Do you write I in a CV?
Do you write I in a CV?

Do you write I in a CV?

When it comes to writing a CV, there are many rules to follow and different opinions on what is right or wrong. One of the most common debates is whether or not to use “I” in your CV. Some people believe that using “I” is too informal for a professional document and should be avoided, while others argue that it is acceptable to use it in certain sections. In this article, we will explore this topic in more detail and provide some tips on how to appropriately use “I” in your CV.

Introduction to CV Writing

As we venture out into the workforce, having a well-written curriculum vitae (CV) becomes more and more crucial in ensuring that we land the job we want. A CV is a document that highlights an individual’s education, work experience, skills, and achievements. It’s often the first point of contact between a job seeker and a potential employer, and it’s important to ensure that it’s well-written, up-to-date, and tailored to the job you’re applying for.

When writing a CV, it’s essential to keep in mind that potential employers will quickly skim through the document, looking for specific information that is relevant to the position they’re hiring for. It means that every word counts, and it’s essential to write in a succinct, clear, and concise manner. Any unnecessary fluff or irrelevant information will only serve to detract from the message you’re trying to convey and could ultimately hurt your chances of landing that dream job.

One question that people often ask when writing their CV is whether or not they should write ‘I’ when describing their achievements or responsibilities. It’s something that can cause confusion, and there is no clear-cut answer to it. The truth is that whether or not to use ‘I’ in a CV depends on several factors, including the tone you want to convey, the industry you’re applying to, and the country in which you’re job hunting.

In some industries and countries, it’s perfectly acceptable to use ‘I’ in a CV. For example, in the US or Canada, it’s common to use ‘I’ in a CV as it’s a way to highlight personal achievements and abilities. However, in the UK, it’s less common to use ‘I’ and instead write in the third person, making use of action verbs to analyze an individual’s experiences.

It’s also crucial to keep in mind that the tone of your CV can impact whether or not to use ‘I.’ If you’re going for a more formal or corporate feel, it’s best to avoid using ‘I’ as it can come across as too casual. However, if you’re applying for a creative position or a startup, it might be more acceptable to use ‘I’ as it emphasizes a more personal touch.

Lastly, it’s all about balance. It’s essential to strike the right balance between highlighting personal successes and emphasizing your ability to work in a team. Writing ‘I’ too often can come across as self-centered, while never using it can make the document feel impersonal and detached.

In conclusion, whether or not to use ‘I’ in a CV ultimately depends on your personal preference and the industry and country you’re applying to. It’s important to strike the right balance between highlighting personal achievements and remaining professional and team-oriented. Remember, a CV is a way to showcase your abilities and prove that you’re the right person for the job, so take the time to tailor it to the job you’re applying for, and make sure it’s up-to-date, concise, and well-written. Good luck!

Personal Pronouns in CVs

When writing a CV, there is a lot to consider. One important aspect is the use of personal pronouns. Do you write “I” in a CV? The answer is both yes and no, depending on the context and style in which you are writing.

Traditionally, CVs have been written in the third person singular, with sentences starting with the candidate’s name rather than the pronoun “I”. For example: “John Smith is a highly motivated individual with strong communication skills”. This style may still be appropriate for academic and scientific CVs, where objectivity is highly valued. However, the use of the third person can come across as overly formal and impersonal in other contexts.

Increasingly, it is becoming more common to use the first person singular, particularly in industries such as marketing and advertising, where creativity and personality are prized. Writing in the first person can help to create a more conversational tone and establish a sense of connection with the reader. For example: “I am a creative thinker with a passion for graphic design”.

However, if you do choose to use the first person, be careful not to overuse it. Using “I” too frequently can make your CV appear self-centered and lacking in substance. Focus on using strong action verbs and concrete examples to demonstrate your skills and experience rather than simply stating your qualities.

In some cases, it may be appropriate to use the second person singular in a CV, particularly when addressing a specific employer. This can be a way of demonstrating your enthusiasm and interest in the company, as well as establishing a sense of connection. For example: “You are a company that values innovation and creativity, and I believe that my experience and skills make me a great fit for this role”.

Ultimately, the choice of personal pronoun comes down to the style and context of your CV. It is important to consider your audience and what kind of impression you want to make. Whether you choose to write in the third person, first person, or second person, make sure that your writing is clear, concise, and engaging.

In conclusion, using personal pronouns in a CV is not a hard and fast rule. While some industries and writing styles may call for the use of the third person, others may benefit from the use of the first or second person. Ultimately, the most important thing is to write a CV that is tailored to your target audience and showcases your skills and experience in the best possible light.

To “I” or Not to “I”

In writing a CV, the use of first-person pronouns such as “I”, “me” and “my” may seem like a natural way to present oneself. However, there is still an ongoing debate on whether or not using these pronouns is appropriate. Some say that using “I” can help strengthen a personal narrative, while others argue that it can come off as too informal and unprofessional. In this article, we will explore the pros and cons of writing “I” in a CV and provide guidance on how to approach this issue.

The Pros of Using “I” in a CV

One of the advantages of using “I” in a CV is that it allows the applicant to convey their skills and accomplishments more concretely. For instance, instead of writing “managed the company’s social media accounts”, an applicant can use the phrase “I successfully managed the company’s social media accounts by developing a social media strategy that increased the company’s online presence by 20%.” By using “I”, the applicant can take ownership of their achievements and highlight their contributions.

