3 key takeaways:
- Bullet point writing tips that capture a hiring manager's attention
- Examples on how to use bullet points effectively in your resume
- How to feature resume achievements using Teal’s AI-Powered Resume Builder
You’ve probably been told, “just get to the point.” When it comes to securing job interviews, concise, direct resume bullet points can improve your odds.
Hiring managers are tired, overwhelmed, and staring down a stack of resumes that give the Empire State building a run for its money. That’s why when it comes to conveying your professional journey on paper, you need to get to the point—the bullet point, that is.
In this guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know for crafting strong bullet points that help your resume rise to the top of the stack.
Understanding resume bullet points
Resume bullet points are concise, descriptive phrases that highlight your achievements, skills, and experiences relevant to the job description. They quickly communicate your value to an employer, breaking down your professional story into digestible, impactful snippets.
More importantly, good bullet points transform a dense block of text into an easily navigable and readable format.
Consider the following description of a marketing coordinator in a formal paragraph:
“In my role as a Marketing Coordinator, I was responsible for various tasks including social media management, overseeing email campaigns, analyzing data to inform marketing strategies, collaborating with the sales team to align marketing and sales goals, graphic design for promotional materials, and event planning for company-wide functions.”
And compare that with the same information in bullet-point form:
- Oversaw and strategized content for multiple platforms, increasing engagement by 37%.
- Led the creation and distribution of weekly newsletters, achieving an open rate of 25%.
- Used analytics to refine marketing strategies, enhancing campaign effectiveness by 15%.
- Partnered with the sales team to align marketing efforts with sales goals, boosting lead generation by 21%.
- Developed visual content for marketing materials, resulting in a 43% increase in campaign response rate.
- Orchestrated company-wide events, including logistics and vendor management, enhancing team morale and brand awareness.
Instead of slogging through paragraphs, resume bullet points allow recruiters to immediately grasp the scope of your capabilities and achievements with a quick skim. This clarity is crucial, as an eye-tracking study found hiring managers spend an average of seven seconds on each resume.
Why bullet points are a “must-have” in your resume
The real power of good resume bullet points lies in their ability to make your resume stand out.
With all the competition you’re facing, distinct resume bullets can be the difference between your resume being noticed or tossed. By clearly outlining your accomplishments and skills, bullet points create a narrative of your professional journey that is both compelling and easy to follow.
For example, instead of saying "Responsible for managing a team," a stronger bullet point would be "Led a team of 10, increasing overall productivity by 20%."
Plus, bullet points are a prime spot for integrating keywords relevant to the job description. Strategically incorporating keywords helps tailor your resume to the specific role. Ultimately, this makes you more likely to be found by hiring managers searching for those specific skills and qualifications in Application Tracking Systems (ATS).
Did you know? Teal’s AI Resume Builder highlights and extracts keywords from your job description.
How to write effective bullet points
Writing effective bullet points instantly communicates your most relevant qualifications to recruiters.
Here’s a guide to ensure each bullet point on your resume is impactful and resonates with potential employers:
Start with strong action verbs
Initiate each bullet point with a dynamic action verb. Words like “orchestrated”, “spearheaded”, or “implemented” immediately draw the eye and illustrate your active role in your accomplishments.
Here’s how you might transform an otherwise boring sentence into a more engaging one:
Before: "Was responsible for leading a team to develop a new marketing strategy."
After: "Spearheaded a team of 10 to innovate a comprehensive marketing strategy, leading to a 15% increase in customer engagement."
Why This Works: The use of "Spearheaded" in place of "Was responsible for" portrays a more proactive and leadership-oriented role. This single word conveys not just involvement but direct management and initiative.
Finally, quantifying the achievement with "a team of 10" and the result of "15% increase in customer engagement" provides concrete evidence of the impact made.
This approach makes the statement more dynamic and results-focused, which is more likely to capture a hiring manager's attention.
Quantify your achievements
Numbers speak louder than words.
Wherever possible, use statistics and figures to quantify your successes. This not only adds credibility but also allows the reader to understand the extent and impact of your contributions.
Before: “Increased sales in Q1.”
After: “Increased sales by 30% in Q1”
Why this works: The latter is more impressive and informative.
Be concise but specific
Clarity and brevity are key. While it’s important to keep your bullet points succinct, be sure they also provide specific details about your skills and achievements.
