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

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.

To view samples of resumes that utilize the above mentioned formats, visit http://www.greatresumesfast.com/Samples.htm.

Jessica Holbrook Hernandez is an expert resume writer, career and personal branding strategist, author, speaker and President/CEO of Great Resumes Fast. She creates high-impact, best-in-class, resumes and cover letters that transform job searches into interviews and ultimately job offers. For more information about professional resume writing or to read more career and job search related articles visit http://www.greatresumesfast.com or call 1.800.991.5187.

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Jessica Holbrook Hernandez

A nationally recognized resume expert, Jessica Holbrook Hernandez is President/CEO of Great Resumes Fast and a former human resources manager and recruiter. Leveraging more than ten years’ experience directing hiring practices for Fortune 500 companies, Jessica's innovative and brand-driven resume development strategies have secured a 99.6% interview-winning success rate for her clients. As a global resume authority and trusted media source, Jessica has been featured and quoted numerous times throughout CNN.com, The Chicago Tribune, Monster.com, Local Job Network Radio, International Business Times, and more.
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Knock ‘em Dead

Jessica Hernandez, President of Great Resumes Fast is an expert panelist quoted numerous times throughout the newest release in this NY Times Bestselling Series:

Knock 'em Dead - Secrets & Strategies for First-time Job Seekers

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