A common question job seekers have is whether to use bullets points or paragraphs on a resume. The answer is that a resume should always be written in bullet points and not paragraphs.
A hiring manager only spends a few seconds looking at your resume so you want to ensure it’s easy to read and digest.
A resume in paragraphs makes it too text heavy. It could be difficult to capture the attention of a hiring manager this way. Many hiring managers are also quick to dismiss a resume that’s difficult to read.
Keep your resume in short and concise bullet points and use quantifiable accomplishments (numbers) wherever possible.
Here is an example of a paragraph on a resume:
Now let’s put this into bullet points which convey the same information more concisely:
Which one was easier to read?
Obviously, the bullet points are more reader friendly. Always use bullet points instead of paragraphs.
Can I combine both bullet points and paragraphs?
You can, but only where you have a lot of relevant and useful information. In this case, it’s better to do a small paragraph of 3 -4 sentences and then bullet points. You don’t want to go over 6 bullet points for a specific position, so including a small paragraph will help you trim it down.
This leads us to some tips to keep in mind with your resume bullet points.
3 Tips for Your Resume Bullet Points
Use 4-6 Bullet Points
Each position should have 4-6 bullet points listed. If you have a lot of information, then you could use a couple of sentences to open it up and then list bullet points underneath.
The positions that are old or irrelevant and towards the end of your resume can be cut down to 2-3 bullet points. Always make an effort to word your old experience in a way that shows relevancy to the position you’re targeting.
Start with a Strong Power Verb
Although not always possible, you should try to start each bullet point off with an attention-grabbing action verb.
For example; Managed, Trained, Executed, Reduced, Improved.
You can check out our post on some 101 awesome power verbs to use on a resume.
Make the First Bullet the Best
The first bullet point of each position should be the best. You want to capture the attention of the hiring manager with a strong start.
Use numbers and power verbs wherever possible, especially for the first bullet point.
Just to recap, use bullet points instead of paragraphs on your resume as it’s more reader friendly and easy for a hiring manager to skim through. If you have a lot of relevant information, you could include a couple of sentences as an intro so you don’t go over 6 bullet points.
Remember to keep you bullet points relevant and use numbers wherever possible which really captures the attention of a hiring manager.
Good luck with your job search!