Avoid vague statements and focus on conveying clear and precise information about your professional experiences.
Here’s a good and bad example of being concise but specific in resume bullet points:
Before: "Worked on improving customer service."
After: "Revamped customer service protocols, achieving a 95% satisfaction rate and reducing average call time by 30%."
Why This Works: The improved example enhances the clarity and impact of the statement.
"Revamped customer service protocols" replaces the vague "Worked on improving customer service," giving a clear indication of a proactive and transformative role. And, again, including quantifiable outcomes – a 95% satisfaction rate and a 30% reduction in average call time – offers concrete evidence of the achievement's impact.
This works well because it moves beyond generalities to provide specific, measurable details. It demonstrates the candidate's direct contribution to organizational improvement and provides a clear metric of success
Tailor them to the job
Customize your resume to align with the job description. Incorporate keywords and phrases from the job listing to make your resume more relevant.
This demonstrates that you have not only read the job description thoroughly but also that your skills and experiences are a direct match.
Consider the following job description, then see how a good and bad example compare:
Job description: XYZ Tech Solutions is seeking a Project Manager with a proven track record of managing cross-departmental projects in a fast-paced environment. The ideal candidate will possess strong coordination skills and experience in working with marketing and engineering teams. The role requires strategic alignment with company objectives, ensuring project timelines are met and resources are effectively utilized.
Before: "Managed multiple project timelines and coordinated with various teams."
After: "Efficiently managed 10+ cross-departmental project timelines, ensuring alignment with marketing and engineering teams, in accordance with the company's strategic objectives."
Why This Works: The revised bullet point effectively tailors to the specific needs of XYZ Tech Solutions by directly mirroring the language and key requirements of the job description.
It showcases the candidate's relevant experience in managing cross-departmental projects, particularly with marketing and engineering teams, a crucial aspect of the role. Plus, it highlights the candidate's strategic alignment with company objectives, demonstrating a deeper understanding and suitability for the position.
Focus on outcomes
Emphasize the results and impact of your actions, rather than just listing tasks. This approach showcases your contribution to the organization’s success.
For example, “Designed a new inventory management system, reducing material waste by 20%” highlights the outcome of your initiative.
Before: "Tasked with redesigning the inventory management system."
After: "Redesigned the inventory management system, resulting in a 20% reduction in material waste and significantly improving efficiency."
Why this works: Highlighting the specific outcome of a 20% reduction in material waste quantifies the achievement, making it more impactful and memorable to potential employers. This approach underscores the candidate's effectiveness and value-add, distinguishing them in a competitive job market.
By following these guidelines, you can create bullet points that effectively capture your achievements and skills, making your resume stand out in a competitive job market.
Enter Teal’s Achievement Wizard
The Achievement Wizard is a dynamic feature within Teal’s AI Resume Builder, designed to help you transform your work experiences into impressive achievements. It prompts you to think about your roles in terms of measurable impacts, encouraging you to quantify your successes and present them in a way that speaks to your potential future employer.
Then, as you’re writing your bullet points, AI will suggest better ways to phrase each resume bullet. And the best part is that you can still edit all the output to make sure it’s as genuine as it is impactful.
Pro Tip: To dive deeper into resume bullet best practices, read how many bullet points should I list per job on my resume.
Resume bullet point examples
In each of the following resume examples, the candidates have effectively used their bullet points to highlight specific, quantifiable achievements that are directly applicable to their roles.
By doing so, they provide a clear picture of their capabilities and the value they can bring to a potential employer:
1. Marketing Manager
Marketer work experience bullet points
- Led cross-functional teams to develop and execute successful marketing campaigns, resulting in a 20% increase in website traffic
- Managed a budget of $500,000 to execute marketing initiatives, resulting in a 15% increase in brand awareness
- Collaborated with sales teams to develop effective lead generation strategies, resulting in a 25% increase in qualified leads
Why it works: The bullet points effectively showcase the candidate's impact and leadership in marketing by using quantifiable achievements and strong action verbs, demonstrating both the responsibilities and the tangible results of their work.
