Should you write content in the 1st person or 3rd person?

Open mike, find your voice

We are asked this question so many times and we don’t think there is a right or wrong answer. Some of our clients and readers are slightly confused so let’s define each before we start:

First person: First person is used when the author or main character is the voice of the story. The pronouns used are typically I and me.

Third person: Third person voice is written from someone on the outside looking in, and uses he, she, it, or they pronouns.

And there is a second person: Second person is usually used to address a reader(s) or audience often in an instructional way and uses the pronouns you and yours.

Ok now, which is best and how do I use them?

Resume writing and executive biographies: There are pros and cons to each. Using the first person is somewhat obvious since it is indeed your resume or biography.  First person is often used for people just beginning their careers as it is easier to write from the “I” position. However, writing in the first person can also convey an excitement, commitment, and passion about what you do.

Third person is preferred and considered the standard resume format.  It is more formal, can be slightly impersonal and affords the reader an objective clarity outside of your voice.

Website content and about us pages: The opinion on this topic swings back and forth but we think it is about knowing yourself, your business and how you feel you can best represent and narrate your story…and it is a story. It tells a tale of what you do, why you do it and what you offer to your clients and prospects to enhance their own lives and businesses.

No matter how you communicate on content and materials, always be true to yourself, your philosophy, and business values. Don’t feel the need to make yourself appear larger, more successful, or broader in scope.

Just tell it like it is and Find Your Voice.

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