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.