Graduates take action on your resumes!
Many of my graduate clients seem to use the passive voice on their resumes. I don’t know whether it’s a hangover from writing academic style where nobody claims responsibility, but a resume and interview are two places where you strut your stuff, so to speak.
If you’re confused, ask which of the below sounds more powerful?
“The stuff was strutted by me” = passive
“I strutted my stuff” = active
To give you a more formal example that you might read on a resume:
“The report was written by me” = passive
“I wrote the report” = active
Technically there’s nothing really wrong with the passive voice on a resume. It’s just a little dull. It’s also a bit wordier and when you are trying to cram every last word into an online resume or application with a strict word limit, the “by” and the “the” add up.
If you’re still not sure what the active voice is, “Word” gives you the option to add “readability statistics” which will come up when you check your spelling and grammar. This will give you the percentage of passive sentences. You can then run the spelling and grammar check over each paragraph on your resume and pick out the offending sentences.
Here are some action words for graduate resumes, or for any resume, really: