Legal Skills Prof Blog
Bullet points are a great rhetorical technique because not only do they communicate a lot of information in a concise fashion but they also work as a visual device indicating the relationship between ideas. Experts tell us that particularly when it comes to screen reading, bullet points are essential for connecting with busy readers who tend to scan the screen for information rather than read left-to-right, top-to-bottom like they would a printed page .
So check out this post from the Business Writing blog on how to punctuate bullet points discussing when to use periods, semicolons and when to omit punctuation altogether.
So I Should Use Bullet Points And Paragraphs On My Professional Resume
Absolutely! A combination of paragraphs and bullet points makes for an extremely effective resume format. A resume format that incorporates both makes for easy reading while giving you the opportunity to present your work experience, skills, and achievements with a bit more description than bullet points alone would allow, and in a less word-heavy manner than paragraphs alone would allow.
When you combine bullet points and paragraphs in your resume format, I still recommend sticking to the three to five rule. Effective resume writing is about presenting solid, relevant, and compelling information in a concise manner.
I recommend sticking to the three to five rule by starting each section of work experience on your resume with a paragrapha short, three- to five-sentence paragraph. This paragraph should be a basic description/introduction about your responsibilities in the role that addresses the primary details you want recruiters or potential employer to know.
Below the introductory paragraph, use three to five bullet points to list out select accomplishments or relevant skills that directly address needs outlined in the job description for the position to which you are applying.
Resume Punctuation Guide: Should Resumes Have Periods
As a job seeker, you already know how important it is for your resume to be a hundred percent spot on. Resumes are formal documents created to itemize your job qualifications. Certain rules apply in business documents and mistakes that would cause HR to carelessly file your document and never get back to you. Yes, it happens.
Punctuations are so important when writing a resume. There are several reasons why, but the most important is that it gives your text a neat and comprehensive structure, making it easy on the eye of whoever is reading it at any given moment. If you write in your resume that you have great communication skills, but your use of punctuation is so off, how do you think that looks?
If you cant communicate properly through writing, it doesnt present you in a good light.
You have to communicate succinctly in your workplace, says Donna Svei, an executive resume writer. If you cant do that on your resume, you wouldnt be able to do it in your job.
So many job seekers ask questions like Should I put periods on my resume? and so on. The answer is not set in stone but listen. There are a few guidelines on how to use punctuation on a resume, and they are as follows:
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One Final Thought Before You Leave
One more thing before you go. Allow me to provide an answer to the age old question: Do you put periods after your bullet points on your resume? And the resounding answer is YES! Put a period after every single bullet point.
Here is a resume punctuation pro-tip: If you make the wise decision to add periods on you bullet points, make sure you put periods on ALL of your bullet points! Do not miss any. Either add them to all of your bullet points or go ahead and throw punctuation out of the window.
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Proofread Before You Submit The Resume
To rest assured that your resume is punctuated accurately and consistently, proofread it before using for job-search purposes. Many online spell checkers wont spot resume punctuation issues since its a specific document. So, print it on paper and carefully look through words and punctuation marks to make sure your resume makes a professional impression.
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Even Commonly Ignored Details Can Make A Difference When Youre Writing To Impress And Succeed
Regardless of the type of writing you do, refreshing your grammatical skills on a regular basis can contribute to your ability to impress your readers. Learning the ins and outs of grammar can truly help you write and revise with more confidence and strengthen any writing you do, making it more clear, consistent, and compelling.
Many readers and writers assume all bullet points should end with a punctuation mark , but I argue thats not always the case. Let me first say that if you write for an entity that insists you use commas or semicolons at the end of each bullet point in a series until the last, which ends in a period, I feel for you. While this practice is common in legal documents, its unnecessary and looks old-fashioned and clunky. If you are not under the constraints of outdated style limitations when it comes to formatting bullet points, I suggest following two easy-to-remember rules. Keep in mind that both can be applied in a single document.
by Lis McGuire | Oct 10, 2016
A recent survey from Match.com reported that while 71% of the 5,000 single respondents were judging potential dates on their teeth, 69% were fretting about their grammar. Dating or not, your punctuation and grammar can invite a positive or negative first impression, especially when it comes to presenting your CV.
How To Use Periods In Bulleted Lists On A Resume
If a resume is written using periods, then you must continue to be consistent with this punctuation throughout the whole resume. If one sentence in a section contains a period, then they should all end in a period. If one bullet point ends in a period, all bullet points must end in a period.
