Some writers use present tense for current positions, then shift to past tense for past positions. Some writers use all past tense like I do. Either way is acceptable. I intentionally write resumes using past tense verbs for several reasons:
- Power. Say the word manage or managing out loud. – You can slouch and sort of “wimp” it out. Now say the word managed out loud. – You have to sit up straighter and push the word out, putting some power behind it.
Past tense verbs are the powerhouses of the English language. They convey more power, more value, make a stronger impact. Another verb to try is act or acting. vesus acted. You can physically feel the difference in the push and impact when delivering a past tense verb.
- Document consistency. It keeps one tense through the entire document.
- “Been there done that.” While you may still be doing something, you have also done it. You’re conveying a sense of “I’ve done that. What else ya got? I can do that too.”
All that said, if a client isn’t comfortable with past tense for current positions, I make the change. Although, after my explanation, I seldom do.