Get the Most Out of Bullet Points on Your Resume

Bullet points are a common feature on most resumes. How can you effectively use bullet points to get information across on your resume?

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By Ho Lin 3 minute read

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Resume Bullet Points

Making the most of the space on the page is crucial when writing a great resume. Because resumes should be limited to one page or less in most cases, formatting tools like bullet points are of the utmost importance. Bullet points allow job seekers to provide more information in less space and increase the readability of a resume. Here’s how you can use effective resume bullet points in your job search.

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What Are Resume Bullet Points?

Resume bullet points are one of the more effective ways you can list information about your work experience, skills and professional certifications. Bullet points in key areas of your resume can address major requirements set forth by job postings. More than this, bullet points will make it easier for recruiters to scan your resume and get a clear idea of how well you will fit into the job title they are hiring for. Like any resume formatting tool, bullet points are most effective when they are used the right way.

Best Places To Use Bullet Points on Your Resume

When you write your own resume, think about the format that you have chosen when deploying bullet points. If you are using a hybrid resume format, you will have an equal amount of space for bullet points in your work history and skills sections. If you choose a functional or chronological format, however, you will need to focus on your skills or work history sections, respectively. Good bullet points in the right places will grab and hold a hiring manager’s attention. Here are the best places to use bullet points in a professional resume.

Work experience

The professional experience section of any resume should be presented in reverse chronological order and contain up to 15 years of work experience. This is a good section to use bullet points in because they will allow you to highlight your major duties and achievements.

Summary statement

Your resume summary section is also a great place to use bullet points. Placed directly below the resume header (which should contain your full name and contact information), a summary statement should contain only your best skills and qualifications. Narrow down the skills, certifications and achievements that best meet the needs of potential employers and present them in your summary of qualifications using a few bullet points.

Skills section

The skills section is one of the most common places to use bullet points in a resume because of the amount of information it needs to contain. Your skills section should contain all of the hard skills, soft skills, and technical skills that make you suitable for the job title you are applying for. Therefore, it is key that you use bullet points to ensure you can address all of the skills required by the job posting. This not only increases your chance of impressing a hiring manager but makes your resume more friendly to applicant tracking systems (ATS) that will scan your resume. Some skill section bullet point examples include:

  • Communication skills
  • Project management
  • Report writing
  • Copyediting
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Tips for Writing Impactful Resume Bullet Points

These tips from professional resume writers will help you to use bullet points in a way that directly deals with the most important parts of a job description. Some of these resume writing tips can also be useful when creating a matching cover letter for your application.

  • Target relevant information.

Spend a few moments brainstorming the skills, qualifications and experiences that are most relevant to the job posting. A good resume bullet point should add unique value to the overall resume rather than repeating information or filling space.

  • Use numbers and precise metrics to quantify impact.

When you list achievements, be specific and use numbers or precise metrics. For example, “Increased productivity by 20%” or “Won four awards for excellent customer service” rather than “increased productivity” or “won awards.”

  • Start with the most impressive skills and achievements.

Your first bullet point should contain the most relevant and impressive skill and achievement you have. Recruiters will see these bullet points first if you list them at the top of their respective sections and this could prompt them to read further.

  • Use short phrases to save space.

Save space by using phrases rather than complete sentences. For example, “Achieved personal best of 230 sales in a month” rather than “I achieved a personal best of 230 sales in one month last year” Both statements provide clear information, but the first is more concise and compact.

  • Use active language.

Use action verbs to make your bullet points impactful. Passive language choices will not impress hiring managers, so say “managed” rather than “was responsible for” to take ownership of your career and achievements. To make it even easier to create a well-formatted, effective resume that uses bullet points effectively, use ResumeHelp’s resume builder.

FAQ: Resume Bullet Points

Have questions? We’re here to help.

Try to limit your bullet points to one or two lines at most. You can write longer bullet points in your work experience section if necessary, but remember that your resume should be one to two pages in length.

Most of the time, the number of bullet points is not important because they are an incredibly effective way to communicate lots of information to recruiters in a short resume. Just ensure that all of your bullet points contain relevant information.

There is no single answer to this. Some people say yes, while others say it’s not needed, especially if the bullet points are fragments. Whatever you choose to do, it is crucial that you are consistent. Don’t mix and match, as inconsistency can put hiring managers off.

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Ho Lin Profile

Ho Lin is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and editor with two decades of experience in content strategy, creation, and development. He holds a Master’s degree in Creative Writing from Johns Hopkins University and his background includes experience aiding military veterans as they transition to civilian careers.

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