6 Tips For Using Bullet Points On Your Resume

Man writes bullet points on his resume

On average, hiring managers spend fewer than 10 seconds looking at your resume. So, using bullets on your resume is an important way to make sure people see what you want them to see—as quickly as possible.

Using bullets requires a careful balance, though. Too few bullet points and you'll have unappealing, difficult-to-read blocks of text. Too many bullet points can have the opposite effect and look more like a laundry list. To develop a clear structure to your resume and present bullet points with impact, follow these tips:

1. Use Bullets Points For Accomplishments & Success Statements

In most instances, bullet points are used in the "Work History" and "Additional Experience" sections of your resume. For example, under the information for your current employer, job title, and employment period, write 3-5 bullet points that directly highlight your accomplishments and success on the job.

2. Be Selective About What You Highlight

Woman writes bullet points on her resume


Consider what experience, skills, and accomplishments are important for the job you're applying for and select the most relevant points that will detail what you've done, how you've done it, and what results you achieved. Use bullet points on your resume to bring attention to something, but when you go beyond five bullet points for each position, it can look like a laundry list. Each bullet point also shouldn't need more than two lines in length. Keep it tight and succinct!

3. Begin With The Most Impressive Point First

Man looks at bullet points on his resume


Remember that most hiring managers will only spend a few seconds on each resume, so you want to immediately catch their eye. Start with the most impressive point first.

4. Start Each Bullet Point With A Results & Action Verbs

Woman looks at bullet points on her resume


When writing your bullet points, remember to start with the results rather than the how. For example, which of the following two bullet points is more likely to capture the reader's attention?

  • Developed daily and weekly goals to achieve 133% of sales quota
  • Achieved 133% of sales quota by developing daily and weekly goals

If you answered the second bullet point, you've got it.

5. Apply Numbers To Your Bullet Points

Man adds bullet points to his resume


For greater impact, apply numbers to your bullet points. This is called quantifying your work experience, and it's something every professional should do on their resume to stand out in the hiring process. You want to put the information in context and show results. For example, "Increased sales 300% within the first two years of product relaunch."

6. Use Bullet Points To Highlight Awards

Woman adds bullet points to her resume


Relevant awards are always worth highlighting on your resume because it helps distinguish you from other candidates who might have the same experience. If you've been recognized as "Salesperson of the Year" or something similar, use it in your bullet points.

An effective resume informs the employer of your experience and skills, but it also provides insight into how good you are as a business-of-one, saving or making companies money. The correct use of bullet points can help you deliver the message!

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This post was originally published at an earlier date.

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