Recruiters don't read your resume. Instead, they skim through it.
That's why recruiters and hiring managers advise you use short, succinct bullet points, instead of long, wordy paragraphs to describe your achievements. Bullet points make your resume easy to skim and help hiring managers quickly get a sense of your previous achievements.
A framework to write effective resume bullet points
So what makes an effective resume bullet point? Well, the key is that each bullet point needs to demonstrate impact and highlight your experience in an effective way. To make it easy for you, here's a specific framework you can use as a checklist when writing each of your bullet points:
- Start your bullet point with a strong Action Verb (e.g. Created, Managed, Spearheaded, etc).
- Accomplishments, not responsibilities. Remember, your bullet points should always tell the recruiter or hiring manager what you accomplished, and not what you do on a day to day basis.
- If you find yourself starting your bullet point with 'Responsible for', you're likely writing about your responsibilities and not your accomplishments.
- Avoid using weak verbs like 'Assisted' or 'Helped'. These verbs don't clearly communicate your role in your achievement, and aren't specific enough in telling recruiters what you actually did. If you 'assisted' with something, you could have for example led the project or just participated in meetings. Of course, the latter is far less impactful.
- Similarly, if you use the present tense, there's a pretty good chance you've just listed a responsibility - it's hard for something you have accomplished to be written in the present tense (e.g. use 'Managed', not 'Manage' nor 'Managing').
- Quantify your impact using numbers and metrics. Did your achievement save time for your team? Increase revenue? While you might not be able to do this for every bullet point, do it where you can.
- Don't use fillers (e.g. 'various', 'multiple'). Instead, be specific by using numbers (e.g. Don't say you 'implemented various features'. Instead, say you 'implemented 10+ features').
- Remove personal pronouns (e.g. I, my, their). It is understood that your resume is written about you and your experiences, and personal pronouns just take up space and increase wordiness.
- 1-2 lines long. Short, succinct bullet points are key to your resume's readability. Blobs of text, that is bullets or paragraphs that are three lines or longer, are likely to not be read.
Examples of resume bullet points
Using the above framework, let's go through a few examples of writing an actual bullet point that you can use on your resume.
The first step is to think of a specific task or achievement from your previous role. If it's your first time writing your resume, start by writing down every fairly significant task you completed at your job.
Once you have that, let's add our action verbs and metrics, while also keeping in mind the rules we described above. Here's an example:
Here's another example where we start with the impact we had. In this case, we describe how we reduced customer support calls.
Sample bullet points from top resumes
It's never easy writing your resume's bullet points, so use these examples to help you! If you find these samples useful, you should upgrade to Pro - you'll get access to 300+ bullet points from successful job seekers who got interviews at top-tier companies. You'll be able to a line similar to your own experience, tweak it and use it in your resume.
Notice how each example uses the 6-point framework above. Pay close attention to the fact that all of them start with strong action verbs, use numbers and are accomplishment-oriented. These elements show your future employer what kind of impact you can have.
What are good bullet points for a resume?
Good resume bullet points contain an action verb, are specific in describing your project/task and contain numbers to describe impact. A good litmus test is if a bullet point sounds like it could fit on a job description, it probably isn’t a good fit for your resume.
Should I use bullet points on my resume?
Yes! Bullet points make your resume easy to skim and help hiring managers quickly get a sense of your most impressive achievements.
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