Lets look at an example of period usage in the experience section in the case of a nanny:
- Ensured the proper daily care of three children aged 6-12.
- Completed task lists which included driving, cooking, and tutoring.
- Maintained a daily schedule of appointments and deadlines.
Even though personal pronouns are left off, periods may still be used. Resumes are a bit of a grey area when it comes to proper punctuation, which gives you a bit of wiggle room for formatting.
Periods do not look strange when included in longer sentences such as these.
For short sentences such as in the skills section, periods tend to look more out of place. Lets look at some skills both self-taught and school-learned:
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Educate Yourself About The Job Search Process
College can’t prepare you for everything, and most of the lessons people learn from the job search process come from real-world experience. However, there are some things you can do to prepare.
First, research as many potential jobs as you can before graduation and identify some potential companies that you would like to work for . Second, prepare multiple resumes tailored for the specific positions for which you’re applying.
A recruiter needs to see the skills you have that apply to the position within the first six seconds of reading your resume. You should also prepare a disruptive cover letter where you really bring attention to yourself by telling a story about how you connect with the company.
The last thing you need to do is reach out and network. It’s not enough to just send in a resume and cover letter and hope that you’ll be contacted. Reach out to people who work at the company through LinkedIn and introduce yourself. Use the fact that you’re a graduating student seeking knowledge to your advantage. There are professionals who enjoy the opportunity to mentor.
Even if these new connections don’t translate into an immediate job, you’ve made your first professional contacts which could come in handy at some other point in time. Knowing how to conduct a proactive job search will serve you well throughout your professional life.
How To Make Friends At Work
Sometimes if youre a new employee just starting with a company, youll be assigned a work buddy to familiarize yourself with the job and work environment. Theres nothing wrong with this. It could be that your supervisor has a particular person they want you paired with based on job responsibilities who could help you ease into and adapt to your new role.
If youre assigned a work buddy, thats one less thing you have to worry about. But if youre not assigned a buddy, look at it as an opportunity.
Some of the best friendships are the ones that are formed organically. Be open to getting to know all of your co-workers. Be friendly. Ask questions about their jobs and lives. Try to make a connection.
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How Can You Use Bullet Points For Your Resume
You can use bullet points in the work experience section of your resume. This is the part of your resume where you list all of your previous jobs that are relevant to the job you’re applying to. You should list your jobs in reverse chronological order, meaning your most to least recent jobs.
Under each job, include two to four bullet points that outline any accomplishments or duties that relate to the job you’re applying to. Be specific about what you accomplished, referencing specific results and data.
You can also use bullet points under your volunteer experience if you have it. You can provide details about your positions and the work you did. Also, you can use bullet points to list your skills and achievements.
The General Rule On Listing Employment Months
ABC Corporation 1/2009 – 5/2021
ABC Corporation 2009 – 2021
Letâs get the big question out of the way right off the bat. There are some who say that you should always include months on your professional resume â even if it produces gaps in your work history. The reason for that is simple.
You see, if you just list the years of employment, most employers will assume that youâre trying to hide something. And in most instances, they would be right!
Now, it is true that many job seekers have in the past avoided listing employment months when they had work history gaps. And for a time, that approach probably helped many of them avoid questions about time away from the workforce.
However, old strategies often become obsolete with time, as more and more people see them being used. Thatâs certainly the case in this instance. Todayâs hiring managers and employers will typically see any attempt to avoid listing employment months as an attempt to hide some gap in your employment history.
And letâs be honest here: theyâre usually right in that assessment. After all, the only real reason to leave out the months is that youâre trying to hide a gap.
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If You’re Concerned About Employment Gaps
Think about other activities you can use to fill that time period. You might have experience relevant to your job target, regardless of whether you were paid. Volunteer activities, community involvement, special projects, consulting engagements and continuing education can be used in the Experience section.
Short gaps might not be apparent if you eliminate months from your traditional resume. Use the career summary to highlight your top qualifications. This will draw attention to your selling points and downplay your work chronology.
If you’re returning to the workforce after an extended absence, show how you’ve kept up-to-date with changes in your industry.
If you’ve been out of work because you raised a family, continued your education, cared for a sick family member or recovered from an injury, be sure your tone is not apologetic. There’s nothing wrong with being out of work for whatever reason, and a negative attitude might affect your resume’s quality.
