When a recruiter looks at your resume (and by “looks at” we mean “scans quickly”), you have about six seconds to convince them you’re worthy of further consideration.
Which is why targeted bullet points on your resume are so important. They’re the easiest way to break down all the reasons why you’re awesome into a digestible, scannable form. It’s up to you to make sure each bullet point under your job headings are just as impressive as the last.
Some of your competition will write terrible bullet points; lackluster laundry lists of when and what they did. Speed ahead of these folks by writing striking bullet points about your achievements by following the advice of Robyn Dizes, Manager, Career Development Services at Peirce College:
1. Include Specific Numbers
“When looking at resumes, the mistake I see the most is not having enough numbers under work accomplishments,” Dizes says. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of adding the numbers in. Dizes offers the following fantastic example:
This generic resume statement…
- “Oversaw yearly offsite training courses for 400 team members”
- “Oversaw $200,000 training program for 8 offsite courses for 300+ team members”
2. Back Up Your Qualities and Strengths
Instead of creating a long (and boring) list with all your qualities (e.g., disciplined, creative, problem solver) try to connect them with real life and work experiences. In other words, you need to back these qualities and strengths up; otherwise it will appear that you are just trying to inflate your duties to overcompensate. Recruiters can see this a from a mile away.
3. Self-Learning and Courses Can Set You Apart
Relevant, valuable coursework on your resume is a fantastic bullet point.
“This is especially important… to show that skills are up to date by taking online, evening, or certificate courses in relevant areas,” Dizes says. As long as the study applies to the position at hand, list the work you’ve done to improve your value as a contributor.
4. Remember, You Don’t Have to List Every Little Thing
“If you have job experiences that you are not proud of, or that are not relevant to the current opportunity, you should just omit them,” she says. “Mentioning that you used to sell hamburgers when you were 17 is probably not going to help you land a career-level position.”
5. Honors and Achievements
A short list of the honors you’ve received, going as far back as your freshman year in college, can have a huge impact on a recruiter. The recruiter sees you’ve been a winner before at a high level… and assumes that mentality will carry forward into their company. In a resume heading titled “Honors and Achievements”, consider including major scholarships, prestigious academic awards, community service and industry awards, as well as any publications authored by you or your teams.
Take a look at your resume. Where would targeted bullets help you shoot down some of those resume rejections you’ve been getting?
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About the Author: Ritika Trikha is passionate about scoping out top-notch job advice in the career-sphere to help you find a job you love. Ritika has 99 problems but an unhappy career isn’t one! She’s a writer and an optimist (and Jay Z’s No. 1 fan). When Ritika’s not writing stellar advice articles, she’s obsessing over social media. Connect with her via CareerBliss Tumblr, Pinterest and Google+! And follow Ritika on Twitter!