Bullet Points: Action Words and Transferable Skills

Using bullet points for the content of your résumé is more effective and economical than writing in sentences.  However, writing clear, short (1-2 line) bullet points takes practice.  You may find that you need to do several edits before you’re sending the message you want to send.  The following series of blog posts provide some tips for writing bullet points.

Getting Started:

Most people find it helpful to start by selecting an action word to use as the first word of a bullet point.

  • Action words are verbs; they create a picture of you doing the work. (E.g. Advised, Chaired, Instructed, Planned, Engineered.)  Action words also describe “transferable skills”. 
  • Transferable skills are the skills you have demonstrated in the past that you can now bring with you into a new position.

Next Step:

Once you have an action word selected, you can follow it with a description of how you demonstrated the skill.

Which of the following two bullet points do you think employers would find most helpful?

  • Greeted visitors, answered questions, provided brochures and guided people to various departments


  • Worked as a receptionist

The first bullet point includes several action words as well as some details.  The second bullet point,“Worked as a receptionist”, won’t provide the reader with any more information than a job title.

Note:  If you’re not sure about the transferable skills you have to offer an employer, you can search the internet for “Transferable Skills Lists” or “Action Word Lists”.  Additionally, all LearnCache Résumé courses offer a “Transferable Skills Checklist” that will help you select words for your résumé.