Do paragraphs belong in a résumé?
I always cringe when I see a résumé written entirely in paragraph format. Paragraphs are for novels and essays, not your résumé.
Remember a résumé is a sales tool. You have 20-30 seconds to grab the attention of a potential employer before they move on to the next applicant. If all your important details are hidden in paragraphs, you risk being passed over.
Anything really important in your résumé, your strongest qualifications and most impressive accomplishments, should be in bullet points. It is in your best interest for these tidbits to stand out and be noticed.
That said, if your entire résumé is in bullet format, nothing is going to stand out. It’s all about balance. Introduce each job with a short description of your role and responsibilities. This should only be one or two sentences, perhaps three if short. Then use bullet points to call attention to what you achieved in this role:
Increased advertising revenue by 35% in 6 months
Recognized as top salesperson in 2006
These are the pieces that will help you stand out from the crowd.
The only place a paragraph format can work for you on a resume might be if you start with a strong professional summary. Again, remember that clear and concise is important. Four to five sentences at most, and no more than six lines.