4 Tips for Writing Compelling Resume Bullet Points
October 23, 2018
To craft a compelling resume, you have to pay attention to the details. Here, we address the details of the bullet points in your resume. Specifically, we focus on how bullets are ideally expressed and displayed in your document.
1. Steal skills from other postings
Find job postings for similar positions and in similar fields or extract from the job posting that you’re applying for, and then look under the ‘desired skills’ section and use those that apply to you in your bullets points about your skills. Doing so shows that you know what the company is looking for. Be careful not to copy verbatim, though. Highlight what companies are looking for—in your own words.
2. Craft a narrative
To stand out, craft a story about a challenge or difficult situation you went through so that you can highlight your resilience and problem-solving skills. To create a narrative through your bullet points (whether it’s in your qualifications or skills section), allow each successive bullet to build on the one before it and lead to the next one, just like sentences in a compelling story.
3. Include statistics
It’s very important to include some statistical information in your bullets. Instead of stating that you managed a ‘large number’ of people, include ‘I managed up to 40 different people in various fields, five days a week for the 16 months that I worked at this company.’ Numbers, percentages, and dollars are compelling. They stand out. And then, you’ll stand out.
4. Put in Keywords
Today, most resumes are submitted online, and many businesses use a sorting mechanism called the Applicant Tracking System (ATS). If your resume contains relevant keywords, to the industry and role, then you’ll pass the ATS and go to the next stage, which is usually when actual human eyes read it. This means if you don’t include any keywords, your resume may never be seen by a human. Responsibilities and requirements of the job listing (and other listings like it) will be where you'll find the kinds of keywords you'll need. So make sure your bullets have all the essential keywords to beat the ATS.
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