Paragraphs vs. Bullets On Your Resume: Why Too Much of a Good Thing is Bad

Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small. A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” – Lao Tzu

Author Byline: Jessica Holbrook is an expert resume writer, career and personal branding strategist, author, and presenter.
Author Website: http://www.greatresumesfast.com

Many career experts today are focusing on content and harping on key accomplishments and selling yourself to the hiring manager. We’ve covered those topics, but we are still seeing weaknesses with job seekers’ resumes in the format/design area. So we’ve decided to write a series of articles addressing different strategies with resume format and design.

First up on our hit list: Paragraphs and Bullets. Which one is better, and what should you avoid? In this instance, too much of a good thing is a bad thing. If your entire resume is in paragraph form, you will bore the hiring manager, and he or she won’t invest the time necessary to read through the text-dense material. Use paragraphs sparingly, and never use one longer than three to five sentences. Pass that five sentence mark, and you’ve lost them for sure.

Bullets are a great way to create white space and break up information into shorter, easier-to-read points. However, if you get carried away and use too many your great accomplishments and key selling points will get lost in the mix. Try to limit yourself to three to five bullet points per position. And ALWAYS put the most impressive, most relevant, and more important bullets FIRST.

So the moral of the story … use a combination. It’s not an either/or situation here. Use both, but use them sparingly. I recommend starting each position with a three-sentence introduction/description about primary, relevant details—then below, include a list of three to five hard hitting selected accomplishments.

By utilizing a combination of both you are making the most of the space available while simultaneously attracting the reader’s eye by breaking up text-dense material and drawing them in with a few short bullet points. Your content will have a better chance of being read—and your resume will make a better first impression.

Article courtesy of the Recruiting Blogswap, a content exchange service sponsored by CollegeRecruiter.com, a leading site for college students looking for internships and recent graduates searching for entry level jobs and other career opportunities.

Good luck in your search.

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