2. Software Engineer
Software engineer work experience bullet points
- Spearheaded the development of a large-scale software system to meet regulatory standards, resulting in a 25% improvement in customer satisfaction
- Upgraded a critical server-side solution with automation and optimized code to enhance security and process speed by 27%
- Developed custom software architectures, designs, and specifications to meet customer design requirements and exceed project deadlines
Why it works: These bullet points effectively blend technical details with quantifiable outcomes, highlighting the candidate's technical proficiency and direct impact on critical areas like customer satisfaction and system security.
3. Financial Analyst
Financial analyst work experience bullet points
- Led the financial forecasting and budgeting for multiple departments, resulting in a 20% increase in cost savings and a 15% increase in revenue by identifying and implementing cost-saving measures such as negotiating better vendor contracts and identifying new revenue streams
- Successfully managed multiple financial projects, resulting in a 25% increase in project completion rate and a 20% increase in project success rate by utilizing project management methodologies such as Agile and Waterfall
- Collaborated with cross-functional teams to deliver on-time and on-budget projects and initiatives by effectively communicating project timelines, progress, and objectives using tools such as Trello and Asana
Why it works: These bullet points clearly demonstrate the candidate's expertise in financial forecasting and project management, highlighting their ability to generate significant cost savings and revenue increases.
The focus on collaboration and effective use of project management tools also underscores their strong team skills and results-oriented approach.
4. Human Resources Specialist
Human resource specialist work experience bullet points
- Successfully managed the recruitment process for multiple departments, resulting in a 25% increase in employee retention rate
- Developed and implemented new employee retention and engagement programs, resulting in a 15% increase in employee satisfaction and engagement
- Led the design and implementation of a new performance management system, resulting in a 20% increase in employee performance
- Constructed employee survey to evaluate job satisfaction, garnering 1,000 responses and detailed analysis
Why it works: These bullet points showcase the candidate’s strengths in key HR functions, such as improving retention rates, employee satisfaction, and performance.
They emphasize quantifiable results and leadership skills, as well as the candidate's ability to analyze employee feedback, reflecting a comprehensive HR skill set.
5. Project Manager
Project manager work experience bullet points
- Led and managed multiple projects simultaneously, resulting in a 15% increase in project completion rates
- Developed and maintained project timelines and budgets, resulting in an average project cost savings of 20%
- Implemented project management methodologies such as Scrum and Agile to ensure timely delivery and successful completion of projects
Why it works: These bullet points demonstrate the candidate's ability to lead and effectively manage multiple projects, emphasizing results like improved completion rates and cost savings.
They are tailored to highlight core project management skills, such as timeline and budget management, and the use of methodologies like Scrum and Agile, making them directly relevant and impactful for a Project Manager role.
Best practices for writing resume bullet points
Here's how to master the art of resume bullet points:
1. Structure and content
Structuring bullet points is both an art and a science; so let us help you with the science part.
Use this formula to craft engaging bullet points for your resume:
Success Verb + Noun + Metric + [Strategy Optional] + Outcome Formula
Start with a strong action verb to convey your role in the achievement, such as 'orchestrated' to highlight your interpersonal skills, followed by the task or responsibility. Include measurable results to quantify your success and, if applicable, mention the strategy used.
Conclude with a positive outcome.
"Orchestrated (Success Verb) a comprehensive revamp of customer service protocols (Noun), achieving a 45% enhancement in customer satisfaction ratings (Metric) by integrating user feedback analysis (Strategy Optional), which led to a prestigious industry award for customer service excellence (Outcome)."
2. Formatting techniques
Unless you’re applying to a creative role, your resume should have consistent and straightforward formatting. Follow these guidelines to ensure your bullet points are skimmable for hiring managers:
- Typeface and font size: Use the same typeface as the rest of your resume to ensure consistency. The font size for bullet points should be slightly smaller than your section headers but still legible, typically around 10 to 12 points.
- Line Spacing: Adequate spacing is key for readability. Keep a balanced line spacing; 1.15 to 1.5 lines is usually best. This spacing ensures your bullet points are distinct from each other but still part of a cohesive whole.
- Indentation: Proper indentation sets your bullet points apart from the rest of the text and makes your list more readable. A standard half-inch indent works well. Ensure all bullet points are uniformly indented for a professional look.
- Bullet Style: Use simple, classic bullet styles (like circles or squares) rather than fancy or unusual symbols. Consistency in bullet style throughout the document is important.
