Resume bullet points help you effectively communicate your important information by capturing the attention of recruiters who scan your resume. Primarily, they emphasize your most significant achievements. When used well, resume bullet points can guide the reader, improve readability, and highlight your expertise.
The purpose of resume bullet points
The primary aim of bullet points (or bullets) is to highlight what makes you the ideal candidate. They also keep the content of your resume grouped into easy-to-navigate sections. When including bullet points in your resume, keep in mind that they should be short and to the point. Still, your resume bullet points should fulfill these three main goals:
- Emphasize the most critical information
- Improve the readability of your resume and make it easy to scan through
- Communicate your relevant accomplishments
How to use bullet points on your resume
Keep these tips in mind as you write down your responsibilities, accomplishments, or experiences:
- Write your bullet points in parallel form. For instance, start each bullet point with the same part of speech, like a verb or a noun.
- Keep your resume bullet points concise. Each bullet should be followed by no more than two lines of information.
- Try to keep the length of all your bullets similar. Keeping their size and format consistent will improve the readability of your resume.
- Avoid using periods at the end of your bullet points. That is unless all your bullets are complete sentences.
- Ensure that the bullet points complement the style and font of your resume. They shouldn’t overpower the text or draw attention away from its content.
- Give each section a strong heading. To make it stand out, use one font and margin for all bullet points and a different font and size for the titles.
Where to include bullets
Although bullet points can be used in any resume format, they are most effective for chronological or combination resumes. Meanwhile, in a functional resume that includes longer paragraphs, they’re not as effective. In general, the most appropriate sections for bullet points are:
- Work experience – Under the job heading of each position you’ve held in the past, explain your duties and accomplishments in bullet points. To choose only the most relevant experience, review the job listing and pick achievements that match the job.
- Summary of Qualifications – If you include a qualifications summary at the top of your resume, list your relevant qualifications as bullets. Choose only those that align with the job posting and make a shortlist under the section heading.
- Skills – Whichever skills you possess that align with the job, use bullet points to list them. Also, remember to include relevant soft skills, like communication or adaptability.
- Education – Much like with your work history, you can use resume bullet points to present your education. That is, under the heading of your educational level, list any awards or accomplishments you have earned.
- Volunteer experience – If it’s relevant to the position, you may include your volunteer experience in your resume. Group all your volunteer duties and achievements under one section heading, focusing on those that most align with the job.
Resume bullet points examples
Here are three job descriptions with bullet points
Project Manager, July 2019 – January 2021
- Developed 5-8-year strategies that identified new market opportunities, helping to achieve organizational objectives
- Led the transition to a cloud-based practice by implementing new software; reduced labor costs by 21% and annual expenses by 6%
- Evaluated existing processes and implemented strategies that improved productivity and cut costs by 12%
Customer Service Representative, July 2019 – January 2021
- Emphasized internal and external customer service by developing new communication pathways that increased subscriptions by 35%
- Conducted 5 customer surveys per year; created an outline of the issue, cause, and resolution, and implemented the strategy to increase customer satisfaction
- Cultivated valuable relationships with key stakeholders through various communication channels, including telephone, email, and social media
Sales Manager, July 2018 – January 2020
- Doubled annual revenue in 2018 to $5 million/ year across Europe and Middle East markets.
- Exceeded the 10% territory growth goal by 30% in 2017 for the East Asia market
- Spearheaded a $3.2 million revenue and 25% market share growth in the New York branch
As with all design aspects, the overuse of resume bullet points can do more bad than good. Too many bullets can negatively impact the readability, organization, and look of your resume. By using them wisely, you can grab the reader’s attention and bring your most significant accomplishments into the spotlight.