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How to Use Bullet Points on a Resume Effectively + How Many

How to Use Bullet Points on a Resume Effectively + How Many

Resume bullet points are a simple but powerful formatting tool. Learn how to write them properly and give your resume the impact it deserves.

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There are few shortcuts when it comes to writing an effective resume. Good formatting and layout plus careful targeting to each role you apply for is a must. But there is one simple addition that can benefit everyone. Good resume bullet points.

 

They’re a great way of giving your content maximum impact and building a solid, easy to read resume structure. And this guide will help you to learn all there is to know about the art of the resume bullet point. Here’s what we’ll cover, in bullet point form of course.

  • How to write resume bullet points.
  • How many bullet points you should include per job on your resume.
  • Whether to include bullet points or paragraphs on a resume.

 

And you’ll also get examples so you know exactly what to do with your own resume.

 

Want to save time and have your resume ready in 5 minutes? Try our resume builder. It’s fast and easy to use. Plus, you’ll get ready-made content to add with one click. See 20+ resume templates and create your resume here.

 

Sample resume made with our builder—See more templates and create your resume here.

 

And when you’re finished, take a look at our other job-winning resume writing guides.

 

Office Manager Resume Bullet Points Example

 

Mark Sanchez

202-555-0108

msanchez_zety@gmail.com

linkedin.com/in/msanchez_zety

 

Diligent office manager with 8+ years corporate experience, seeking to leverage proven leadership and mentoring skills to grow efficiency at Prescott Global. Oversaw seven administrative assistants in a high-volume engineering firm. Spearheaded efficiency drives that cut annual costs by 25%. Boosted admin team productivity by 30%.

 

Work Experience

 

Office Manager

Sunco Steel, Seattle

June 2016–Present

  • Coordinated office operations in a high-volume engineering firm. Oversaw seven administrative assistants to maximize organizational efficiency.
  • Accomplished revenue goals through efficient management of task scheduling. Decreased processing times by 45% by removing redundant process steps.
  • Facilitated new contract growth by supporting online marketing programs. Grew new customer accounts at a rate of 27% per year.
  • Planned all admin team daily work schedules. Grew team through positive performance feedback and effective annual appraisals. Decreased turnover by 50%.

 

Office Assistant

Coniston Machine Supplies, Seattle

August 2012–June 2016

  • Effectively handled administrative office assistant tasks in a busy manufacturing firm.
  • Onboarded and mentored two new office assistants, including orientation training and acting as “onboarding buddy” during initial stages of employment.
  • Led on inventory tracking and ordering supplies. Saved 20% on supplies contracts through negotiating bulk purchase discounts with suppliers.

 

Education

 

Communication & Media BA, Seattle University, Washington

2009-2012

 

Skills

 

  • Leadership skills
  • Communication skills
  • Business operations management
  • Scheduling
  • Inventory management
  • Attention to detail
  • Preparing reports
  • Customer service

 

Hobbies & Interests

 

  • Chess: Avid player and volunteer facilitator for community chess and checkers club

 

Foreign Languages

 

  • Spanish: Fluent

 

Why Should You Use Bullet Points for Your Resume?

 

Using bullet points in your resume helps employers notice your skills and experience. Bullet points are particularly useful for explaining your professional achievements and responsibilities for the jobs in your work experience section. You can also use bullet points in your skills section and other parts of your resume where you need to organize information and make it easier to read.

 

When Can You Use Resume Bullet Points?

 

Every type of resume can benefit from bullet points. They’re a useful resume layout trick that’s equally applicable to chronological, combination or functional resumes. And bullet points can be used throughout your resume structure.

Read more: The Best Resume Format for 2021

How to Use Bullet Points in Your Resume

 

As you’ve just seen, bullet points are useful in every part of your resume. Strictly speaking, bullet points are simply symbols used in typography to introduce items in a list. But they actually do much more than that. In a resume, bullet points help break up blocks of text, add emphasis and divide information into neat portions.

 

That’s important, because recruiters and hiring managers want to be able to read fast and pick out the information they want easily. So bullet points divide everything up into easy to spot, bite size chunks. Perfect for information hungry employers.

 

Most advice you’ll find about resume bullet points focuses on your work experience section. And yes, that is the classic place to use them. But we’re going to show you how to put those helpful dots to use in every resume section along with some resume bullet points examples. 

 

1. Resume Header

 

Starting from the top, bullet points are a useful addition to your resume header. Use them to neatly pick out your contact information, so employers can see how to get in a touch at a glance.

 

Resume Bullet Points Example: Resume Header

 

resume bullet points

 

2. Resume Profile

 

Yes, bullet points can be put to good use in your resume profile. That’s the brief, introductory section that kicks off your resume proper. You won’t see them in a standard resume objective or summary. But they come into their own if you choose to write a summary of qualifications

 

It’s essentially a brief guide to your relevant experience, skills, and professional achievements. And it’s intended to show your qualifications tailored to the job you’re applying for. That information is usually presented in bullet point form, like the following example.

 

Resume Bullet Points Example: Resume Profile

 

  • Customer service manager with 10+ years experience in busy shared services centers.
  • Maintained a team average 96% plus customer satisfaction score.
  • Spearheaded a comprehensive training program that increased call handling speeds by 15%.
  • Had team processes selected as the standard for customer service across the company.

Read more: How to Write a Resume Introduction (Intro Paragraph Example)

3. Work Experience Section

 

This is the standard section to include resume bullet points. Here’s how to write it. 

  • List your work history in reverse chronological order.
  • Start off with the basic details about the position, your job title, employer’s name and location and dates of employment. 
  • Then under each job write bullet points that describe your role.
  • Don’t just say what you did, prove what you achieved in the role. Use accomplishment statements, the PAR (problem, action, result) formula and quantified achievements to prove your worth. Numbers help give more impact to your words.

