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How Many Bullet Points Per Job on Resume

A must-know for your job-hunting quest. Find out about bullet points and the best ways to list and present details in your resume to land that dream job.

By 

Synkdup Editorial Team   

|  15 February 2024

How Many Bullet Points Per Job on Resume

Bullet points are an important digital tool in office files. They can make written information more presentable and appealing to the reader if used appropriately. Knowing the right time and place to use a bullet point or any such tool is an art in itself.

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If you feel clueless about bullet points and how to use them, then this article is just the right fit for you. Keep reading to learn more about it and get better at using bullet points. Whether it be for an important work assignment, a resume, etc.

Before understanding how to use bullet points on a resume, let us learn a bit more about resumes themselves.

Importance Of A Good Resume

CVs are documents used by job seekers that are given to recruiters. They contain a description of the candidate and why they fit the job profile. Knowing how to make a good CV is crucial to landing a job. Candidates also have to give job interviews, which are also crucial elements.

What Should You List On A Resume?

A good CV typically includes details like previous jobs, education, qualifications, etc., all of which are very important for recruiters to evaluate. They also mention basic personal details like date of birth or age, marital status, nationality, etc.

Is A Cover Letter Worth It?

Another document used by candidates is the cover letter. Ideally, it should be no longer than one page in length. It is generally a brief introduction and summary of the candidate and their abilities. It is not mandatory and can be avoided if one feels it is unnecessary.

One situation in which a cover letter can be used is if a person has a lot of information but can’t fit all of it on their resume. In this case, the extra details can be used in the cover letter.

Presentation Of A Resume

The next thing that matters after figuring out what to list on your resume is the way it is presented. A good presentation is essential for pretty much any document or any form of content, for that matter. Many times, good content gets overlooked because it is not showcased in the best way.

Drawbacks Of Using Only Paragraphs on Resume

Paragraphs are usually employed in essays, articles, or any longer form of information. However, recruiters want brief and concise information from a resume, as they have many candidates to review and therefore do not have time to read too many paragraphs.

In some sections, like summary or objective, paragraphs may be used, but apart from that they’re best avoided. Too many paragraphs may repel recruiters and cause them to lose interest in your CV. So, as a rule of thumb, avoid using paragraphs. If you do need to use a paragraph, try to make it no longer than three to four lines long.

What are Bullet Points?

They are basically a list of items that are written in the form of a list with a black dot (bullet) before them. Typically, resumes use the black dotted points rather than the numbered ones. This is because there is usually other numerical information as well in the CV, which may create confusion.

Bullet Points On Resume

Bullet points are, functionally speaking, the complete antithesis of paragraphs. They make information shorter and, at times, even easier to comprehend. They increase readability and pass out information more effectively.

More details can be shared with fewer words, thereby speeding up the CV reviewing process. However, even bullet points, just like any other digital tool, if used inappropriately, can hinder the quality of the content.

How Many Jobs Should You List On A Resume?

Knowing the right number of previous companies to list on your CV is crucial. Another important detail to keep in mind is that your resume should not go beyond 3 pages. Although there is no such official rule, it is a common practice. This is because resumes longer than 3 pages tend to be disengaging and are considered too long. This creates a high probability of rejection.

Highly Experienced Applicants

This is a common dilemma faced by experienced candidates when applying for a job. They have worked in many companies and roles, so they may struggle to mention and describe each in detail.

Here, a good solution could be to mention all the companies but only go into detail with the last three. This can help you fit everything into three pages. If you still can’t fit everything, then consider options like reducing the spacing.

If that still doesn't work and you are the type that does not like losing information, consider adding a cover letter and transferring some of the facts to it. This way, you can keep all the details and still follow the formalities.

Less Experienced Applicants

For freshers or those who have only worked for 3-4 companies, they should be able to include everything within 3 pages. If you still struggle to do so, it is likely that the other sections, like skills, education, objectives, etc., are too long. Consider reducing them.

A major mistake candidates make is adding too many irrelevant skills. It is important to filter out the unnecessary ones and know which are the top hard and soft skills to put on your resume. Consider going through sample resumes online to get a good idea of how much each section should be elaborated on.

