Bullets points, though make a resume attractive, overusing them can make your resume unprofessional and less attractive. Find out the right way to add them.
Considering the number of CVs is greater than the number of jobs these days, hiring has become a lot competitive. Moreover, since people, including hiring managers, are constantly being bombarded with information and emails that require their attention, they’re less likely to have time to study your resume in detail.
In fact, studies have shown that hiring managers spend only about six seconds looking at a resume. However, while that research has been disputed, the fact remains that most hiring managers don’t spend more than 60 seconds viewing a resume—and that’s stretching it.
So your resume must be structured so that it stands out and allows you to get to the interview. After that is another battle, but we’ll get to it later. Right now, let’s talk about how many bullet points you should have when listing jobs. It’s tricky, and as mentioned above, crucial to get it right.
Mostly, you will need to use bullet points when listing work experience, but that doesn't mean it's the only place where bullets are acceptable. The work experience section will include your accomplishments and duties on the last job. How many bullet points you should have depends largely on the type of job you have and for how long. But even if you have worked for a sufficient amount of time, it’s still best to keep your resume concise.
Of course, you can also use bullet points in the education, header, and skills section. If you choose between writing a paragraph and using bullets, it’s best to stick to bullets as that gives a better impression to the hiring manager. Moreover, hiring managers can read faster and comb through the information even more quickly.
Using bullet points in your resume is an art and has to be done properly. You can’t just throw together some points, format your resume and send it to the manager, hoping for a good response. In this section, we’ll look at some ways you can use bullet points. Stay tuned.
A header is right at the top of your page and typically contains your personal information. You can put in your contact information such as an email and phone number. You can also include your address, but that’s not typically required. Listing them down in a neat fashion will allow your employer to take a quick look at your contact information. They won’t have to spend time scanning your resume for contact details if they want to invite you for an interview.
This is the part of the profile that introduces you as a person. Think of this section as a summary of your professional achievements, skills, and relevant experience. The goal is to let the hiring manager know how qualified you are for the job. You can present the information in a bullet point like this:
You get the picture. The more concise it is, the better. Who knows? Your crisp resume might earn you a better chance of getting to an interview than the candidate who has work experience, but the resume is all over the place.
This is the part where you talk about your previous job and highlight to your employers why you are a good fit. Begin with your latest work history and list the basic details about your designation. You can put down your job title, location, and employer's name. It would help if you also listed the dates of employment.
Underneath the job title, you can discuss your responsibilities and role. It’s crucial to list what you accomplished instead of just listing what you did because the former will give you an edge over other candidates.
Be sure to write between 3 to 6 bullet points in this section for each job. Each bullet point should be of only 1 to 2 lines. Anything more than that will take up space. However, the rule doesn’t necessarily apply to the latest position.
Resume bullet points are also very useful in the education section. Although this section might not be handy for the more seasoned professionals, it's essential for fresh graduates who typically don’t have work experience. After listing your standard education, you can highlight new knowledge and skills relevant to the job.
You can also put down your extracurricular activities, relevant coursework, dean’s list, and any honors. You can also put down your GPA, but some recruitment experts believe that it’s good to list down only if it’s above a specific cut-off.
Congratulations, you have reached the skills section and are almost towards the end of the resume. Don't slack off, and be sure to add some bullet points to seal the deal. However, to make it effective, you can’t just list down random skills and forget about them. That is not going to help you. Instead, read the job ad and list down the requirements and skills the company is demanding before including them in the resume.
Be sure to cross-check what you have written and don’t exaggerate. If hiring managers find out what you have done, you could be blacklisted. Even if you think you have made it past the barrier, don’t fool yourself. Such scandals come up later on, and they could have a horrible impact on your career. It’s best to avoid these things and focus only on things you can prove.
You can put down 5 to 10 relevant bullet points in this section. You can put down more skills if you feel you have the space. However, be sure to use a mix of hard and soft skills as that’s more attractive to your employer. Examples include analytical skills, communication skills, and IT skills, to name a few.
If you are new to the bullet points approach and are unsure what will be a good approach, there is no need to worry. This section will outline some tips you can use to write a detailed yet crisp CV. Ready?
Include only that information that is crucial. You can put in details that that show how skilled and accomplished you are in the field. Moreover, be sure to be specific. Outline who you have worked with, what you did to your tenure and how it helped you accomplish the company’s goals. If you were a team lead, list down how huge your team was and what milestones you achieved with them.
If you managed to run a successful campaign, be sure to list down the number as employers would have a clear-cut idea about what you have established and how it would help their business.
When listing bullet points, be sure to include the most critical information as the first bullet point. Then you can continue to list down things in order of importance. Moreover, use simple bullet points as no employer will like something that looks fancy and take up too much space. Having a simple format also enhances readability.
Instead of starting your bullet points with simple words, be sure to begin with action verbs. You can choose interesting action verbs such as:
You get the picture, right? The goal is to show your managers that you are right for the job because you have delivered results before. Using such words also indicates a go-getter person willing to take risks and get the work done.
Last but not least, be sure to link the bullet points to the job description. If you find that some bullet points don’t relate to the job, exclude them from your resume. There is no point in listing irrelevant bullet points as they would take away from your space.
Instead, you can include soft skills as that would attract your employers. To prevent yourself from getting into this mess of including and excluding bullet points, make a master resume and list down all your skills, education, job responsibilities, volunteer work, and whatever else you can think of. It is an excellent way to keep track of your achievements. Moreover, it makes it that much easier to tailor a new resume. You can just list the skills you need and cut them out if you don’t want to include them. The best part is that it can even be a few pages long since it is just the master resume.
So, folks, that’s how you divide your resume and ensure it is readable and precise. While it might take some time for you to master how to write a succinct phrase, be sure that it will help you your entire career. Send it with a cover letter, and consider yourself invited for the interview! That’s enough for today. See you in the next article.
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