The Past Sure is Tense

I see one error consistently in resumes. So consistent that it makes me wonder how it escapes most people.

That is mixing tenses.

So often I get a resume with a summary of someone previous position that will say something like:

Led a cross functional team in the implementation of and ERP system.

Prepares and delivers executive level presentations.


How did that slip by a simple proof read. Aside from the fact that it describes a past position in a current tense the second line sounds like it was lifted straight out of an HR job description.

I spent an hour or so earlier this week cleaning up a resume from someone with that very problem. I don't often clean up people's resumes but I was in hurry and it had to be done.

This is one mistake however that is easily caught and corrected. I know proofreading a resume is a pain in the ass but you have to do it.

Here's a tip - read it out loud. If you read it silently you will tend to skip over passages without knowing it. Better yet give it to someone else to read. You'll be surprised how quickly someone else will spot errors that you have missed.

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