Besides, using “I” can also help showcase one’s personality. Since a CV is not only about presenting qualifications and work experiences but also about showing who you are, using first-person pronouns can help the employer get a glimpse of your character. It can also make the language of the CV more engaging and pleasant to read. It can give a glimpse of who you are and how you work, which has the potential to appeal to recruiters looking for someone they can connect with.

The Cons of Using “I” in a CV

On the other hand, using “I” in a CV can have some disadvantages. For instance, it can come off as too informal and unprofessional, which is the opposite of what a CV is supposed to be. Because CVs are often reviewed by recruitment professionals, companies’ HR departments, and hiring managers, the tone has to be suitable for all audiences. When writing a CV, the approach should be objective and professional rather than an inspiring narrative.

Moreover, using “I” can also be repetitive. If used repeatedly, it can make the CV sound like an autobiography, which can bore the reader. The CV should be clear, straightforward, packed with relevant information, and should hold the reader’s attention. It is important to keep the tone of the CV formal and not risk it sounding casual or unprofessional in any way.

How to Approach “I” in a CV?

When it comes to using “I” in a CV, the best approach is to use it sparingly. It is recommended that the applicant only uses “I” when talking about personal achievements or areas of expertise where they have personal experience. Always keep in mind that the CV is still a professional document, and too much self-expression can cause more harm than good. Always keep the language formal and focus on the list of skills and qualifications.

At the same time, consider using third-person pronouns instead of first-person to avoid repetition. This approach can be more engaging, building up one’s personality in the process without compromising on a professional approach. It is essential to remember that the way we represent ourselves influences an employer’s perception of us, and the way we present ourselves to potential clients speaks volumes about our brand.

Alternative Writing Techniques

When it comes to writing a CV, it’s natural to think that you need to write in the first-person perspective, using “I” statements. However, there are alternative writing techniques that can make your CV stand out from the rest.

One technique is to use action verbs instead of “I” statements. For example, instead of saying “I increased sales by 20%,” you can write “Boosted sales by 20% through effective marketing strategies.” This not only makes your CV more engaging, but it also shows potential employers that you are results-driven and proactive.

Another technique is to use bullet points and short sentences rather than long, wordy paragraphs. This helps to break up the information and makes it easier for the reader to quickly skim through and pick out the key points. Using bullet points also adds a professional and organized touch to your CV.

You can also consider using a professional template or design to make your CV stand out visually. This shows that you have put thought and effort into your application and can give you an edge over other candidates. However, it’s important to ensure that the template is appropriate for the industry and position you are applying for.

Adding specific keywords or phrases to your CV can also be an effective way of tailoring your application to the job description. This could include technical skills, qualifications or experience relevant to the role.

When writing your CV, it’s important to consider the tone and language that you are using. While it’s important to be professional, you also want to sound enthusiastic and passionate about the job you are applying for. Use positive language and avoid any negative statements or phrases.

In conclusion, there are many alternative writing techniques that you can use to make your CV stand out from the rest. By using action verbs, bullet points, professional designs, specific keywords and positive language, you can create a well-crafted and effective CV that showcases your skills and experience. Remember to tailor your application to the job description and always proofread your CV before submitting it.

Final Thoughts on Writing a CV

When it comes to writing a CV, the devil is in the details. Every little detail can make a significant difference in the success of your job search. While there are no hard and fast rules to follow, a few tips can ensure that your CV stands out from the rest.

Firstly, it’s important to customize your CV to fit the job you’re applying for. Generic CVs don’t cut it in today’s competitive job market. Employers want to know that you’ve taken the time to understand the job requirements and have tailored your CV accordingly. Make sure you highlight relevant skills and experience.

Secondly, make sure your CV is concise and easy to read. Recruiters receive hundreds of CVs for each position. Therefore, they don’t have the time to read through lengthy documents. Keep your CV to one or two pages, and use bullet points to make it easier to scan.

Thirdly, focus on your achievements rather than responsibilities. Employers are interested in what you’ve accomplished in your previous roles, not just what you were responsible for. Make sure you highlight any achievements that demonstrate your skills and experience.

Fourthly, include keywords. Many employers today use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to help them narrow down the number of CVs they receive. To ensure that your CV makes it through these systems, make sure you include relevant keywords in your CV.

Finally, proofread your CV carefully. Spelling mistakes and grammatical errors make a bad first impression. A messy CV can be a red flag to employers that you’re not organized or detail-oriented. Make sure you proofread your CV carefully and ask a friend or family member to do the same.

In conclusion, writing a CV can be a daunting task, but with the right approach, it can be a rewarding experience. By following these tips, you can ensure that your CV stands out from the crowd and helps you land that dream job. Good luck!


When deciding whether or not to use “I” in a CV, the applicant should consider the nature of the role they are applying for and the currents trends within that sector in terms of how professionals in the industry write their CVs. It is also crucial to keep the tone of the CV proffesional, easy to read, relevant, and the achievements backed with sufficient evidence. Taking a balanced approach is essential, making sure their personality comes through to create a personal, relevant document.

Remember that every detail counts in a CV, and the impact of every word used can be make or break. When creating a CV, it is better to focus on communicating previous successes, knowledge, and professional objectives. Leave out details which are not useful, irrelevant or may compromise the professional tone of the CV.

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