The Importance of Voice on a Resume

There are many resume writing guides available and even online templates you can use to create a professional resume. How you represent yourself on your resume, is almost as important as your actual skills and experiences.

The first rule of thumb, is to NOT write your resume in first person. You may think it feels more friendly, but it’s well known that it is a no-no. Here is an example of first person:

“I helped my team complete a very important project on time. We met on a regular basis and we each had our own tasks to complete.”

woman holding resume


You should remove all reference to “I”, “me”, “my”, “mine” and “our” in your resume. This can create a challenge when it comes to certain sentences. We suggest you take out pronouns as much as you can. For instance, the above sentence could be rewritten to say:

“Collaborated with team members to finish a very important project on time, whereby each team member was responsible for individual deliverables.”

(For help with your grammar, check out the free resource at

Besides the proper use of pronouns, having the right voice also refers to what you say.

Some might say that a resume has a “personality” which reflects the individual about whom it is written. How that personality is presented using words, can contribute the “voice” of your resume. Does yours have a voice that is reflective of you, your experience and your personality?

It is generally accepted that a resume is a serious, business document. How then, do you let your personality come through via your voice? Your choice of words can paint a picture of you as a whole package. Here is a before and after example:


“Responsible for selling widgets to companies in the Northern California region. Achieved quote each quarter.”


“Enthusiastically met quarterly quota by selling the number one widget in Northern California to cold prospects.”

Do you see the slight change in energy because of how and what words were used? Here is another:


“Successfully wrote code for cloud-based SAAS product.”


“Successfully developed over 20,000 lines of impeccable code for the first-of-it’s-kind SAAS product.”

It may be subtle when you’re writing your resume, but by taking time to add a little flavor to each sentence, you can differentiate yourself from many others with a similar background.

How you write your resume can make the difference between getting that phone interview or not. Take out the pronouns and add a little spice to your voice and see what responses you get. For tips on what you should cut from your resume, read this blog post – Resume Chopping Block: What To Cut.

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