If I am the founder of a self-sustaining company, and I have some past responsibilities like training employees, etc (things that are significant and demonstrate some of my skills), but I also have current duties such as maintaining and driving the company's performance, how would I list that in a resume?

It sounds odd if I listed past duties in past tense and then listed current duties in present tense. But it would also sound odd if I listed both in present/past tense. How can I combine these on my resume?

(Long story short, I need to complete an internship to fulfil my degree requirements to graduate university.)

  • What tense should I use for current job duties on my resume? is strongly related but doesn't cover mixing past and present tense for one position so this question seems useful.
    – Lilienthal
    Mar 21, 2017 at 14:23
  • 1
    "But it would also sound odd if I listed both in present/past tense." - No. Present tense is called 'present' but it is really just the plain form. E.g. "Job A (Jan 2014 to Dec 2014). Transcribe emails; track client information". If you write it like that the reader will understand it is in the past, even though no past tense was used. Use it consistently.
    – Brandin
    Mar 21, 2017 at 15:03

2 Answers 2


Skills and current duties are separate concepts.

Just because you're not currently training employees doesn't mean that the skill has somehow magically vanished.

Try something like

User1915 Co [date] to [present]
Built a self-sustaining company in the xxx field using the following skills:

  • Past duty (but current skill)
  • Other past duty
  • Current duty #1
  • Current duty #2
  • ... and so on

It's not necessary to separate out which duties are current and which are not - you have the skills.

Remember, a resume is nothing more than a marketing document used to get an interview.

  • I would only argue that current duties and skills being used in relation to those would be listed first and not towards the bottom, since some HR personnel only read the first few bullets of a list, especially when the list might hold a dozen entries (as the owner/operator of a business can reasonably have in regards to that position) Mar 21, 2017 at 20:25

Don't list Duties - list Accomplishments

Accomplishments showcase the duty in a positive light, while also implying successfull use of your skills.

Accomplishments, being in the past, will all be in past tense.

If you have skills that you want to call out, then list them. They would be in present tense because they describe you as you currently exist. They should be backed up by your Accomplishments, which you would list first.


XYZ Company, StartDate - EndDate


  • Launched this company as a self-sustaining startup that has successfully surpassed the the lifetime of most startups by 135% and is still going strong due to my leadership in maintaining and driving the company's performance.

  • Trained new employees for Job X in "Y" days instead of the typical "N" days. Job X normally requires "N" days of training before a person is 70% productive in their role. The course I developed reduced training time to "Y" days and resulted in the new employees being 80% productive on their first day.

  • Etc


  • Successful Business Management
  • Rapid Training Techniques resulting in Productive Employees
  • Etc
  • This, pretty much exactly. Duties tend to encapsulate day-to-day mundanities. Accomplishments are things that actually moved the needle, and things that hiring managers would be interested in learning more about.
    – sleddog
    Mar 22, 2017 at 13:49

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