If you’re using Teal’s AI Resume Builder, you don’t have to worry about this. You can quickly change the format of your resume’s bullet points, always ensuring the result looks clean and professional:
3. Consistency and clarity
As a rule of thumb, each section of your resume should have a consistent format and prioritize the clarity of your message.
Here are some tips to help you stay clear and consistent:
- Uniformity in tense: Use the same tense throughout your bullet points. For current positions, use present tense; for past roles, use past tense.
- Parallel structure: Start each bullet point similarly, preferably with action verbs. This structure creates a rhythm and makes your resume more skimmable.
- Brevity and impact: Each bullet should be concise but impactful. Avoid long, complex sentences. Focus on clear, brief descriptions of your accomplishments.
- Tailor it to the job description: Reflect keywords and phrases from the job description in your bullet points. This tailoring helps align your resume with the specific requirements of the job.
Pro Tip: Need help beyond bullet points? Dive into this comprehensive resource on how to make a resume in 2024.
Tools to create effective resume bullet points
1. Microsoft Word
Microsoft Word, a mainstay in document creation and offers a familiar and versatile platform for crafting resume bullet points. However, it may be excessive if you only plan to use it for resume creation. Its key features include:
- Templates: Word provides a variety of resume templates, which can serve as a starting point for structuring bullet points effectively.
- Customization tools: With a wide range of formatting options, you can tailor the look of your bullet points, ensuring they are both readable and attractive.
- Review and editing features: The spellcheck and grammar tools help ensure your bullet points are error-free, an essential aspect of professional resume writing.
2. Google Docs
Google Docs is a better option than Microsoft Word for those who prefer cloud-based platforms and already use G Suite tools. Its strengths include:
- Real-time collaboration: Share your resume with mentors, colleagues, or professional resume writers for feedback, and make real-time edits.
- Easy-to-use templates: Google Docs offers a selection of templates that can be easily modified to suit your resume style, including the bullet points.
- Accessibility and integration: Being cloud-based, it allows you to work on your resume from anywhere and integrates seamlessly with other Google services.
3. Teal’s AI Resume Builder
Teal’s AI Resume Builder stands out with its advanced AI-driven approach.
It's not just a tool for formatting your resume, but a comprehensive system for job seekers to create and optimize their job documents while tracking their application process .
Here are a few of the features you can expect from Teal:
- Intelligent resume analysis: The AI Resume Builder analyzes your existing resume and offers suggestions for improvement, including bullet point recommendations.
- Resume Achievements Wizard: This feature specifically guides you in creating powerful, result-oriented bullet points. It helps identify and articulate your achievements in a way that resonates with employers.
- Custom tailoring: The tool can tailor your resume to specific job descriptions, ensuring that your bullet points align with what potential employers are looking for.
Ready to start writing your standout resume today? Sign up for Teal’s AI Resume Builder and see how easy it can be to land your next role!
The surprising power of a little point
Writing effective resume bullet points is a surprisingly important skill for your job search. Remember, each bullet point should be a miniature story of your professional success, highlighting your contributions and their impact.
Don't forget to try out Teal’s AI Resume Builder if you’re feeling overwhelmed. This platform is specifically designed to help you present your best self to potential employers.
Don’t wait, get started with Teal today!
FAQs about resume bullet points
How many bullet points per job should I put on my resume?
For each job on your resume, it's recommended to list between three and five bullet points. This gives you enough space to detail your key responsibilities and accomplishments while maintaining the reader's interest.
How many bullet points total should I include on my resume?
That depends on the number of jobs you have on your resume. Again, you should aim for three to five bullet points per job role. That said, you want to keep your resume limited to one or two pages (ideally one), which makes spacing an issue.
Most resumes will have three to five previous jobs listed with three to five bullet points under each.
How long should resume bullet points be?
Each bullet point should ideally be no longer than two lines, ideally one. Brevity is key – aim to pack a punch in as few words as possible while clearly conveying your achievements and impact.
What's the best way to format bullet points in a resume?
When formatting bullet points in your resume, consistency is key. Start each bullet point with a strong action verb and keep the style uniform throughout the document. Use simple, easy-to-read fonts, and make sure the bullet points align nicely on the page. Avoid long paragraphs; keep each bullet concise, ideally no longer than two lines.
Where should I use bullet points on my resume?
Consider using bullet points to list achievements, in the work experience section, and skills, either in the work experience section or separate skills section.