How to Craft a Better Resume Bullets

One of the most important things––and often the biggest struggle candidates can face––is learning how to write standout resume bullet points on their resume. As all of your students will at some time be crafting their resumes these tips should be of interest.

How to Craft Great Resume Bullet Points

1. Writing Better Bullet Points

Bullet points should be brief, specific, and simple. Instead of including every single task performed in a role, choose the top four tasks and highlight those. According to expert career coaches, to craft detailed resume bullet points that capture the attention of hiring managers, candidates should: 

  • Emphasize the most important tasks they performed
  • Communicate the specific barriers or challenges they faced
  • Detail the specific actions they took
  • Describe the results of their work and how it benefited the company

2. Breaking Bullet Points Down Into Action & Results

Job seekers may have heard of BAR (Background, Action, Results), CAR (Challenge, Action, Results), and STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Results), all of which include “action” and “results.” 

Using this method to create bullet points will help the hiring manager understand why someone is the most qualified candidate and provide insight into how they’ll use their skills in the role. Here’s a breakdown that divides each bullet into three essential elements: 

  • Start With an Action – Action verbs are strong words that define and describe actions and help create a specific and concrete picture in the reader’s mind. Use present tense when describing a current job and past tense for all previous roles. Some common resume action verbs include:
    • Direct/Directed
    • Maintain/Maintained
    • Collaborate/Collaborated

  • Add Some Background – The second part of the bullet point includes the specific challenges you faced or duties you performed. This background information helps the hiring manager better understand what was done in the role. Be as specific as possible while also keeping the bullet point brief.
  • Talk Results – Finally, talk about the results or achievements that occurred thanks to your actions. Again, be as specific as possible. Use numbers or other measures to help quantify results; and no matter what achievement or result is included, make sure it’s something that can be backed up.

3. Templates & Examples

Example 1: Sales Representative

  • Start with a descriptive action verb that details what was done: Prospected new business
  • Then, add a challenge or situation: Prospected new business for sale of group insurance policies
  • Finally, talk about the results: Prospected new business for the sale of group insurance policies, opening 10 new large employer accounts in six months, and increasing sales by $1.5 million

Example 2: Teacher/Educator

  • Once again, start with an action verb: Created lesson plans
  • Now, get specific about who the lesson plans were for: Created lesson plans for a diverse classroom of fourth-grade students
  • It might be difficult to quantify accomplishments. Instead, clearly describe how skills were used to accomplish tasks: Created and taught lesson plans in six subject areas for a diverse classroom of 20-25 fourth grade students, modifying and adapting to class needs and learning styles. 

This information is from Flexjobs post: How to Craft Great Resume Bullet Points