Three reasons you shouldn’t write your CV in the third person…
What does Brand think about writing a CV in the third person? If you asked Brand this question, Brand may reply that Brand finds it a little off-putting to read someone’s name so many times on their own CV… Even typing that sentence was exhausting!
As recruiters, we like to tell ourselves that we are fairly intelligent, and yet our mind can’t come up with any ways in which third person is more effective than first.
1.Third person is SO confusing…
We estimate that around 10% of all CVs that we receive at Brand are written in the third person. Upon reading these CVs our first thought is often that perhaps the candidate started their CV with a testimonial… but then we read on. And get highly confused as it becomes clear that they either got somebody else to write their CV, or they have made the decision to roll with it. In some disciplines, this may be deemed the best way to write a CV, but in our opinion, marketing and PR are not amongst them!
2. Your CV should be about you selling yourself
Although as Brits we sheepishly shy away from it, a CV is all about selling ourselves. We have to represent ourselves in a way that is accurate, positive and appealing to whomever ends up with the pleasure of reading it… We all know that we have achieved some amazing things, and if asked at interview about them, we could reel off ‘this result’ and ‘that success’. So why on your CV would you write it in a way that takes the credit away from you? CVs are about using your initiative to describe yourself in original, truthful words and really focus on the differences you have made for your employers. By using third person, you are implying that you are not willing to shout from the rooftops ‘I DID THIS! AREN’T I BRILLIANT?’, albeit perhaps a tad more discreetly. (Read more CV Tips)
3. The first person comes far more naturally
When she starts writing her CV in the third person, I should not then half way through start talking about myself in the first person… Often when writing in the third person, people end up flipping between the two as it just does not come naturally for us to talk about ourselves as though we are someone else. As you can tell, we advise to always write your CV in the first person, however if you do want to write it in the third person make sure that you stick to this, and keep it consistent.
The honest truth is that both hiring managers and recruiters want a simple, honest CV and we get confused by anything else. Standing by our earlier point, we are intelligent – promise!! Ultimately, clients are using your CV to judge your suitability and whilst they may think you are quirky for using third person, more often than not, they will lean towards the candidates whose CVs are easier to digest. This might seem straightforward, but why shouldn’t it be?
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Note: This post originally published in July 2015 and has been reworked to include additional content.Share this: