Yes, Bullet Points are Expected on Resumes


Eric writes:
I just read your site’s article Avoid These 10 Resume Mistakes and found it very helpful. However I have a question about bullet points. Are we supposed to use them? When I was in college just three years ago my technical-writing professor told us that they were a “substitute for good writing.” I think they are inelegant and clutter a resume but you say not using them will hurt my chances. Did something change in the past few years?


The Career Doctor responds:
Bullet points have been around on resumes for quite awhile. I do not know a
single professional resume writer who does not use them. At a recruiting
conference I recently attended recruiters affirmed that bullets make a resume
reader-friendly. Employers spend no more than 2.5 to 20 seconds “reading” a
resume on the first pass and paragraph form slows that reading way down.
Was your technical writing professor talking about resumes? I can see his or
her point for other documents but not resumes.