Do Bullet Points Belong on a Cover Letter?

John Scott
Posted by

Most job seekers know that a good resume contains a lot of bullet points. What about a cover letter? Some job hunters are using bullet points as a way to simplify their cover letters and draw a recruiter's attention towards the letter's key information. Bullet points are not appropriate for all cover letters. However, in the right situation, adding a bulleted list to your cover letter is very effective.

When you are job hunting, it is important to write a new cover letter for every job application. It is possible to reuse text from one cover letter to another, but the bulk of your cover letter needs to be tailored to the unique aspects of the company and the position on offer.

Adding a bulleted list to your cover letter not only helps ensure that the person reading your letter is aware of your most important qualifications or skills, but it also provides an easy way to quickly revise cover letters as you apply to multiple jobs. It is possible to keep the opening and closing paragraphs of your cover letter nearly identical while changing the bullet points to reflect your ability to fulfill the needs and requirements of each individual position.

However, adding bullet points to your cover letter is not appropriate in all situations. If the company to which you are applying operates under a "business formal" culture, your cover letter needs to reflect that formality. Adding bullet points to your cover letter shows that you are not a good fit for that company's culture.

Companies that operate under a more informal or "business casual" culture are more likely to appreciate bullet points in a cover letter. These recruiters understand that you are using bullet points to communicate information in a clear and efficient manner. If a business describes itself as "fast-paced," for example, using bullet points in your cover letter shows that you understand the need to read and digest information quickly.

As notes: "If you're on the fence about using bullet points, skip them." Otherwise, use bullet points in cover letters when they are likely to fit in well with a company's culture. Tech companies, social media companies and companies that hire mostly younger workers are all good candidates for cover letters that include bullet points. If you are unfamiliar with a company's culture, consider using your network to ask a current employee whether bullet points are likely to be appreciated or frowned upon.

Adding bullet points to your cover letter is a good choice if the company culture encourages informal, fast-paced communication. If the company appears to be more formal, skip the bullet points and write your cover letter in paragraph form. If you cannot decide whether or not to use bullet points in your cover letter, leave them out.


(Photo courtesy of (Stuart Miles)/


Become a member to take advantage of more features, like commenting and voting.

Jobs to Watch