From making your resume compatible with resume scanning ATS to using consistent formatting options, there are numerous instructions to create a winning resume. One of the crucial and recurrent advice is about using bullet points in a resume to make it stand out in a crowd of candidates. We have compiled the complete guide on how to use bullet points in your resume to upgrade your resume.
Benefits of Using Bullet Points
To help you figure if you need bullet points in the resume, asses the merits of using them in your profile document.
Do you want your resume to look like a wall of text? If not, it is best to use bullet your resume points to maintain neatness in the resume. The white space economy is yet another important rule to maintain the visual appeal of your resume. You can do so by inserting economical portions of white space in the resume to prevent it from looking cluttered.
2. Simplifies the Information
Work experience and education sections can be simplified using bulleted points in a resume listing nothing but important information. Well-defined bullet points in a resume help to break down bigger sentences for easier assimilation.
3. Highlights Important Points
Unlike a congested resume with lengthy paragraphs, bullet points in a resume help to find the best credentials quickly in a resume. By using them, you shortlist and specify technical terms that highlight your core potentials as a candidate.
4. Easy to Scan
With the content formatted in bite-size points, your resume also becomes easy to scan for Hiring Managers as well as ATS software.
When to Include Bullet Points?
Unless your job description specifies candidates to use bullet points, you must assess whether you require it first.
For candidates with gaps in resumes or job-hopping history, bulleted points in the chronological order can pose many dangers. Hence, you must first assess the pros of adding bullet points in a resume as given below before adding it.
If your resume format requires adding small descriptions points in a chronological resume, candidates must convert the lengthy paragraphs in the resume into bulleted points.
2. Extensive Work Experience
Candidates with ample work experience must use short description points to list multiple employment records with the help of neatly arrange bullet points.
3. Lengthy Content
If your resume contains blocks of text or lengthy paragraphs, it is best to break it up into shot-size description points for easy scanning of the resume by the hiring committee.
4. Education Section
If your academic section has multiple entries such as Bachelors, Master, Doctorate and other similar degrees, it is best to compress it using concise points with technical terminologies for better scanning.
5. Achievements Section
Akin to the education section, candidates must abridge relevant achievements and awards or fellowships under the achievements section in the resume with bulleted points.
6. Skills Section
After dividing your skills section into categories such as Hard Skills, Soft Skills, and Computer Skills, you must list them using short single line points. One can also expand combined computer programs or interpersonal skills under separate sections for increasing the clarity and relevancy of your profile.
7. Optional: Summary
Listing your summary in a resume highlights your exceptionality amongst other candidates. Using bulleted points in the summary statement is a strategic and ergonomic way to ease the scanning of the document.
When to Avoid Bullet Points?
If you’re writing a long resume or curriculum vitae, content must be lengthy and elaborate without division such as in a resume with bulleted points. It is not uncommon for candidates to use bullet points in the resume to exemplify their candidacy.
9. Academic Resume
Often sent in CV format, academic resumes contain long walls of text for all-inclusive comprehension and proof of the scholarly work.
10. Application says so
If your job application specifically restricts the use of bullet points, restrain from inserting them in any part of the resume.
How to Add Bullet Points
Bullet points introduce clarity and neatness in a resume. Ideal for easily customizing a resume for different jobs, bullet points also ensure maximum attention to the highlights of the candidate.
1. Beginning: Action Verb
Starting your bullet point in a resume section such as work experience will help to add certainty and emphasis to your expertise. You can also use power verbs prominently used on resumes similar to yours to increase the clarity of your work experience section.
2. Condense the Information
Using bulleted points, divide lengthy sentences and paragraphs into short bite-size pieces for easier reading. Now, make individual sentences and meaningful phrases to list them in bulleted points. Don’t forget to add relevant keywords from the job application in bullet points for relevancy credits as well.
3. Period and Punctuation
It is wrong to use a period at the end of one or two bulleted points. If you want to use a period or punctuation mark at the end of a sentence, keep it consistent by adding to all the entries.
4. Number of Bullets
It is wrong to list more than 6 bulleted points under any section in a resume to prevent exceeding standard resume size limits as well as cluttering it.
Tips to Add Bullet Points
As most candidates use bullet points today in professional resumes, it is important to use it correctly to avoid raising red flags in the resume. Follow the below guidelines and tweaks to ensure that you’re using bullet points correctly in a resume.
1. Simple Bullet Symbols
To ensure clarity of your resume content, candidates must always use standard bullet symbols such as hyphen, circles or tiny squares in black and white. Using fancy bullets might scramble the entire resume and render your candidacy invalid when evaluated by resume scanners such as ATS.
2. Apply the STAR Technique
Defined as a Situation-Task-Action-Result method, candidates must use this method to list bulleted points such as in “Identified and Resolved Bug errors on Website with DeBugger and Reduced Daily Server Downtime”.
3. Proofread and Revise
Errors related to proofreading raises a serious red flag in the resume when assessed by hiring managers or ATS scanners. Moreover, candidates must double-check the resume for typographical, semantic and grammatical errors as bulleted points can create mindless sentences in a resume easily.
Hiring managers take less than a few minutes to scan multiple resumes and bulleted points are easy to scan. Hence, if your resume looks old or is not receiving any interview calls, apply bullet points and live the change!
Bullet points in the resume was a new trend a few years ago and it is already accepted as the standard formatting option to upgrade resumes. Use bullet points in your resume to upgrade it right now.