Welcome to module 3. So far in the course, we have covered what are resumes, how to start to make your resume and a little bit about the different types of headings that might include some of the information on your resume. In this module, we're going to be talking all about how to write your content. How to get the most out of all of your experiences. Where you're going to be spending a lot of time talking about bullet points, when to use them, how to use them and what makes a bullet point strong. First, let's talk about why bullet points are important. You might want to expand on what it is that you didn't inexperienced to help show an employer, exactly what types of skills you develop there. You might even use some transferable skills, which you might remember we talked about in the previous module. Let's say for example, that you worked at a campus dining location. You could use this opportunity to show an employer exactly how your work, as a team leader in that campus dining organization, has prepared you to start to lead a small team of professionals. Doing this through a bullet point we'll help you do this very briefly and very effectively. If you tried to do this with a small paragraph, within the document, it's going to create a very text-heavy looking page and that's just not very inviting for the employers to read. So think about using bullet points as a way to say the same thing but to say it with less words and make it more meaningful. So, when do you use bullet points? You are going to be using bullet points anytime you're talking about any sort of accomplishments or skills you developed, in any of your work experiences, volunteer experiences, maybe projects, any sort of experience that you've had where you're trying to tell an employee about something that you gained out of that experience, or something that you did in that experience. You're going to want to use a bullet point. We will do a lot of examples of these together in just a few moments so you can see how to take your rough content and turn it into a very strong bullet point. Structurally, there are some very important things to consider when you're using bullet points on your resume. First, you want to make sure that your bullet points are consistent. What I mean by that, is that you don't use squares in one area for bullets, arrows in another area and bolded circles in another area. You want to have one type of bullet point that is found throughout your document. That consistency is really important and consistency is going to be an important thing we touch on a lot in resume building. The second important thing to consider with your bullet points is the degree of indentation. From your left margin of your page, you want your bullets to be consistently indented at the same length. There is no rule for what that length needs to be, but just make sure it is consistent. If it's off by even just a tenth of an inch in some area or some set of bullet points, an employer is going to notice that very quickly and it's not going to bode well for your resume. The third thing to consider with the structure of your bullet points is that you avoid using sub points. So, what I mean by this is, you write a bullet point and then you tab underneath of that, and you add another bullet point underneath of it into the side. You want to keep one layer of bullet points the whole way up and down your document. There shouldn't be bullet points to the left or to the right. Everything should be in one straight line. So, what makes a strong bullet point? A strong bullet point is going to start with a strong action verb that tells something about what it is you did in that experience. Let's do an example together. Let's say that you worked in a research lab and you created a bullet that said, 'assisted professor with research study'. There's nothing inherently wrong with that bullet point, you're indicating that you assisted a professor in a research study but you're just not sharing too much information about what you did. Consider giving more concrete details. The word assisted is one that we see a lot on resumes of college students, but consider did you assist that professor by bringing in donuts to the research lab? Did you assist the professor by stapling some paperwork? Or did you assist the professor by a more hands-on method maybe, you collected water specimens for their research lab. If that's the case, then you would want to write a bullet that says something more like, 'collected 150 water specimens over the course of a semester for the water pollution project'. That will be a great way to make this bullet say a little bit more, give the reader a little bit stronger of an idea of exactly what it is that you did in that experience. You can see that we've also included numbers here because numbers, percentages, anything that can break up the wall of text and show some results, are key in developing strong content for your resume. So, we know how to structurally create strong bullet points and we know what to be aware of, let's talk about how to start the bullet points off in a really strong fashion. Take a look at these action verbs. These are all great options to start your bullet points off with when you are writing your content. This is not an all-inclusive list by any means but, it is a great starting point if you're not sure how to strengthen a bullet point. Let's say, for instance, that you worked for a few years at a grocery store, and before you left, you were training new people. You would probably start to write that bullet point by starting with the word trained. However, you could also consider some other verbs. Maybe you led the new hires. Maybe you explained key concepts to them. Maybe you reduced turnover by providing high-quality training. That last example goes an extra step by showing the results of your training. As you can see, there are many different ways to state things on your resume. Maybe one of these highlighted verbs from this example is something that employer is specifically looking for. If the job posting says they're looking for someone with good communication skills, I might go with explained, since that states you communicated and made things clear to the new hires. If the job is looking for someone with training or leadership skills, I would go with one of those as the verb to start the bullet point. One more point I would like to make before we move on from this document, is the importance of diversifying your bullets. Using the same verb twice on a resume isn't the end of the world, but if it starts to look like a pattern, the resume reads a little boring. So, if for instance, you are a software developer or computer science student, odds are you have coded things and probably implemented things. Those verbs themselves are great for a resume, but if every other