I've written before about how sometimes something happens in succession - like synchronicity or coincidence. (Like the time I had three clients with the same surname, spelled differently, and from different areas of the country!) The synchronicity happened again this week, three incidents, and thus I knew this was a topic that I had to blog about! It was all about the use of "and" or the ampersand, "&," in the resume.
In general, the more professional your position, the more it makes strategic sense to abide by rules of grammar and "propriety," if I may. (Although "propriety" relates more to the rules of social graces, I think a case can be made for literary propriety as well, as in "what is expected or correct."
I think it is acceptable to use the ampersand in titles, for example (Professional & Volunteer Experience, Education & Professional Development,) and certainly I have done so, but in the resume's content, I stay clear of the ampersand.
Now, my threesome of resumes that brought my attention to the use of and/& were from different sources. One was a resume assessment, another was a teacher's resume, and the third from a sample resume on a colleague's website.
The resume assessment was a bizarre example of the lack of consistency taken to an extreme. Page one was almost entirely amplersands standing in for the word "and," and page two flipped to almost entirely the word "and" with a few ampersands thrown in. Honestly it felt as if two different people had written the resume, highlighted by each person's fondness for either "and" or "&."
The teacher's resume had a total mix, with "and" here and there and "&" here and there. Not really the best for a teacher's resume, which should be pretty much perfect from a grammatical rules of convention point of view, for obvious reasons.
And the third, an esteemed colleague's website resume sample (I was drawn to visit after a conversation). Serving only executive-level clients, the resume sample I reviewed relied mostly on the grammatically proper "and" with two or three ampersands here and there, within the resume's content, not in the headings.
The point is, depending on who you are and what level you work at, certain rules are expected. Exec-level recruiters would expect to see a respect for good writing standards (and reliance on an expert if the exec him or herself does not have strong writing skills), and perhaps those hiring for a position that has little need for recording, reporting, or representing the company in writing, may not even take note.
Once I see something as obvious as half this and half that, I start taking a closer look at all the details, and with a perhaps overly critical eye ... I wonder if recruiters do the same?
Small point in the grand scheme of things, but it can garner unwanted or unwarranted attention - the critical kind - when it appears in a certain context. Thanks for allowing me to muse and pontificate on a curious confluence of competing standards! :-)