using a third-person bio instead of a resume

Occasionally someone sends me a bio instead of a resume. By that, I mean a narrative of their career, written in the third person. (Am I explaining this right? Like a magazine profile, without the colorful tidbits. Or, well, like an obituary.)

Don’t do it.

It’s odd.

Maybe celebrities do this, but I’m unnerved to see you, a regular person, talking about yourself in the third-person, and I wonder why you chose to jettison a regular resume in favor of this weird profile/bio.

What’s wrong with a regular old resume format?

{ 14 comments… read them below }

  1. Just Another HR Lady*

    I had a friend ask me to look at her resume recently, and it was one of these, all written in the third person (Kim managed this, Kim achieved that), very weird read. I asked her why she was writing about herself in the third person, and she said that it’s common in the consulting world (she was a contractor for many years). Needless to say, I did a total overhaul of the resume.

  2. Ask a Manager*

    I’m so glad others are seeing this and finding it strange.

    JAHRL, was it basically resume but written in the third person? Or was it a full-on narrative, in prose? The one I got yesterday was the latter and I remain disgruntled by it.

  3. Just Another HR Lady*

    It was about 3/4 narrative, and 1/4chronological resume. Strangest thing I’ve ever seen. Ever seen that Seinfeld episode where “Jimmy likes Elaine”?

  4. Joel*

    Joel has never heard of this practice, and wonders where it came from. He doesn’t know why someone thinks it would be a good idea, because it would make him wonder about the applicant’s mental health.

  5. Erin M Taylor*

    I just got one of these. The person was applying for an administrative-type position but had been a minor league baseball player (with a short stint in the majors). They spent nearly half the resume discussing their accomplishments in baseball through a third person narrative. It was really strange.

  6. Office Humorist*

    Maybe these people are having their moms write their resumes for them. I know my mom speaks very highly of me and would be happy to tout my accomplishments to other people. Of course she would call me “Drewie” which could throw the hiring person off.

  7. Anonymous*

    We frequently put together these types of resumes to include with contract proposals in our line of work.

    “Mr. X has over 10 years progressive experience in . . . .”

    Maybe the person grabbed one that had been done for that type of purpose (our professional tech writer nicely formats everything, so it could be tempting) and was too lazy to reformat.

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      That’s something different than what we’re talking about here — we’re talking about people submitting a third-person bio as a standalone document as part of their application, and that is both unconventional and weird.

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