Extra Spacing Between Words
ATS are picky about keywordsreally picky. A few of the top ATS, including Bullhorn and Greenhouse, will not even recognize multi-word keywords if the words are separated by extra spaces.
For example, product marketing will be recognized as a complete skill but product marketing will not because there is an extra space hiding between the words.
The solution is simple: double and triple check your spacing, especially between multi-word keywords, before submitting.
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You Will Quantify Your Resume To The Best Of Your Ability Adding Numbers To Describe Your Experience
Adding numbers to your resume makes them more descriptive and specific, which will catch the hiring managers attention. Numbers also allow you to show off your achievements and abilities that others may not have.
The rule of thumb here is this: if the duty you performed can be described in numbers, do so.
Browse these perfectly quantified resumes for a taste of how your resume should look:
Still not sure what we mean, or how to do it? In the following examples, weve written each job description twice to show an unquantified resume description versus a quantified one.
You Will Not Leave Any Glaring Gaps In Employment History
If you have periods of time where you were not working professionally, avoid revealing those gaps on your resume at all costs.
There are a number of ways that you can accomplish this. The first is with resume formatting.
The first format you can use is called a Functional Resume, which leaves off work dates altogether in favor of simply listing your most relevant qualifications.
VIEW > Functional Resume
The other format you can use is called a Combination Resume, which splits your resume into two sections. In one section, your work experience will still be written in reverse-chronological order. Then, once you reach your gaps in work experience, you again simply list your qualifications and ignore dates altogether.
VIEW > Combination Resume
Finally, you can leave months off of your resume entirely. If you worked from June 1, 2013, to February 1, 2014 simply leave off writing June and February, which will show that you worked from 2013-2014. If pressed in your interview, tell the truth.
The point is to get your foot in the door.
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Why Do Resume Bullet Points Matter
Isnt it ironic that bullet points are often the last thing that we put attention and effort into when crafting our resumes. There is no shortage of websites devoted beautiful looking resumes or custom designed resumes sure to catch the eye of a recruiter. But there are not many web sites that focus on resumes that flow well and the content to demonstrate your experience. After all, that is one of the reasons I started preparedresume.com.
Therefore, resume bullet points are not exactly the first thing that comes to mind when we imagine a great resume, right? Even though bullet points are often an afterthought, they are the most important thing on your resume. Forget about your job titles and the companies that you have worked for previously. Impactful and strong bullet points are the thing that you are going to get you that job. So, how can you craft the perfect bullet points? Thats what we are going to talk about next.
How To Write Resume Bullet Points
The first thing to do is to carefully read through the job description for each job application and to identify the key job requirements for each position. Pick out the keywords and work them into your resume.
Its essential to show why youre the right candidate for a specific position rather than just submitting a generic, one-size-fits-all resume. Make each bullet point relevant to the role youre applying for. Changing the bullets using resume templates is an easy way of creating a tailored resume for each application.
You should include 2-4 effective resume bullet points beneath the basic job information . You should use simple, attractive, readable bullets such as circles or hyphens. Whichever style you choose, be consistent throughout your resume.
Make sure you prioritize your bullet points. Place the most important and most relevant points nearer the top of your resume, and the less important ones nearer the bottom.
Each bullet should start with a strong, dynamic action verb followed by what you produced or accomplished. You should also try to quantify your achievements as this is convincing for employers.
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Periods At The End Of Bullet Points
Either is fine as long as you’re consistent. I personally prefer no periods.
Everyone I know in banking says no periods if it’s a bullet point
Don’t know why OP got monkey shit but no. No periods.
No one cares. seriously. just be consistent as jec said
haha, yeah, not sure why the monkey shit, I had always gone no period, but since I’m paying for a resume review service, I thought it would be good to ask about it to the board here…
There, I gave you a SB to even things out. I don’t use periods with my bullet points.
Thanks connor, yeah, think I’m going to take off the periods
Have seen it both ways in the past, but no periods is considered more conventional and you’ll see it that way more frequently. The big rule to follow here is to always keep it consistent either way you choose to go.
I am permanently behind on PMs, it’s not personal.
No periods, save yourself the trouble
Periods are a hassle. Bleeding out once a month? That’s got to be a pa-…
Oh, wait. Nevermind.
Periods go at the end of a sentence. Since most bullet points are not complete sentences, don’t use periods.
Bullets and Periods
I’ve read a bunch of conflicting posts and readings about the use of periods with bullets on resumes. Do you always use periods or never use periods with bullets?