How to Set the Right Tone on Your Resume

How to Set the Right Tone on Your CV

You can’t reflect body language on paper. So, when it comes to putting your best foot forward it’s uber-important to get the tone right on your CV. Here’s our tips on how to do it properly.

It is not what you say it is what you do. Well, when we are talking resume writing, it is all in what you say and do!

You don’t have the bonus of body language persuasion when you put your best story on paper. But, much similar to the way we conduct ourselves in the flesh, getting your tone right can make a huge difference on a resume or CV.

Your resume is a golden ticket to opportunity. It should grab the attention of its intended reader from the start. The best way to do this is by using attention-grabbing tone. Emotive words such as driven, boosted and accelerated give off a confident impression. But wish-washy words and phrases like part of a team and partially responsible for will indicate less confidence and responsibility.

Here are a few golden rules for getting the tone right on your resume

A well-written resume or CV should portray energy and confidence, but not cockiness. Your skills, talents and achievements must shine without having to over-sell yourself. And, you can control most of this through the tone you use.


Fill your resume with positivity and plenty of energy. Be proud of your achievements and leave nil to minimal open questions. Only write statements which paint a positive picture; whether that be of you or a former employer. Use terms that are positive rather than opting for the negative alternative.

For example:

  • Positive: leave nil to minimal questions
  • Negative: don’t leave any negative questions

Only include information that is relevant to the job application process.

* Tip: transferrable skills are a great asset to include on your resume. Check out more information about this here.

Positively is contagious. Let it flow.


Your resume is typically your first introduction to a new employer and we all know that first impressions make a huge impact. Presentation and preparation are key to painting the picture you want to present. Make sure to check your resume and CV over for typos, inconsistent formatting, spelling and grammar. Use clear headings for ease of navigating through your information.

Be you-relevant

You are your best asset and you are unique. No one else has your identical skillset and career history. Your CV must sell your story appropriately and be you-relevant. Find your point of difference and work on tone and language that will best sell your skills based on that uniqueness.

Make it count

Recruiters are busy people. They will spend the least amount of time possible scouring over resumes to find the perfect candidate. With such a small window of opportunity you need to promote energy and excitement about what you bring to the table. Edit out unnecessary fluff and keep it simple.

You have one chance at standing out in an often very crowded space. Seize this moment by presenting an engaging, tone-appropriate resume that will enhance your brand and offering from the start.

Finding it hard to perfect your tone? Just get our professional resume writers to help!

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