Writing Resume Bullets That Get the Hiring Manager's Attention

John Krautzel
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You've spent hours painstakingly perfecting your resume, making sure every date is accurate, poring over the summary statement, sprucing up the layout and selecting the right references. How much consideration did you give to the bullets? Never let your resume bullets be an afterthought. Make sure your resume is impeccable with these five tips on writing bullets.

1. Start With the Strongest Bullets

When composing each section of bullets, ask yourself which two bullets you most want the hiring manager to see if he only reads two. Move these two bullets to the stop of the list so you can provide the most impressive facts first. Recruiters typically spend a very short time reviewing each resume, so putting the most vital information near the top of the document increases the chances of him reading those crucial points as his eyes scan down the page.

2. Quantify Your Accomplishments

Rather than just listing some impressive achievements, make them more tangible by adding hard numbers. If you led a team of workers in a record-breaking sales quarter, write that you "supervised a sales team of 15 employees, exceeding company sales goals by more than 15 percent for the third quarter."

3. Keep the Details to a Minimum

While you do want your bullets to provide enough context and information to capture the hiring manager's attention and show your value to the organization, you don't want to provide too much detail, as doing so can bore the reader. When listing examples in your resume bullets, limit yourself to three. For example, if you shared sales figures with a slew of company higher-ups, write that you "presented monthly sales reports to executive-level staff, including the company president, CEO and board of directors."

4. Demonstrate Your Impact

Rather than just introducing your remarkable achievements, make sure you also explain how your accomplishments benefited the employer. This makes it easy for hiring manager to determine your value. For example, if you developed a new shipping procedure, tell how you "streamlined the company's shipping process, reducing supply costs and increasing revenue by 10 percent."

5. Use a Healthy Mix of Bullets and Paragraphs

While bullets make it easy to break up information into points that are easier to read, you don't want to overload your resume. Try using a combination of bullets and paragraphs. For example, you might provide a one- or two-sentence paragraph-style description of the main job duties and responsibilities for each position you held. Follow this up with three to five bullet points describing your relevant accomplishments.

Your resume sells the recruiter on your skills and experience long before you've ever had a chance to shake the interviewer's hand. Make sure this all-important document is up to par with these tips for writing bullets that are strong and impressive.

Photo courtesy of Dhermholar at Flickr.com


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