 

Resume Bullet Points Example: Work Experience Section

 

Office Manager

Sunco Steel, Seattle

June 2016–Present

  • Coordinated office operations in a high-volume engineering firm. Oversaw seven administrative assistants to maximize organizational efficiency.
  • Accomplished revenue goals through efficient management of task scheduling. Decreased processing times by 45% by removing redundant process steps.
  • Facilitated new contract growth by supporting online marketing programs. Grew new customer accounts at a rate of 27% per year.
  • Planned all admin team daily work schedules. Grew team through positive performance feedback and effective annual appraisals. Decreased turnover by 50%.

 

Office Assistant

Coniston Machine Supplies, Seattle

August 2012–June 2016

  • Effectively handled administrative office assistant tasks in a busy manufacturing firm.
  • Onboarded and mentored two new office assistants, including orientation training and acting as “onboarding buddy” during initial stages of employment.
  • Led on inventory tracking and ordering supplies. Saved 20% on supplies contracts through negotiating bulk purchase discounts with suppliers.

 

How many bullet points per job on a resume?

 

Write between 3–6 bullet points per job in your work experience section. Make them 1–2 lines each. Use more bullet points for your most recent and relevant experience.

Read more: How to Write Your Resume Work Experience Section

4. Education Section

 

Another unexpected spot resume bullet points come in useful is in your education section. This is a useful addition to resumes for candidates with no experience, particularly students and new graduates. You can add a couple of bullet points immediately below your standard education info to highlight key skills and knowledge that are relevant to the job you’re targeting. Here are some ideas, followed by an example.

 

Resume Bullet Points Example: Education Section

 

Communication & Media BA, Seattle University, Washington

2017-2020

  • Relevant coursework: Audience Behavior, Digital Marketing, Gaming and Virtual Environments
  • GPA: 3.7

 

5. Skills Section

 

Most people are also familiar with bullet points in their resume skills section. But to make it effective you can’t just choose a random list of abilities. As with the rest of your resume, you need to be targeted. Read the job ad, note the skills and requirements for the role and make sure your skills section matches it as closely as possible within your own abilities. Here are some more tips to improve your skills section bullet points.

 

Resume Bullet Points Example: Skills Section

 

Skills

 

  • Leadership skills
  • Communication skills
  • Business operations management
  • Scheduling
  • Inventory management
  • Attention to detail
  • Preparing reports
  • Customer service

 

6. Additional Sections

 

Adding extra sections to a resume gives you the chance to add more proof of your abilities and experience. Good examples include volunteering, foreign languages, hobbies and personal interests, and projects

 

And all of these extra sections can make use of resume bullet points too. Here’s a couple of examples.

 

Resume Bullet Points Examples: Additional Sections

 

Hobbies & Interests

 

  • Chess: Avid player and volunteer facilitator for community chess and checkers club

 

Foreign Languages

 

  • Spanish: Fluent

 

When making a resume in our builder, drag & drop bullet points, skills, and auto-fill the boring stuff. Spell check? Check. Start building your resume here.

When you’re done, Zety’s resume builder will score your resume and tell you exactly how to make it better.

How to Write Resume Bullet Points

 

You can’t just throw in bullet points and hope for the best. The spray and pray approach is a prime example of what not to put in a resume. You need to use the right tactics and create well-written bullet points that enhance your content and help to show off your writing skills. Here are some easy to implement ideas.

 

Tips for Writing Good Resume Bullet Points

 

  • Start each bullet point off with a resume action word for extra impact.
  • Link experience and skills with accomplishments. Don’t just write a laundry list of your abilities, use your resume bullet points to prove that you have the potential to be a productive employee.
  • Quantify your achievements with numbers. Measurable results and metrics make for strong bullet points.
  • Use active voice and simple language. 
  • Use sentence fragments rather than whole sentences. E.g. “Generated $500k in profits to increase revenue by 30%.”
  • Don’t save the best for last. Start your bullet point list with the most impressive/relevant skill, experience or accomplishment.
  • Be consistent with your formatting. Circles, squares and diamonds all make effective bullet symbols, but stick to the same resume style throughout.
  • Stay relevant and don’t be generic. Aim for a targeted resume by ensuring the information in your bullet points focuses on how you fulfil the key requirements for the job. 

 

Bullet Points or Paragraphs on a Resume: Which is Better?

 

There’s no contest. Bullet points are always better than paragraphs on a resume. They increase the amount of white space on the page and improve layout. And that’s proven to improve readability, comprehension and user satisfaction.

 

What more could you want than a satisfied hiring manager who can easily understand why you’re the best candidate?

 

Should You Put Periods after Bullet Points on a Resume

 

It’s a contentious point, but the generally agreed rule is that you have to include a period if you’ve written your resume bullet points as complete sentences. If they’re fragments however you can leave it out. But consistency remains key, don’t have some bullet points in a list with periods and some without, it’ll just look messy.

 

Plus, a great cover letter that matches your resume will give you an advantage over other candidates. You can write it in our cover letter builder here. Here's what it may look like:

 

matching set of resume and cover letter

See more cover letter templates and start writing.

Key Takeaway

 

Putting bullet points on your resume is one of the simplest ways to make it more impactful and better at doing what it’s designed to do. Making your job hunt a success. Follow the tips you’ve just seen and you can be sure you’re getting the most out of this handy typographical tool.

 

Thanks for reading. If you need more advice on writing a resume with bullet points then please ask in the comments section and we’ll be happy to help.

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Jacques Buffett
Jacques is a career expert committed to delivering top-notch job hunting advice. His guides will empower you to craft winning resumes and cover letters.

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