Tuesday, Jul 09 2013

Wham! Resume Bullets That Get Attention

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Boring resumes go to the bin

It’s a harsh reality, but if your resume reads like a vague primer on Developer 101, chances are high that it’ll get sent to the recycling bin before the hiring process even begins. There are a quite a few facts that a hiring manager can get from your job title—basic responsibilities and tasks that you’re obviously capable of—and they don’t need to be restated as bullet points.

One of the other biggest resume flaws is talking about your team as opposed to yourself; it may seem self-aggrandizing, but resumes are one place where you need to tout yourself. After all, the hiring manager isn’t looking to hire your team. You need to make it clear what you can do—and what you, yourself, have done in the past.


It’s tempting to highlight all your great accomplishments in an effort to overwhelm hiring managers with your prior work. The truth is, resumes with long bullet lists tend to get skimmed over, and half those bullets are likely to be implicitly stated in your job title. By focusing on a small handful of truly outstanding contributions you made to your company, you’ll demonstrate proficiency and talent. And keep it brief: one to two lines for each bullet is the optimal length to be read and digested.


Next, check your bullets for detail. Make sure they clearly state your personal impact, and add specific details about what you did. If a bullet seems vague—“designed new features”—edit it to more accurately reflect what you spent your time doing. Sure, you were designing new features, but doesn’t it sound more appealing to say that you created an automatic thesaurus tool to cut down on typing time? It can be difficult to balance the need for specific details with the brevity required on a resume, but the right combination makes a key difference.


The ultimate in detail is hard numbers; they’re difficult to argue against, and give you an objective recommendation. It isn’t always easy to come up with numbers, particularly for something as general as “saves time,” but a little research and a good estimate will go a long way toward making a solid case for your new employment. How much time was saved, how much was something optimized, and the effectiveness of your new method can all demonstrate the benefits you’ll offer as an employee.

A dramatic first entrance

Your resume is the first impression you’ll make on a hiring manager, so it only makes sense to put your best accomplishments forward and do a little tooting of your own horn. Clear, concise, detailed bullet points that focus on your specific accomplishments are the polite, two-dimensional version of throwing open the door and yelling, “Here I am—hire me!” You’ll be memorable and relevant, which are two ideal starting points for new employment.

If you are looking for IT jobs in Santa Cruz, CA, contact the staffing experts at The Armada Group today.