One of the most common resume questions we get is how to format a resume, but choosing the right format won't matter if your resume doesn't have strong content. A great resume is one that’s filled with well-crafted bullet points.
The first rule of resume bullet points is to lead with a strong action verb. These are words that connote soft interpersonal skills (communicate, collaborate, interface, liaise), leadership (managed, oversaw, spearheaded, supervised), creativity (ideated, conceptualized, developed), and achievements (initiated, innovated, created, launched), as well as requisite hard skills (organized, assisted, designed, executed).
The bullet should convey how you used the skill represented by the verb: What did you do, how did you do it, why did you do it, and what were the results? You want to make it clear to your potential employer how you provided value in your previous roles in a way that aligns with their expectations for the open position. Use the job posting as a guide and incorporate the language the employer uses to describe your work. For example, if they are looking for someone who can draft press releases, pitch decks, one-sheets, and other marketing materials, you can have a bullet that says, “Drafted marketing materials for film distributor’s slate of 7 films annually, including press releases, pitch decks, one sheets, and social content.” This kind of bullet offers context to the hiring manager for where you developed the requisite skills and describes the scope of your work.
Another nifty trick for writing bullet points is to use semicolons to link similar skills or experiences. You can use this technique to add more detail to shorter bullets, like in this example: “Provided administrative assistance to busy talent agent; rolled calls, scheduled meetings, booked travel, and reconciled expenses.” You can also use a semicolon to highlight a specific accomplishment, as in, “Managed development slate of 15+ comedy projects; sold SHOW X to ZYX Network, the highest rated primetime series among women 25-54 in network history.”
As you craft your resume, focus on writing bullet points that showcase your skills and achievements as they relate to the job you’re applying for, and make sure to provide context to the hiring manager so they can get a clear picture of your work history. Take it one bullet at a time, and you’ll be well on your way to a strong resume!
-- Angela Silak & Cindy Kaplan