Are you wondering whether or not you need bullet points on your resume? You’re not alone.
Resume requirements are sometimes vague, and it can look like recruiters are constantly modifying them.
It is confusing for those just stepping into the job market and experienced professionals. You don’t need to keep wondering. You can finally understand the purpose of bullet points in your resume.
Keep reading to learn when and why you should use bullet points on your resume. We’ll also show the best ways to use bullet points and what to avoid to ensure your resume remains professional.
- Why Should You Use Bullet Points for Your Resume?
- When Can You Use Bullet Points on Your Resume?
- How Many Bullet Points Per Job on Your Resume?
- How Many Bullet Points Are Too Many on a Resume?
- How to Write Resume Job Bullet Points
- Do You Need Bullet Points for Every Job?
- Where Else Can You Include Bullet Points?
- Which Bullet is Best for a Resume?
- How to Effectively Use Bullet Points on Your Resume
- Do You Put Periods After Bullet Points on a Resume?
- Wrapping Up
Why Should You Use Bullet Points for Your Resume?
Bullet points are useful for formatting, highlighting, and organizing your resume.
Instead of having your resume appear like an essay, you should use bullet points to make it readable and professional.
Highlights Your Experiences
Sometimes, it is hard deciding what to include on a resume regarding work experience.
Bullet points allow you to provide details on your responsibilities and achievements in each position you have held.
They make it easy to highlight job-relevant experiences, allowing you to use keywords and performance metrics to showcase your skills.
When you use bullet points, you can easily decide what achievements to include and which ones are too vague or irrelevant.
Breaks Up the Text
Your resume would become one long, boring essay without bullet points. All your work experience would blend into each other, creating a hard-to-read block of text.
Bullet points also allow you to separate your skills, making your resume ATS-friendly. Without bullet points, your skill section would be one nonsensical paragraph.
Organizes Your Resume
Potential employers do not have time to search through paragraphs of text to figure out if you’re the right candidate.
Bullet points are crucial because they allow you to present all relevant information in an organized, easy-to-follow way.
They provide a clean resume layout, ensuring your resume can bypass an ATS and making it easier for hiring managers to skim through.
When Can You Use Bullet Points on Your Resume?
Bullet points provide more information on your resume. Whenever you need to provide detail, you can use bullet points.
It is why they are mostly used under the work experience section. Bullet points in the work experience section show your responsibilities and achievements in previous roles as relevant to the job description.
If you’re confused, a resume builder can offer suggestions on when to use bullet points on your resume.
How Many Bullet Points Per Job on Your Resume?
You should aim for three to six bullet points per job role in your work experience section.
Your most relevant and recent work experience should have the most bullet points. You don’t need more than three bullet points for older positions.
Can You Use Sub Bullet Points on Your Resume?
Generally speaking, no, you shouldn’t use sub-bullet points. However, there are particular circumstances in which you can use sub-bullet points in your work experience section.
Use sub-bullets to include niche information such as a publisher’s name or certification number.
How Many Bullet Points Are Too Many on a Resume?
As a rule of thumb, you should highlight your last three relevant jobs. Don’t list more than five jobs on your resume.
It would mean you have at least nine bullet points in your resume but no more than thirty. Ideally, you should stick to twenty bullet points for your work experience section and no more than ten for skills.
How to Write Resume Job Bullet Points
Now that you know why you need bullet points on your resume, you should learn how to use them properly.
Here is how to write your resume with bullet points:
Don’t overdo the bullet points. Remember that bullet points highlight work experience or list other relevant details.
You should not use them for everything else. For example, don’t use bullet points in your objective statement. Stick to using an average of four bullet points per position only.
Make the Sentences Clear and Concise
Bullet statements are fragmented, allowing you to make your sentences precise. Limit each bullet point to one or two lines.
Your bullet point should not be a paragraph. Split accomplishments into different points if you notice they are getting long.
Make Them Fairly Even
Try and use an even number of bullet points for each role. Most recruiters suggest you rethink including any position with less than three accomplishments.
Additionally, condense any position with more than six accomplishments. This allows you to have a fairly even distribution of bullet points.
It makes the resume more professional and allows the hiring manager to focus on your achievements.
Do You Need Bullet Points for Every Job?
Regardless of the job you are applying for, you need bullet points on your resume. For every role you’ve had, you must provide details.
Hiring managers and recruiters need to know what exactly you did in each previous position. Bullet points allow you to summarize your accomplishments in a role and highlight your achievements.
They also enable you to link your experience to the job requirements, making it easier to get the job.
Where Else Can You Include Bullet Points?
You can include bullet points in your education section, skills, and other credentials or accomplishments.
Wherever you need to list something on your resume, it is best to use bullet points for clarity and easy reading.
Also, wherever you need to explain something, such as relevant coursework, you should use bullet points rather than a paragraph.
Which Bullet is Best for a Resume?
Avoid using numbers or letters in place of bullet points on your resume. The general agreement is that bullets are the standard for resumes.
The classic bullet, a small black dot (●), is the best option for a resume. Some people use the white bullet point (◦) or the black square bullet (■).
However, it is advised you stick to the black circle bullet as it is simple, ensuring your resume looks professional. It is also hard to confuse for something else such as a ballot box or a checklist.
How to Effectively Use Bullet Points on Your Resume
As we’ve discussed, bullet points are a fantastic way to elevate your resume without making it too long. Here’s how you can effectively use them:
1. Be Specific
Specificity allows you to highlight job-relevant skills only. Avoid vague details or lumping two accomplishments together.
Instead, pick your best and most relevant responsibilities and achievements and highlight them as bullet points.
2. Provide Important Details
Use numbers and percentages to show significant accomplishments. Avoid highlighting average daily tasks. Emphasize how you used job-specific software and programs to show competency and experience.
Always refer to the job description to know what specific skills and competencies the hiring manager is looking for. Use bullet points to show that you have the relevant skills and experience.
3. Use Active Language
You need to use a strong, active voice in your resume. Action verbs switch the language of your resume from passive to active, making it engaging.
Highlighting resume verbs with bullet points allows you to clearly emphasize your relevant experience and achievements.
4. List Skills and Achievements
Use bullet points in the skills section to list relevant skills. Consult the job description and highlight the relevant achievements under your work experience. Including these will ensure your resume bypasses an ATS and is reviewed by a hiring manager.
Do You Put Periods After Bullet Points on a Resume?
There is some debate on whether or not you should put periods after bullet points on your resume.
The overall consensus is that you should skip the periods because bullet points are not complete sentences but fragments.
However, recruiters and hiring managers will not dump your resume if you use periods. You just have to remember to stay consistent.
Use a period after every bullet point; do not add them randomly. Your resume should always look professional, and uniform punctuation is a critical part of that.
You must always use bullet points on your resume. They break down information, making it easier for a hiring manager or recruiter to follow the details on your resume.
Remember that bullet points concisely highlight your relevant work and educational accomplishments.
They’re also used to list relevant skills. You should keep them as short as possible and not provide more than five bullet points at a time.
Comment any questions you have on writing resumes below.