skills that can be used in your next job. Using past tense verbs in your resume makes a very solid presentation of what you have to offer a new company. When you use present tense on a resume for your current job, it gives the impression that you are in the middle of the achievements. It implies that you will master the skills in the future rather than already having the skills. Companies do not value skills that you might have in the future. Companies value skills that you already have because that is what will make you an asset to them.

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