Resume Formatting – Should You Use Bullet Points?

April 22, 2009 at 11:43 pm 2 comments

I was recently asked: “When preparing a resume, do you always have to put it in bullet form.”

The answer is simply – Yes, it is a good move to use bullet points throughout the resume. It is fine, in fact it is better, to put the fairly ‘standard’ duties in paragraph form, but recruiters all report they like bullet points that they can skim in the first reading to see if this client has what it takes.

That is another reason why you start a bullet point with the ‘highlight’ of the achievement, or if not then bold it in the sentence, so that is the first thing the recruiter or employer sees.

For example you would not write:

 “Prepared marketing material that resulted in 200% boost in sales.”

But rather:

“Exploded sales by 200% through preparation of targeted marketing material.”

In the first example a skimming recruiter would first see: “Prepared marketing material…” and may respond with a “So what, that comes with the territory” and then just keep reading without getting the full information. 

In the second example the first thing the skimmer sees is: “Exploded sales by 200%…” which grabs their attention and they want to know how.

You must always give an indication of ‘How’ when you make claims such as this – in this example it indicates ‘targeted’ marketing material but would naturally include the exact way you did achieve this boost.

Bullet points can also ‘lighten’ up a resume with the feeling of more space, can keep you more concise in your writing, and can give the reader’s eye a break.

Here’s to writing powerful resumes.

Beverley Neil

PS – if you would like to learn how to write interview winning resumes for yourself, or professionally for others, Click here to find out more. If you prefer to work with an award-winning resume writer to get fantastic results, please email me at beverley@d-scriptivewords.com  to start the confidence building process.

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Interview Questions – What Might You Be Asked? Resume Bloopers To Make You Cry

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Josie Rizal  |  April 28, 2009 at 8:31 am

    Great Post Beverly. Bullet Points work fine in writing a resume since you can elaborate the details that are direct to the point so that the one writing his or her resume doen’st have to beat around the bush. This way they can avoid stating the unnecessary details.

    Reply
  • 2. Free Resume | Resume Writing Dictionary - Free Online  |  February 12, 2010 at 6:59 pm

    [...] Write Powerful Resumes: This simple article highlights the importance of formatting when it comes to making your resume [...]

    Reply

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