When it comes to updating your resume, one of the biggest concerns job seekers have is what tense to use for their current position. Should it be present tense or past tense? Well, the answer is not as cut and dry as you might think. It can actually depend on a few different factors.
First, consider the industry you work in. If you’re in a field that values current experience over past experience, such as tech or digital marketing, it may make more sense to use present tense for your current position. On the other hand, if you work in a more traditional industry like finance or law, past tense may be more appropriate. Additionally, you should consider the scope of your current role. If it’s a short-term or part-time project, using past tense may make more sense. However, if it’s a long-term, ongoing role, present tense may be more fitting. So, before you update that resume, take a moment to consider the nuances of your specific situation.
The Importance of Verb Tense on a Resume
When it comes to crafting your resume, every detail matters. The verb tense you use can have a significant impact on how your experience is perceived by potential employers. It is crucial to use the correct verb tense throughout your resume to showcase your skills and accomplishments accurately. The verb tense you choose should be consistent and clearly convey what you have achieved and the skills you bring to the table.
- Using Present Tense for Current Job: It is essential to use the present tense when referring to your current job on your resume. This is because you are still performing these duties, and they are ongoing. For example, “Managing a team of ten employees” is more effective than “Managed a team of ten employees.”
- Using Past Tense for Previous Jobs: For all jobs you are no longer currently working in, use the past tense. This will reflect that these experiences took place in the past and are no longer ongoing. For instance, “Led a team of designers” instead of “Leading a team of designers.”
By using the correct verb tense, you can create a powerful and effective resume that showcases your skills and accomplishments. It will help the recruiter understand your background and show them the value you can bring to the company. Consistency in the tense also demonstrates your attention to detail and professionalism.
Choosing the right tense for current vs. past job experience
When writing a resume, choosing the right tense for your current and past job experience can make all the difference in presenting yourself as a viable candidate in the job market. Here’s what you need to know before you start crafting your resume.
- Current job experience: Use the present tense when describing your current job responsibilities, as it demonstrates that you are still actively working in the position. For example, “I manage a team of 10 employees and oversee daily operations.”
- Past job experience: Use the past tense for descriptions of your previous job experiences, as it indicates that the position is no longer ongoing. For example, “I managed a team of 10 employees and oversaw daily operations.”
- Exception for accomplishments: However, when highlighting your achievements and accomplishments in your current or past job, use the past tense. This is because these accomplishments have already been completed and are no longer ongoing. For instance, “I increased revenue by 25% through implementing new marketing strategies.”
Using consistent verb tense throughout your resume provides a professional and organized presentation of your skills and experiences. It also ensures clarity for potential employers who may be reviewing numerous resumes and looking for the most qualified candidates.
Here is an example of how to use proper tense in a resume:
|Marketing Manager||ABC Company|
|• Manage a team of 5 employees and oversee all marketing campaigns||Use present tense for current job experience|
|• Increased sales revenue by 35% by implementing new social media marketing strategies||Use past tense for past job experience and accomplishments|
Keep these guidelines in mind when crafting your resume and you’ll be well on your way to catching the attention of potential employers.
Tips for Staying Consistent with Verb Tense on a Resume
The use of proper verb tense on a resume is crucial when it comes to effectively communicating one’s skills and experience to potential employers. However, it can be difficult to maintain consistency in tense throughout the entire document. Here are some tips to help you stay consistent with verb tense on your resume.
Consistency is Key
- Choose one tense- either present or past- and stick with it throughout the entire resume.
- If you switch between present and past tense, it can come off as disjointed and unprofessional.
- Check for consistency in verb tense in all sections- including job descriptions, skills, and education.
Use Action Words
Using action words is an effective way to showcase your experience and achievements. When using action words, make sure to use present tense for current jobs and past tense for previous roles. Here are some examples:
- Present tense:
– Manage a team of marketing professionals
– Develop and implement marketing strategies
- Past tense:
– Managed a team of marketing professionals
– Developed and implemented marketing strategies
Be Specific with Dates
When listing job experiences, it is important to be specific with the dates of employment. Use the same tense for both job title and employment dates. Here is an example:
|Correct:||Sales Manager, ABC Inc. (2017-present)|
|Incorrect:||Sales Manager, ABC Inc. (2017-2020)|
Using the present tense with “present” in parentheses indicates that you are still currently employed at that job.
The impact of incorrect verb tense on a job application
Having an incorrect verb tense on your job application can have a negative impact on your chances of getting hired. Hiring managers are looking for details that show that you have the skills and experience to succeed in the role. One of the simplest things you can do to boost your chances is to ensure that your verb tense is correct.
- Confusion: Using the wrong tense can lead to confusion for the hiring manager. They may question whether you actually held the position and whether you have the necessary skills.
- Misrepresentation: Having the wrong tense can make it seem like you are misrepresenting yourself. Employers expect accurate information on a job applicant’s resume, and mistakes can be seen as dishonesty.
- Lower credibility: Mistakes on a resume can lower a candidate’s credibility. If a hiring manager notices an error in verb tense, they may assume that the applicant hasn’t put much effort into the application or isn’t detail-oriented.
To avoid these negative impacts, it is important to carefully review your resume for correct verb tense usage. Ask someone else to review it for you as well to ensure that mistakes are caught. It’s a small change that can make a big difference in the impression you make on a potential employer.
Below is a table to help with proper verb tense usage on a resume:
|Current job||Present tense (e.g. “Lead Marketing Specialist, XYZ Company”)|
|Past jobs||Past tense (e.g. “Managed development team at ABC Corporation”)|
|Actions from a past job that are still relevant||Present perfect tense (e.g. “Increased sales by 25% during my time at DEF Corporation”)|
By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your resume is well-written and free from errors that can impact your chances of getting a job.