Distinction Between Part-Time And Full-Time Roles

Part-time jobs are on the rise, and it is not uncommon these days for college students to have side hustles. These side hustles can act as additional sources of income for those struggling financially.

Many candidates add these jobs to their CVs along with full-time roles without distinguishing between them. Some jobseekers exclude them altogether from their resumes. It is important to know the difference between part-time and full-time jobs on the resume for recruiters.

How Many Bullet Points Per Job on Resume?

Keeping our 3-page maximum limit rule in mind, it is recommended to aim for around 3-5 bullet points per job on a resume. However, the number of bullet points under each job varies per person depending on several factors. Let’s dig into them…

Experience

Those with more experience will have more jobs to list, which inevitably leads to fewer bullet points being allotted to each job. The most important thing to note is that the bullet points listed are relevant and not just added to fill up space.

Font Sizes And Spacing

The font size used and spacing also play an important role. They contribute to the visual appeal of the resume and help form a first impression of the candidate. Ideally, the general text should have a font size of 12, and the headings should not go beyond a font size of 20. Headings should also be in bold.

Relevance Of The Information

If you feel the information is relevant, you can increase the number of bullet points a bit. However, make sure the resume remains under three pages. Also, aim to make each bullet no longer than two lines.

Bonus Tips

To Space Or Not To Space…

Avoid spacing between bullet points, as it becomes disengaging for the reader. You should add space between the heading and the first bullet, as well as between the last bullet point and the next heading, but not between two bullet points.

Grouping Similar Points Together

If a candidate is struggling to fit everything in 3 pages or fears they are adding too many points under a specific section, they merge similar information under the same bullet point. They must make sure the bullet point remains two lines or less.

For example, soft skills like leadership and teamwork are a bit similar and can be added under one bullet point instead of making two. Another example of this is emotional intelligence and empathy.

Plan Well Before You Begin Writing

“An hour of planning can save you 10 hours of doing.”
        - Dale Carnegie

These wise words are usually applied to management but can be easily applicable to writing, more specifically, a resume. Too many people plan as they write, and this often results in a sub-par resume.

Thoroughly analyzing all the details before starting a written piece is always a good idea. Haphazardly adding details as you type along leads to a lot of chopping and changing, along with a great deal of confusion. If it helps, you can even make a rough draft of the resume on paper or digitally for reference as you type along.

Take An Idea From Other CVs

You can ask people you know who already have jobs to show you their resumes. This can help you get a good idea of how to go about making a CV. If this is not possible, try searching for online samples, which can also serve the same purpose.

One thing to keep in mind is to avoid plagiarism and to only take ideas. Do not steal or copy-paste resumes, as doing so will cause you to lose the trust of the person you take them from. Also, there is a good chance that lies on a CV can be detected during job interviews, which may prevent you from landing the job. Such malpractices are best avoided.

Find Keywords In The Job Description.

Understand the job profile and the company well. The better you understand exactly what they need, the more precisely you can tailor your resume to the role. Another tip is to add those keywords or phrases in the sections that have bullet points, if possible.

This is because information in bullet points tends to stand out more than paragraphs. But ideally, it is best to mix it up. Add a few keywords in paragraphs and a few in bullet points to provide some balance. Also, avoid stuffing all the keywords in one section, and if possible, distribute them a bit.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Should I use bullet points in my resume?

Ans: Yes, bullet points make data more concise and easier to absorb as well as interpret. They have been found to be more engaging, and recruiters tend to prefer them.

Q: How many bullet points should be in a resume in total?

Ans: There is no ideal number and it will vary based on several elements like experience, amount of education, other qualifications, etc. But as a general practice, use no more than 3-5 bullet points under one category.

Q: Do you put periods after bullet points in a resume?

Ans: No, usually the appropriate practice is to not place full stops after a text in bullet points because they are not always proper sentences and, at times, can only be words and phrases.

Q: How to create bullet points in Word?

Ans: After opening MS Word, one should click the ‘Home’ icon and look under the ‘Paragraph’ section. The icon can be found there.

Q: How to add bullet points in Google Docs?

Ans: One can either use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Shift + 8 or click its icon in the toolbar.

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