Resume Tips

15 Tips For Sprucing Up Your Resume In 30 Minutes Or Less


How would you feel if you possessed a nicely polished resume that projects and elevates your level of professionalism? More confident? More positive? I bet!

Related: Checklist To Determine If Your Resume Is Boring

Crafting a dynamic resume that is also a great selling tool is more time-consuming than 30 minutes. Yet, with the following quick and easy visual and marketing ‘styleover’ tips, you will begin to distinguish yourself from the job search mob in half an hour! That sounds good. Doesn’t it?

1. Check Spacing

Check spacing and make sure your page margins are set to at least a .07 all around. This will not only ensure your resume is inviting but also that it meets universal printing standards (abating printing issues).

2. Style Your Name

Bold your name and enlarge the font to 16 pt. or 18 pt. Also, centering your name is a great way to make immediate impact.

3. Separate Contact Information

Separate your personal contact information with a bullet or divider, providing great visual appeal and easy e-mail and phone number identification.

4. Add Target Job Title

Add your target Job Title to introduce your Summary or Profile instead of the more common labels such as “Qualifications Profile or just Summary.” This will help you add a great resume keyword right at the top and will lend to your expert image/ brand.

5. Edit your Summary Or Profile

Ensure sentences end quickly, combine ideas, and try to limit this introductory paragraph to five to six lines. This will help create a nice crisp look and you will deliver your marketing message more clearly.

6. Remove Orphan Words

Go through the rest of your resume and remove all orphan words (words left on a line by themselves). This just causes an unorganized look and it really isn’t necessary.

7. Bold Sections

Bold resume sections (Employment, Education, etc.) and enlarge the font size to 14 pt. This will nicely separate the areas of your resume and guide readers through.

8. Group Job Accountabilities Together

Group job accountabilities together in a paragraph form, separating from achievements. Keep the number of sentences to no more than six. People lose interest when paragraphs are long-winded. Plus, long sentences and paragraphs makes it easier for your message to become convoluted.

9. Separate Your Achievements

Separate your achievements (how you actually performed and the results you generated) from the job description. Bullet them to no more than five to six bullets; any more than that will look too busy and unwelcoming to the reader.

10. Use Action Words

Ensure you have begun all bulleted sentences with action verbs.

11. Make Sure Everything Matches

Make sure all your bullets line up and match! Inconsistency screams sloppiness and conveys unprofessionalism.

12. Delete Hobbies

Eliminate any hobbies or personal information (picture, marital status, age, religious associations). These do not belong on your resume.

13. Read It Out Loud

Read the entire resume aloud to catch awkward phrases and errors. As you read aloud, analyze if what you have just read is relevant to your new career target, if not – remove it!

14.  Make Sure Your Second Page Is 1/3 Full

If you have created a second page, make sure it’s at least a third full. There is no excuse for a second page with just a few lines on it.

15. Remove “References Available Upon Request”

Remove the phrase, References Available Upon Request—this is very antiquated and unnecessary.

Now, get to work! Invest time in preparing a resume that you have polished, in turn, fortifying your professional image.

Can you list a few of your favorite resume polishing tips?

Related Posts

Top 5 Easy Tips For Making Your Resume Stand Out
Kill The Competition: Tips For Writing A Knockout Resume
Top 10 Resume Trends For 2014


Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Rosa Elizabeth Vargas

Rosa Elizabeth Vargas is the owner of Career Steering, an executive resume writing service. She's an Elite Master Resume Writer, Certified Expert Resume Writer, Nationally Certified Resume Writer, and Academy Certified Resume Writer.


  1. As a compulsive proofreader, I found it interesting that #13 on Read It Out Loud has a typo…”end” instead of “and”

    Read the entire resume aloud to catch awkward phrases end errors.

    • That’s a great point. I’m personally looking forward to how trends like that change with more of the job search moving online. It may end up varying for different industries. Thanks for commenting!

  2. How many pages should a resume be? mine is 3 pages, but I guess its a bit long , but I don’t know which item/line should be omitted.

  3. I disagree with the advice to leave hobbies off the resume. In a world where team fit and shared values are an indispensable part of most companies’ recruitment practices, this can reveal a lot about a person. Furthermore it can provide opportunities for ice-breakers in an interview and the establishment of rapport. These factors can make a difference. And while I agree with the conventional wisdom of keeping a resume succinct, this information can take the form of a few lines at most.

  4. I finally got responses to my resume when I made my second page a “skills summary” that included all the things I accomplished as a volunteer / hobbiest. Your abilities are not always fully communicated by just career accomplishments.

  5. I wonder how much advice on writing a European CV differs from a US Resume?

    I’ve read advice from European experts who tell you that you should include personal information and a photo.

    Are there any European experts reading this who might comment?

    • While I am not an expert in European CVs, I do have a little experience. Basically, it differs from country to country. England now has very similar expectations as the United States. Some personal information is expected in other cultures, like hobbies, age, gender, marital status, and pictures. In Germany 30 or 40 years ago, it was still customary to write a “Lebenslauf” by hand for handwriting analysis. Also, they tend to be much longer, often three to five pages.

  6. Great tips! I’ve formatted my resume page using the “center” all the way through. Except, at the top, where someone might put Objective, Summary, Profile… I left indent in bold headline, About: followed immediately by what I can do for an employer in 140 characters or less. Followed by another sentence or two to backup the first statement. My thoughts were many folks are using About me… or About, online at various websites, it’s a familiar term, so I run with it. I can’t say it’s given me more interviews, but it’s not as commonly used as other phrases. I also use the 14pt font and change the font style for each heading, like Education, Career History…etc. it does a good job in breaking sections up. I try to tell a story where and when I can.

  7. More of a question than a comment. Do you recommend a personal profile or an objective section at the top? Some people feel that stating one's objectives comes across as being too self- centered.

  8. More of a question than a comment. Do you recommend a personal profile or an objective section at the top? Some people feel that stating one's objectives comes across as being too self- centered.

    • Grant, I have been reading more and more that an Objective is unnecessary. I believe it is because the objective is obviously to get a job or a better job. A personal profile is also, usually, not needed but a Professional Profile could be useful. We want to avoid personal information and focus on our professional abilities and interpersonal skills. Keeping in mind different fields require different resume information and this is an ever changing area.

      • Could you please expand on References being available on request being outdated? Keen to better understand as often recommend this.

        • Thanks for asking Grant. What we mean is that people know they can contact you if they’d like references, so using up space on your resume to state that is a waste.

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