Questions To Ask Yourself If You Hit Writer’s Block
If youre starting to write your resume and feel stuck, start by making a list of your day-to-day responsibilities.
Then, ask yourself questions such as the following to help you identify where you can add additional information.
- How many people were you managing? In what context?
- What kinds of analyses did you conduct? How did the company use them?
- How much were you able to sell?
- Were you able to automate or make any work processes more efficient? How much time did they save?
- What specific strategies or tools did you use to help you meet your goals?
- Did you prepare any sort of written materials? What kind? Operations manuals? Guides to best practices? Training tools?
- Did you collaborate with any other internal or external departments? How? What resulted from these collaborations?
- In the greater context of your company, how was your work adding value? What decisions did you help drive?
- Did you organize meetings or events? How many? How often?
- Did you represent the company at any external meetings or conferences? At which ones?
- Were you responsible for creating budgets, forecasts, or other types of financial analyses? How accurate were they? How large of a budget were you managing?
- Were you using any industry-specific tools or software programs? To do what?
Focus On Resultsand Avoid Past Duties
Concrete results are the strongest form of proof. Unfortunately, most resumes I see, even at the executive level, are more a list of past duties than an evidence-based display of accomplishments.
I see this all the time:
· Assisted general manager with record keeping
· Maintained GMs meeting schedule
· Ensured GM remained productive
A list like that gives you zero chance of standing out from the other 249 applicants, who probably had most of the same duties. That list raises more questions than it answers. What volume of record keeping did the person handle? Why was maintaining a schedule important? Did it help at all? And how do we even know that the GM was actually productive?
Now, see if that same person can make a different impression with a bullet point like this:
· Doubled general managers productivity by reallotting her schedule into more efficient time slots and by streamlining record keeping process
Do you feel the difference? All because the latter bullet point shows specific proof of the applicants ability to do the job, and it does so by mentioning specific results.
Resume Bullet Point Examples From A Cio Resume:
- Earned 2015 CIO of the Year Finalist accolades from the ___ Business Journal for directing a sustainable IT and global ERP strategy that supported 2.5X revenue growth to $3.5B through acquisition and regional expansion.
- Reduced annual expenses 15% by leading cost reduction, quality improvements, productivity initiatives and infrastructure enhancements supporting business systems, core network and security.
- Launched a 5-year, $32M strategy that integrated acquisitions to IT, corporate standards, core business platforms and governance for this company with 50+ global manufacturing + sales facilities.
These resume bullets are proof you dont need to be in sales to show quantifiable achievements. They are effective because they highlight skills key to CIO successdirecting strategies that ensure IT supports executive vision for growth through expansion and acquisition, and by reducing bottom-line expenses.
By: Virginia Franco, Founder of Virginia Franco Resumes and Forbes contributor
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Resume Bullet Point Examples For An Hr Generalist:
- Supported the hiring of 29 new team members in 2020
- Collaborated with 9 hiring managers across 4 different teams to aid in hiring and recruiting efforts including writing and managing online job postings, screening candidate resumes, and conducting first-round interviews
- Spearheaded employee benefit overhaul, identifying a new, improved health insurance provider while reducing employee insurance costs by 27%
Tips For Writing Bullet Points On Your Resume
While your particular bullet points will be unique to your work experience, job field, and particular position youre applying for, here are some general tips for making them as effective as possible:
Put your most important points at the top of the list. Since your goal in creating bullet points is to help hiring managers to scan through your resume more effectively, its generally a good idea to put your most impressive or important points at the top of each job or skill section.
This could be the main responsibility or purpose of your role, or it could be your greatest accomplishment within that position.
Dont put too much pressure on yourself to come up with your best points first, though: You can arrange the order of your bullet points after you write them out.
Once you know what you want to say, ask yourself which one is the most important for hiring managers to see, which is the second most important one, and so on. You can then use those priorities to arrange your bullet points.
Be concise. Space is valuable when youre writing a resume, so its important to be as clear and brief as possible. Dont be afraid to use incomplete sentences in your bullet points, leaving out articles such as a, an, or the.
Once you finish drafting your resume, go back and tighten it up by removing any unnecessary information or verbiage. You may be surprised at how much you can remove.
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Why You Should Use Bullet Points In Your Resume
When hiring managers are initially reviewing applications, they often have to wade through hundreds of resumes, so they dont want to spend long on each one. Theyll usually skim each candidates documents and quickly decide if theyre qualified for a second look or not.
