7 Microsoft Word Tips to Polish Your Old Resume

27879 7 Microsoft Word Tips to Polish Your Old Resume

Do you have an old resume that needs some polishing before you start applying for jobs again? With Microsoft Word’s versatile formatting options and resume templates, you can give your resume a quick makeover without having to start from scratch.

In this article, we will walk through 7 easy Microsoft Word tips to help polish and update your resume. Whether you just need to tweak the formatting or overhaul the content, these tips will have your resume looking fresh in no time.

Clean Up the Formatting

Over time, your resume formatting may have become messy or inconsistent, especially if you have edited it extensively. Here are some quick clean-up tips:

Reset Margins and Fonts

Select all text (Ctrl/Command+A) and reset the margins to 0.5-1 inch all around. Also reset the font to something professional like Arial, Times New Roman or Calibri at 10-12 point size. This will tidy up the overall look.

Adjust Table Formatting

If you used tables for content layout, check for uneven columns or text extending beyond cell boundaries. Select the table, adjust columns widths under “Layout” or “Table Properties” if needed.

Remove Extra Spaces and Lines

Do a find/replace for double spaces and replace them with single spaces. Remove any extra line spaces between sections. Tighten up line spacing to 1-1.5 as well.

Leverage Resume Templates

One of the handiest resume polish tricks in Word is to use an existing resume template. This allows you to shortcut the formatting and layout.

Insert Template Content

Open the resume template, copy blocks of template text and paste them over your existing resume sections to import the formatting. Adjust font sizes or colors if needed.

Reapply Template Formatting

Alternatively, you can copy/paste just a short text snippet from the template to import the style set. Then select all your existing text and choose “Apply Styles” to overwrite the formatting.

Adjust Layout

If you paste text into a resume template, you may need to adjust row heights, column widths or text box sizes to fit your content. The “Layout” and “Format” contextual tabs have the related tools.

Enhance Readability

Now that the resume structure is cleaned up, you can further enhance readability and highlighting:

Use Text Highlighting

Bold or italicize keywords in job titles or section headers. You can also color code bits of text for visual distinction and quick scanning by employers.

Break up Text Density

Text walls make resumes uninviting. Break up dense paragraphs into quick scan bullet points using the bullet or number list tools.

Increase White Space

Careful use of white space makes resume content less dense and easier on the eyes. Experiment with margins, line spacing, and paragraph spacing.

Update Content

Beyond formatting and presentation, also update the content to reflect your latest skills and experience:

Tailor to Job Ad

If applying for a specific role, identify keywords from the job ad and ensure your resume highlights matching skills or achievements using similar terminology.

Add Recent Experience

Update your experience timeline with new roles or responsibilities. Trim older, less relevant positions to keep things concise and focused if needed.

Bolster Skill List

Does your skillset include new tools, systems, or capabilities? Ensure your resume skills section reflects your current expertise. Group related skills together.

Final Polish

Before exporting your revamped resume, give it a final polish with these quick tips:

Run Spell Check

Catch embarrassing typos by running a full spell check. Read through the resume carefully as well looking for errors spell check would miss.

Print Preview

Toggle to print preview to see what the formatted resume looks like on paper. Adjust page breaks and text density for a clean paginated view.

Export as PDF

Lastly export or save your finished resume as a PDF to preserve all formatting and styling in a universally viewable format.

There you have it! With these 7 Microsoft Word tips, you can quickly polish up an old resume to look clean, professional and up-to-date. Use resume templates, formatting tools and content updating to showcase your qualifications.

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