Executive Summary: Will That Be in the First Person or Third Person?


If I could, each summary would be in the first person. But the world has not yet managed to see it.

Whether you write your resume in the first person or in the third person usually depends on your relationship with the client. It's like that. The larger the organization, the more likely the third person will be used – a more formal tone. The more familiar you are with the client and the better the relationship, the more likely your resume can be written in the first person and be more informal and conversational. For entrepreneurs, this tends to be more true among small business clients with whom they have worked and built relationships.

But keep that in mind. Whether you use the first or third person in your resume, the choice depends on the relationships. If you have good relations with the management of a large organization, you can use the first person. That's me, me, us, us. However, if the summary is read by other people who may not like the discreet, warm, first-person language that you will probably use or who do not have a relationship with you stay in the third person. he / she, him, they are.

It's up to you to decide if using the first person in your resume is the customer's level of comfort. For example, you can tell the customer: "We suggest you do this, and if you agree, I will schedule an appointment with your staff so that we can move on to the next steps." It's the first person and informal.

Generally, you will not use or should not use the first person when providing a summary to an organization that you do not know. that is, government, big business, and NGOs. They may be shocked if you start using I or We. They do not expect it and the problem you are having is that they will reject any interesting proposal simply because of the language you used.

Are there any exceptions? Of course there is. Some organizations are just different. They are progressive, creative, more open to alternative approaches. A sports team, an entertainment company, even a political organization, may be eager to see something out of the ordinary. If your proposal is unique, your abstract must be unique. It does not have to follow the traditional format used in the third person.

My criteria for developing a summary, in addition to being a summary of your proposal, is that it is accessible. What do I mean by accessible, and how is it related to the use of the first or third person? I bet you have read a book or diary that, in your opinion, had great content but turned out to be a difficult read. By accessible, I mean that writing is easy to follow, easy to understand – and that complex problems are effectively explained. Books, papers and proposals are often discarded if they are not accessible. People can not be bothered to read them, including me. My point is that I believe that writing in the first person is usually more accessible. You can write – in your own voice. It's very natural, tends to be warmer and therefore more accessible. Maybe even better understand it.

I said at the beginning that the world had not yet returned to my thinking of using the first person. This is not entirely true, thanks to the impact of social media. Social media is upsetting the building of relationships. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter generate relationships that could never have existed in the past. These new connections stimulate inbound marketing, largely through blogging, and blogs are invariably written in the first person. Building relationships through social media creates a more informal world. It affects the way we communicate in other areas. So, do not expect a summary to be as rigid as in the past in the third person.

Personality to your proposal? You may not be able to use the summary, but guess what. Your cover letter gives you this option. It's up to you, in the first person, it can distinguish you, your unique qualities, what you really want the customer to know about you and your business.

Ask yourself what type of relationship you have or do not have with the client. You can always play safely using the third person. If you can be more personal and informal and the relationship with the client warrants it, consider using the first person.


Source by Neil Sawers

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