3 Examples of Sub-Bullet Points on a Resume

In the last few weeks I've worked with some folks from my Ready-Made Resumes builder to review their resumes. There was one small trick we used on three of them to make their info quick to read: sub-bullet points on a resume. I want to share some parts of their "before" and "after" resumes so you can see what we did.

How to Format Sub-Bullet Points on a Resume

In two of the three resume reviews, I found at least one statement that was too long. In my view, more than three lines is too long because it looks like a paragraph. Paragraphs on a resume aren't inviting to read, so we needed to do something about those long statements.

One way to break up a long statement and keep the thought running is to cut the statement into a few bites, like this:

  • The first line is an intro bullet statement.
    − Followed by one sub-bullet statement.
    − And then another one.
    − And maybe another, and so forth.

The sub-bullets should have a different style of bullet point, something that looks lighter, and gives the sense that it's a "child" of the strong bullet. You could use a dash, as I did for the examples in this post, or you could use hollow bullet points. Or, you might come up with a symbol you like better.

If there's a slight indent to the sub-bullet point, the added white space gives a sense of relief to the reader's eye. All this makes the whole resume look quick and easy to read.

Sub-Bullet Points in Summary Statements

Let's look at an example of sub-bullet points in a resume Summary. Here's the original set of Summary bullet points.

Summary

  • Over 15 years of service/ sales experience in the workwear and textile service industries with additional manufacturing experience.
  • Reputation as a reliable and trustworthy manager who keeps expenses and labor costs to a minimum, while at the same time managing a sales team that consistently met and exceeded sales quotas.
  • Organized and detail-oriented; adept at understanding business operation procedures and logistics.
  • Adept at handling multiple demands simultaneously while maintaining composure and a sense of humor.

The second bullet was too long so we broke it up, as you see in the next version. We also trimmed some of the fat off the others.

Summary

  • Over 15 years of business and sales management experience.
  • Reputation as a reliable and trustworthy manager who:
    − Keeps operation costs to a minimum.
    − Leads a sales team to consistently meet and exceed sales quotas.
  • Organized and detail-oriented; understand business operations.
  • Adept at handling multiple demands simultaneously while maintaining composure and a sense of humor.

Of course the real resume is on a document with longer line lengths, so the look and feel is a little different, but I think you get the point.

Sub-Bullet Points for Achievements

Here are two examples of how sub-bullet points make achievement statements quicker to read. See the change in look and feel?

First we have the old version of statements by Ricardo (not his real name).

  • Created comprehensive financial plans for clients to target income at various states of their lives and manage financial risk for their future.
  • Presenting financial planning concepts to business owners and individual families to demonstrate importance of long term holistic planning.
  • Discussed insurance needs analysis with prospects to illustrate income replacement and debt payment strategies and explained complex insurance, investment and estate planning concepts to assure the right type and amount of protection would be in place to manage financial risk.

And here they are reformatted and slightly edited. Oh, we also put them in a new order to put his best foot first.

  • Presented financial planning concepts to business owners and individual families to demonstrate the importance of long-term holistic planning.
    − Discussed insurance needs analysis to prospects to illustrate income replacement and debt payment strategies.
    − Explained complex insurance, investment and estate planning concepts to ensure protection would be in place to manage financial risk.
  • Wrote and persuasively presented proposal to insurance underwriters, which resulted in accurate and fair risk assessment for insurance policy application.
  • Created comprehensive financial plans to target clients' incomes at various life stages and manage future financial risks.

Here's another set of achievements, this time by Stephanie, an administrative support professional. She had sub-bullet points in her resume before I set eyes on it so I left them that way.

  • Provided administrative support to Manager, Clinical Director, and multidisciplinary clinical team of the Assessment Center.
    − Prepared and edited reports, managed data, coordinated meetings with outside agencies, reviewed time cards, monitored and ordered program supplies.
    − Often took on new assignments and worked with Manager to improve efficiency of procedures.
  • Served on CAC Communications Team and Safety Committees.
    − Liaison with other departments on agency-wide issues involving communications, work rules, and safety for staff and clients.
    − My recommendations improved safety for the children we served.

Putting sub-bullet points on a resume is such a simple trick, yet it adds so much to its graphic appeal. If you see any clumps of text on your resume that look hard to get through, break them up as shown above. It might make a world of improvement to your resume and your job search.