line is coded, implemented, coded, implemented, the document starts to look a little stale. Challenge yourself to find different ways to say those things. Maybe use a thesaurus or even just this page to find some new verbs. Maybe developed, expanded, operated, utilized and the list goes on. Now let's get some practice in actually creating the bullet points. One of the first steps towards writing content is just reflecting on what it is you did in your experiences. It's difficult to sit down and just start to think about how you're going to write the strong bullet points with no real foundation. So consider how it is you would explain what you did conversationally to a friend. So, let's pretend you had a job as a retail administrative assistant. Let's say a friend asks you, "What is it that you did in your job?" You might say, "I greeted customers as they arrived. I made the schedule for the sales associates and sent to the manager for approval. I signed for deliveries and took inventory with our tablets. I found a better way to record quarterly and annual sales, and showed other employees how to do it." So this is four sentences or so of the things that this person did in their job. The first thing we can do, is go through and highlight the key verbs we see. There are a lot of verbs but let's focus on the first verb in each sentence; greeted, made, signed, and found. You might observe that by doing this, we pretty much just ignored the "I" that started each sentence. Sometimes, I find it helps students write effective content, if you just pretend that the bullet point is the word "I". Now, let's take each of these statements and examine them more closely to see how we can turn it into a strong bullet point. Here we see the first statement already made into a starter bullet, "Greeted customers as they arrived". There's nothing structurally wrong with this bullet, but we could find some ways to make it stronger. Again, consider the job for which you are submitting your resume. Is it a position that could benefit from your ability to communicate to customers? If so, stick with the verb greeted. Maybe the position you are applying for would be more interested in your ability to maintain the look of the entrance area to the store. If so, maybe a change is in order. We could change this to "maintained a welcoming atmosphere at the storefront and by keeping things tidy and greeting customers when they enter". This shows how you greeted customers and what else you did to make the customer's entrance to the store a pleasant one. This could be a way to word a bullet to make the experience more strongly related to a different job posting. Let's take a look at the second statement, "made the schedule for the sales associates and sent to manager for approval". This is good. It shows some responsibility and the fact that the manager trusted the individual to draft the schedule. To strengthen this, we could include some numbers or a little bit about the process if it was challenging or not. We don't know if arranging the schedule was simply a matter of copying what had been done the week before or if it was more complicated and required more problem-solving skills. Consider a stronger bullet statement of, "arranged weekly shifts for 25 sales associates for schedule while accommodating as many requests as possible, before sending to the manager for approval". Now we get to see some of the full scope of what that entailed, and we can imagine drafting a schedule for 25 people per week, while trying to accommodate request could require some problem-solving. This statement is already in pretty good shape, "signed for deliveries and took inventory with our tablets". Here, we get a sense again of the responsibility and trust a valuable transferable skill to most settings. That said the bullet does leave a few gaps. We wonder how the inventory was taken or how often. I would say the way that we could improve this and make more clear the technical skills and insert some specific technology might be, "received new merchandise and utilized inventoryPlusapp on tablet to maintain accurate inventory". Now we have a concrete example of an application the individual used, which might be an application that this job description is specifically seeking. It is a great idea to use bullet points to demonstrate your mastery of specific technical skills. This statement is a great example of a common theme among persons writing their first resumes, "Found a better way to record quarterly and annual sales, and showed other employees how to do it". Similar to the assisted example I used earlier in the module, read this from the employer's perspective. You're left wondering exactly how they made it a better process. Did they download a new software program? Did they find a quicker way to input data? How did they show others how to do it? Did they type it up in a bulletin announcement? Did they tell them in the break room? Try to be specific with your bullet points so you do not leave room for interpretation by the reader. Upon further review, we might learn from this person that the way he or she improved the recording process, was using various functions in Excel and maybe, they provided a training session to other employees. Therefore, let's consider this and change the bullet to, "improve recording and analysis of sales by utilizing Excel and provided training to other employees to learn the system". Here we have results and here we have transferable skills of training and communicating, while also demonstrating mastery of specific technical skills. So in conclusion, writing the content is a very important part of your resume. That's why we spent so much time in this module talking about that. This is also a very fluid part of your document, and by that, I mean this is an area that can change a lot each time that you send your resume out. It's up to you, as the resume writer and as the job searching candidate, to reframe your experiences in a way that show exactly what kind of value you can bring to that organization and demonstrate what kind of transferable skills you have, that can apply to that place of work. I realized not everybody's idea of a good time is writing a resume, but I think this part's pretty fun. If you've been following along as we've been going through the modules, you at this point, probably have some sort of, rough looking list of experiences, education, some bullet points of things that you're considering to put in for your experiences, and I think that's awesome. What we're going to be doing in the next module is talking about the format of a resume. We're going to see exactly what kind of outline that we need to put this in, what kinds of things we need to be aware of in terms of margins and spacing and all those fine nodes, to have a very well-polished looking document.