Write Impressive Bullet Points Using APR Format

Effective resumes use bulleted accomplishment-driven statements to describe experiences using a format called APR: Action + Project/Problem + Result. Learn to write or revise your experience descriptions using the step-by-step guide below.

1. Brainstorm your duties and accomplishments

For each of the experiences you’re going to describe on your resume, try answering some of these questions:

Ask Yourself…

Ask yourself...

  • What tasks were you given to complete?
  • How did you complete the tasks?
  • What problem did you solve and how did you solve it?
  • What tools or special skills did you use?
  • What was the result? If you’re having a hard time coming up with a result, try to think of what would not have happened if you weren’t there. This should help you identify the impact of your work!

2. Start with a strong verb

To start your bullet point, choose a verb that best describes the actions you took. Use verbs that are specific and varied; avoid repeating the same verb and using less descriptive verbs like “helped to”, “worked on,” and “responsible for.”

Read more: Check out page 14 in the Wildcat Career Guide for a list of verbs organized by skill type.

3. Add details and numbers

Add in any details necessary to accurately describe the project or problem that you worked on. This doesn’t mean that you have to use the thesaurus to try to use words and phrases that you wouldn’t normally use to describe your responsibilities. It’s better to be clear than be complicated.

Resume Writing Pro Tip:

yellow lightbulb icon with blue text PRO TIP underneath

 

Don’t try to write bullet points that “sound professional” by using complicated buzzwords and jargon. The most effective resumes describe experiences with detail and clarity. The more you practice writing in APR format, the easier it will be to describe your experiences.

A great way to show your impact is to quantify your achievements using numbers, percentages, and dollar amounts when possible. This will help define the scope of your impact and validity to your achievements. Here are some examples of how you could identify opportunities to add quantifiable accomplishments to your bullet points:

  • Work with a group of people? How many?
  • Did you increase sign-ups or boost followers on a social media channel? By how much?
  • Manage a budget? What was the amount you had to manage?

4. Include a result to show your impact

This is that portion of APR format that is most often left out! Try adding the impact of your work whenever possible. What might seem like an obvious impact to you isn’t always obvious to employers, so include the result of your work to clearly demonstrate your contributions.

Good: Bullet point written without the result Better: Bullet point written with the result (in bold)
  • Promoted club membership sign-ups at in-person and virtual events.
  • Promoted club membership sign-ups at in-person and virtual events to increase annual membership by 15%.
  • Led training of new employees at smoothie and sandwich prep stations
  • Led training of new employees at smooth and sandwich prep stations to reinforce food handling and safety guidelines.

Ready to get feedback on your resume?