Resume Formatting – Should You Use Bullet Points?
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.”
“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.
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