Quick Tips to Improve Your Résumé in Just 5 Minutes

Business.com / HR Solutions / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

When you are on the job hunt, time is of the essence. The problem is that updating your résumé can be a grueling and time-consuming task.

When you are on the job hunt, time is of the essence. The faster that you can get your résumé out to prospective employers, the better. The problem is that updating your résumé can be a grueling and time-consuming task.

Luckily, there are a few ways that you can update your résumé all in just five minutes or less. While they might be easy to do, the following tips can have a huge effect on the success of your job hunt.

Related Article: A Career Coach Reveals: What's Wrong With Your Résumé?

1. List Bullet Points in Order of Importance

Estimated time: (30 seconds)

Ordering the bullets points in your professional experience section by importance or impressiveness is a simple, yet powerful strategy. Keep in mind that employers often skim résumé and don’t always take notice of each individual bullet point. However, by listing your most impressive points first, you have a better chance of grabbing the hiring manager’s attention and motivating them read the whole way through.

2. Add Your LinkedIn Profile and Skype Name 

Estimated time: (30 seconds)

Including your Skype contact info and a link to your LinkedIn profile is one of the easiest ways to enhance your résumé. Your LinkedIn profile is a great complement to your résumé as it allows you to provide employers with more detail about your past experience. Just remember to make sure that your profile is up to snuff. 

Adding your Skype name may also be useful as the amount of employers who conducted online interviews quadrupled from 2013 to 2014. Providing this information on your résumé conveniences the hiring manager, thus increasing your chances of getting called in for the interview.

3. Download a Free Professional Template

Estimated time: (30 seconds)

Most of us aren’t satisfied with the style or format of our résumés. However unless you are a Microsoft Word expert, it can take hours to adjust the lines, font styles/sizes, margins, alignments and colors to create a professional-looking résumé. 

Luckily for job seekers, it only takes 30 seconds to download a pre-formatted, quality résumé template. Using a template will save you a ton of time and hassle on styling your résumé. Simply download, copy and paste your info and you’re done!

4. Add Action Verbs

Estimated time: (30 seconds)

As a general rule of thumb, each bullet point should begin with an intriguing action verb. It’s amazing how much of an impact one word can have. See for yourself:

#1. “Started a new inventory control policy, slashing office expenditures by 15%”


#2. “Spearheaded a new inventory control policy, slashing office expenditures by 15%”

It’s safe to assume that most would agree that point #2 is more stimulating than point #1. Although others may argue that the change is insignificant, the fact of the matter is that it could make all the difference when it comes time for a hiring manager to sift through dozens of résumés.  To save even more time on this step, use this endless list of action verbs.   

Related Article: The Hidden Ways Gender Bias Can Sabotage Recruitment

5. Include Numbers

Estimated time: (1 minute) 

Adding numbers to your résumé provides evidence of your skills and gives you more credibility in the eyes of the employer. Measurable statistics helps give bullet points that extra oomph.

Here’s an example of a bullet point for a waiter, without any numbers: 

  • “Memorized restaurant’s entire wine inventory and their accompanying meals.”

Overall, this is a solid bullet point for a waiter résumé, but watch what happens when you take an extra second to add a numerical value:

  • “Memorized restaurant’s entire wine inventory and their accompanying meals, resulting in a daily wine sales average of $170.

This simple addition puts your money where your mouth is and demonstrates to the hiring manager that you’re not bluffing.

You won’t be able to include a number in every point, but if you can quickly pepper a few throughout your professional experience you’ll be sure to impress the reader.

6. Compare Your Résumé to the Job Description

Estimated time: (1 minute) 

Before sending off your résumé, take a minute to compare it with the job description of the position you are applying for. Ideally, job seekers should tweak their résumé every time they apply for a job.

A targeted résumé will elevate your job search beyond those who simply spam their résumé across job boards. The only problem is that cross-referencing your résumé and the job description can be time-consuming and can really slow down your job search. So to speed things up, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does my résumé address all of the requirements of the employer?
  • Do I include keywords and phrases from the job ad?
  • Do I cover all of the necessary skills in my résumé?

If your answer to any of these questions is “No”, then hold off on sending your résumé and make the appropriate adjustments.

7. Proofread

Estimated time: (1 minute)

No matter how many times we recommend it, people still forget to proofread their résumés. Of all these steps, not proofreading has the greatest risk of completely devastating your job search.

Beware! If a spelling error is caught on your résumé, it will almost certainly be headed for the trashcan. As far as the employer is concerned, if you can’t take the time to proofread your résumé, you won’t take time double check your work as an employee. So do yourself a favor and just take a minute to read through your résumé one more time.

Final Words

If you are still not getting interviews after following the above steps, then it’s probably a sign that your résumé is in need of a major overhaul. Fortunately, there are online résumé builders that can guide you step-by-step through the writing process. 

Good luck on the job hunt!

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