Common Mistakes to Avoid When Using Verb Tense on a Resume
When crafting a resume, the use of correct verb tense can be a make-or-break factor in landing a job interview. Here are some common mistakes to avoid:
- Mixing past and present tense: It’s important to keep verb tense consistent throughout your resume. If you’re describing a past job experience, use past tense verbs. If you’re currently employed, use present tense verbs.
- Using passive voice: Passive voice can make your resume sound weak and unconfident. Instead, use active voice to highlight your accomplishments and demonstrate your skills.
- Using too many filler words: Avoid using words like “had” or “has” when describing your past job experiences. These words can make your resume sound cluttered and difficult to read.
When to Use Past Tense on a Resume
If you’re describing a job experience from your past, use past tense verbs. This includes any previous jobs or experiences that you no longer hold. For example:
“Managed a team of 10 employees at XYZ Company.”
This is a past job experience, so “managed” is the correct past tense verb.
When to Use Present Tense on a Resume
If you’re currently employed, use present tense verbs to describe your job responsibilities and accomplishments. For example:
“Manage a team of 10 employees at XYZ Company.”
Since you’re still currently employed in this position, “manage” is the correct present tense verb.
Examples of Correct Verb Tense Usage on a Resume
|Incorrect Verb Tense Usage||Correct Verb Tense Usage|
|“Managed a team of 10 employees at XYZ Company.”||“Manage a team of 10 employees at XYZ Company.”|
|“Assisted in the coordination of events.”||“Coordinated events.”|
|“I had exceeded sales goals for the past year.”||“Exceeded sales goals for the past year.”|
By avoiding common verb tense mistakes on your resume and using correct verb tense, you can showcase your accomplishments and demonstrate your qualifications to potential employers.
Adjusting verb tense for employment gaps or freelance work
When updating your resume, it’s important to ensure that your verb tenses match your current situation. This means adjusting your verb tense for employment gaps or freelance work. Here’s how to do it:
- If you have an employment gap, use past tense verbs for previous jobs and use present tense verbs for any current activities or projects you are working on. This will show that you are still active and engaged in the workforce.
- If you are currently freelancing or working on a contract basis, use present tense verbs to describe your current work. This will show that you are currently active in your field and keeping up with industry trends and developments.
- Be consistent with your verb tenses throughout your resume. If you switch between past and present tense, it can make your resume look disorganized and confusing.
Here is an example of how to adjust your verb tense for a freelance position:
|Freelance WriterJanuary 2015 – Present||Freelance WriterJanuary 2015 – Present|
|-Wrote articles for various clients||-Write articles for various clients|
|-Worked on content marketing campaigns||-Work on content marketing campaigns|
By adjusting verb tense, you can ensure that your resume accurately reflects your current situation and highlights your skills and experience in the best possible light.
Best practices for highlighting accomplishments with appropriate verb tense
When it comes to highlighting your accomplishments on your resume, it’s essential to use the appropriate verb tense to showcase your abilities effectively. Here are some best practices to follow:
- Use past tense for previous positions: When describing past job experiences, always use the past tense. For example, “Managed a team of ten employees” or “Implemented new marketing strategies.”
- Use present tense for current job: Your current position should be in the present tense, even if you’re in the process of leaving. For example, “Lead a team of designers” or “Implement marketing strategies.”
- Avoid using past continuous tense: Writing in the past continuous tense can make your accomplishments sound ongoing and incomplete. Avoid using phrases such as “was managing” or “was implementing.”
Remember to use action verbs to make your accomplishments sound more impressive. Here are some examples:
To illustrate how to use appropriate verb tense on a resume, here’s an example:
|Job Title||Company Name||Date Range|
|Marketing Manager||ABC Company||January 2017 – Present|
|– Developed and implemented new marketing strategies that increased website traffic by 50%|
|– Supervise a team of five employees to handle marketing campaigns and social media|
|Assistant Marketing Manager||XYZ Company||June 2015 – December 2016|
|– Assisted in developing and implementing new marketing strategies that increased website traffic by 30%|
|– Coordinated with design team to create marketing materials for events and product launches|
By following these best practices for highlighting accomplishments with appropriate verb tense on your resume, you’ll showcase your abilities effectively and increase your chances of landing an interview.
FAQs: What Tense Should Current Job on Resume Be In?
Q: Should I use past tense or present tense for my current job on my resume?
A: It’s recommended to use present tense for your current job on your resume because it’s ongoing work.
Q: What if my current job involves completed projects?
A: For completed projects, use past tense to describe your contributions. For ongoing work, use present tense.
Q: Can I use a mix of tenses for each job?
A: It’s best to choose one tense for each job and stick with it throughout the description to avoid confusion.
Q: Does it matter which tense I use for older jobs on my resume?
A: Yes, any job that you are no longer currently working in should use the past tense to indicate it’s no longer ongoing.
Q: Should I use active voice or passive voice on my resume?
A: Active voice is preferred on a resume, as it helps to emphasize your accomplishments and responsibilities.
Q: What is the difference between simple present and present continuous tense?
A: Simple present tense refers to habitual or factual actions, while present continuous tense is for actions that are currently happening at the time of speaking.
Q: Is it okay to use past tense for accomplishments in my current job description?
A: Yes, it’s okay to use past tense for accomplishments in your current job description, as long as they have already been completed.
Thanks for Reading!
Now that you know what tense to use for your current job on your resume, you can confidently showcase your skills and experience. Remember to be consistent with your choice of tense and use active voice to highlight your accomplishments. Good luck on your job search! Be sure to visit us again for more helpful tips.