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I’m in the process of converting my CV into a résumé.

I have a few options for the bits about where I worked and what I did.

  1. I implemented X, I used Y to do it, I coordinated Z.

  2. (current CV format, kinda) Implemented X. Utilised Y. Coordinated Z.

  3. Third Person: He did X, He used Y He coordinated Z

I hate 1 and 3 as options. 1 reads like a junior-school essay “wot I did on my holidays”. 2 is the current format for my CV, bulleted list with lots of “action verbs”.

What’s the right way to do this for an American-style résumé?

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closed as off topic by Robusto, Brian Hooper, tchrist, Callithumpian, KitFox Jan 30 '13 at 14:31

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It depends on what field you're in. An accountant's resumé looks very different from a teacher's. –  dnagirl Jan 30 '13 at 12:43
Computer systems engineer. Check out my profile on ServerFault.. ;) –  Tom O'Connor Jan 30 '13 at 13:08
Get creative. –  Callithumpian Jan 30 '13 at 13:18
You've found some helpful resources here, and I think Writers might have some useful information as well. I am checking with the mods there now. –  KitFox Jan 30 '13 at 14:39

2 Answers 2

2 is the best choice. Recruiters are scanning hundreds of resumés, so they are looking for key words, not to read an essay. Never use third person in a resumé - you are talking about you.

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Of the three, number 2 is the best choice. Pronouns are avoided and past tense is used unless you are currently involved in the activity.

Today's resumes showcase transferrable skills. They are no longer a list of work history. You must stress significant and measurable achievements rather than just a list of activities.

Some businesses expect a single page format, but check with the practice in your field. In all cases, the top third of page one should have the information that is likely to have the most impact for the job at hand.

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There's no way in hell I could get it onto a single page, without making the font 5px. –  Tom O'Connor Jan 30 '13 at 14:00
If your field doesn't require it, don't try. Check out others in your field to see the usual length. However a resume is by nature shorter than a CV. And the first cut is almost always made based on the first page. –  bib Jan 30 '13 at 14:05

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