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Why you shouldn't overdo the bullets in your resume

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Avoid over doing the bullets in your resume.
One of the most common problems I see in resumes is the misuse of bullets.

I've seen entire resumes that are nothing but a series of bullets. How inviting! It’s inviting all right – inviting the recruiter to toss it in the reject pile. When I see a resume that looks like this, I see a person without personality. I see a person who doesn't know how to tell his or her story. And for the most part, I see a person who isn't getting job interviews.

Another misuse of bullets is using them for all content after the job title, whether it’s a job duty or an accomplishment. This just confuses the reader. What’s more, it allows a negative thought to enter the mind of the reader.

How to use bullets properly in resumes

A bullet should be used consistently to highlight – in this case it’s your accomplishments.

Put job duties in a paragraph form under the job title. This makes it easier for the recruiter or hiring manager to see what level of responsibility you held in that position. Use bullets to showcase what you’re most proud of accomplishing at that job.

If the two are jumbled together in a series of bullets, 1) you’re making the recruiter work to differentiate which is which and 2), the recruiter or hiring manager begins to think “Well, that’s not an accomplishment!” That’s the last thing you want him or her to be thinking.

The last point I want to make about bullets is the use of them when uploading your resume to an online application system. Bullets are a special character and will screw up your online submission pretty much every time.

When submitting your resume online, go back and reread every last word of the resume. You’ll find that there are strange symbols where your bullets used to be. Delete them and replace them with a hyphen, which isn’t a special character, so that when your resume is printed, it still is readable and looks nice.

Making these adjustments will make your resume much easier to read and a little less likely to be rejected off the bat.

Barbara Deters, resume expert, resume creator,
Barbara Deters

Guest post by Barbara Deters who also taught me (Kathy) a thing or two about not overusing bullets in this week's blog post!

Barbara Deters is resume expert / resume creator / corporate communications leader based in St. Louis, Missouri.

What do you think about Barbara's perspectives on using bullets on your resume? Share your comments! -- Kathy


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  1. Ha ha ha ! you are correct this is a very serious problem of people, they prepares their resumes by own self & make it with full of bullets. I think making resumes is a professional work, a person who is seeking for job may not make it properly.

  2. bullets could be distracting.


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