Because of this, you need to make sure your resume is scannable, informative, and relevant. One of the best ways to do this is by writing with bullet points. This helps create visual and mental separation for readers, allowing them to track more quickly and better absorb the information youre sharing with them.
Bullet points also keep your resume organized, which is important for a document that needs to communicate so much information in so little space. By not having to write in paragraph form, you can be succinct without worrying about how well your sentences flow.
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Option : Create A New Section On Your Resume
If your training experience was a few positions ago and youre worried it might get buried at the bottom of your resume, consider creating a Training Experience section to go at the top of your resume and listing the rest of your experience underneath.
- When to do this: If youre applying for a job where training employees is a must-have skill, like a dedicated training or teaching role.
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Next Steps: Write Your Own Resume Bullets
If you read this article, you now know the difference between listing responsibilities and accomplishments on your resume, and how to use those accomplishments to write great bullets that will get you a , or an invitation to interview.
Now its time to start digging up data and updating your own resume in the same style as the bullet point examples above.
If youre unsure about your own past accomplishments and results, talk to your former boss or coworkers and try to gather data.
For example, you could email a former boss and say:
Hi < Name> . Im trying to go back and review the results of the work I did at < Company Name> . Do you know how many new clients we ended up getting from that final marketing project I led? And if not, who could I speak with to get this data?
Its absolutely worth it. Youll have those facts on your resume for your entire career now, and you can talk about it in your interview answers too.
If you follow these steps, youll get more interviews and will likely get hired for a better job.
What Is The Car Formula
The C.A.R formula fuels your resume by helping you to develop strong resume bullet points that describe your achievements. Each point highlights a challenge, action, and result that frames your success in context.
Challenge- The situation that needed to be addressed
Action- The step that you took to address the challenge
Result-The outcome and impact of the action you took to address the challenge
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Benefits Of Effective Bullet Points On Resumes
Presenting yourself professionally through your resume is your opportunity to make a lasting impression on the hiring manager or recruiter. Choosing an easy-to-read font, selecting a format for bullet lists, and remaining consistent throughout your resume improves readability. Maximizing the use of bullet lists and other components of your resume helps make the qualifications you highlighted more visible. Context is helpful when writing effective bullet points, but they’re more effective when they remain brief. Here is an example of how to provide context in a concise bullet point:
- Before:Successfully closed and exited a line of business in men’s sportswear because fashion trends were changing and sales low, including communicating with my team and other departments to notify them of the product change.
- After:Successfully exited a line of business and replaced it with a new line expected to generate additional revenue. Developed a multi-departmental communication strategy regarding the product change.
The revised wording addresses a typical business challenge that is also a transferable skill. For example, it describes a situation when you led the exit of a product line effectively. It also highlights a second important activity you performed, another in-demand and transferable skill, implementing an effective multi-departmental communication strategy.
Where And When To Use Resume Bullet Points
You can use resume bullet points to convey and highlight important information and make it easier for the hiring team to read. There are typically two goals when sending your resume to a prospective employer. They are for the hiring manager to read your resume and to share enough information that they send an interview invitation. You can use these in the following resume sections:
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Bonus Tip: Dont Just Use These Accomplishments In Your Resume Bullet Points
As a final tip once youve gathered your list of accomplishments for writing bullets on your resume, think about other ways to use them to your advantage, too.
For example, you could practice incorporating one or two accomplishments into your answer to tell me about yourself in interviews.
This is also useful for answering, what is your greatest professional achievement?
And you could also consider putting these metrics and accomplishments on your LinkedIn, especially your headline, which can help you get more attention from employers and recruiters.
The bottom line is: The more familiar you are with your past accomplishments, metrics, and results, the more confident and impressive youll sound.
Convey Tasks Responsibilities Skills And Accomplishments
What information should be included in a bullet point? When brainstorming your bullet points for each position, think about all the tasks you completed, the responsibilities you held, the skills you used, and the things you accomplished while on the job. Try to break them down as much as possible its likely that you utilized many skills or completed many different types of tasks while working on the same project. The goal of each bullet point is to convey to the employer the particular experiences you gained in each position, which may not always be clear from the title alone. Employers want to know what exactly you did while on the job.
