SHOW DATE: AUGUST 7, 2013
If the first five words of every bullet point on your resume don’t convey your point, your employer is probably not going to give your resume a second glance.
Don’t be tempted to boast by writing 3-4 line bullet points that majestically detail your every move—employers with giant stacks of resumes only read the first several words of each list item anyway.
Let’s have a look at a mediocre example:
“I’m responsible for reformatting the filing cabinet inventory, increasing capacity and efficiency by 20%.”
Doesn’t sound too bad, right? Unfortunately, anyone quickly scanning your resume will likely miss out on the 20% increase in efficiency. Here’s a version that doesn’t bury the lead as much:
“Increased efficiency of filing cabinet system by 20% by initiating an overhaul of the system.”
The point of the list item is conveyed in the first five words: “Increased efficiency of filing cabinet.” The “20%” is dangled nearby and is easier to spot than in the first example.
Read through your resume’s bullet points and see if they convey their gist in the first five words: your next job may depend on it.