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Should You Use Bullet Points For Your Resume
Using bullet points in your resume is a great way to help employers notice your skills and qualifications that relate to the open role. You can use bullet points when you want to show your responsibilities and achievements for each of your previous jobs. Your skills section is also a great opportunity to use bullet points to organize them and make them easier to read.
To upload the template into Google Docs, go to File > Open > and select the correct downloaded file.
A Framework To Write Effective Resume Bullet Points
So what makes an effective resume bullet point? Well, the key is that each bullet point needs to demonstrate impact and highlight your experience in an effective way. To make it easy for you, here’s a specific framework you can use as a checklist when writing each of your bullet points:
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Where To Use Bullet Points In A Resume
The most common sections to insert bulleted items include:
- Qualifications summary: This summary statement at the top of the resume should list the main qualifications and qualities you possess that align with the requirements in the job listing. List your skills and accomplishments as bullet points below the section heading.
- Work experience: For any past jobs you list on a chronological or combination resume, convey the duties and accomplishments that relate to the job in bullet points below the relevant job heading. If you’re not sure which skills and achievements are most important, review the job listing and use bullet points on a resume to emphasize the qualifications you have that match the job.
- Education: Bullet points aren’t just for work history. You can also include bullet points in a resume to describe your achievements in educational experiences. For example, under the heading for your educational experience, you can list bullets for the awards, scholarships, and other kudos that relate to a degree you earned.
- Volunteering: Be sure to include any service-oriented duties and accomplishments below the heading for volunteering experiences.
- Skills: Use bullet points to detail languages you know, software and other tools you’re well versed in, and soft skills like leadership or communication.
Using The Star Method
The STAR method can help you create impactful descriptions for each experience on your resume.
First, read through the posting for a job that interests you. This will help you understand the role and the employers needs. Identify the skills and qualities they seek. You can usually find them in the responsibilities and qualifications sections.
Next, use the STAR method to describe the context of your work, your actions, and how your actions had positive impact on the organization.
Situation: What was the situation, problem, or conflict you were facing?
Task: What were you tasked with? What were your responsibilities or goals?
Action: What action did you take? What did you do to solve this problem?
Result: What was the result or outcome of your action? How did it benefit the organization? Can this result be quantified?
Use the STAR method worksheet to create descriptions that incorporate the key skills and qualities the employer is seeking. Your nal statement will start with the action section and include the results section when appropriate.
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Move Forward With Confidence
When the time to interview comes, youll know your bullet points did the job. More importantly, youll have confidence in your achievements because of all the mental work and recall you had to do to write them. So go ahead, start writingand trust that your qualifications and your bullets will eventually get you where you want to be.
Resume Bullet Examples From A Senior
- Achieved over 120% of sales quota in Fiscal Year 2016
- 25% territory growth in Q4 2016 for Southern California branch
- Responsible for driving $5.8M revenue and market share in California
- Led and managed a team of 6 Account Managers, including recruiting, hiring, and training new reps on company sales process
This is a software sales executive with a lengthy career for top software firms, including Fortune 500 companies.
If you work in sales, youre going to have an easier time finding accomplishments, data and results to put on your resume.
But in any profession, you should try to have at least some of your resume bullet points looking like this! Youll notice that these bullets stand out visually because of the numbers, which boosts the chance theyll get read.
By: Biron Clark, Executive Recruiter and founder of CareerSidekick.com
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Using The Three To Five Rule For Paragraphs And Bullet Points Still Doesnt Give Me Enough Space
If youve had a long professional career, especially as an executive or in the C-suite, you may have an extremely lengthy list of accomplishments that the paragraph/bullet point type of resume just isnt going to be effective for. Thats okay!
An effective technique for listing more than three to five accomplishments per role can be to divide up your accomplishments by the type of responsibility they fall under. List each group of accomplishments under a heading describing that area of responsibilityfor example, a human resources executive might have headings for Hiring & Orientation, Training, Development, & Employee Counseling, and Performance Managementand youll still have a visually appealing, easy-to-read resume.
Modern resume layouts also include such visual elements as graphs that can emphasize your achievements without diminishing your professionalism. I am a big proponent of using such elements to draw in a readers eye and really hammer home the points that you want to hit as you strive to make your career change a successful one.
Did you have a particularly impressive sales year? Help manage the growth of a large company? You can easily incorporate a graph, or even a simple and colorful visual to convey that information without having to delve deeply into numbers and company growth descriptions within a paragraph.