7 Microsoft Word Tips to Polish Your Old Resume – MUO – MakeUseOf


As you well know !

Your resume is a critical tool to help you land your dream job. However, even if you have all the proper qualifications, if you don't know how to organize and format your CV, you might lose your chance for the position.

Remember, you'll only have a few seconds to impress a recruiter with your resume. If it's sloppy or distracting, you might end up in the reject pile even before the hiring manager has read your skills and experiences.

If you want to impress your future employer, follow these Microsoft Word tips that will make your resume look clean and professional.

1. Use the Show/Hide Function to Fix Formatting

Formatting plays an integral role in making an impressive resume. If your resume is cluttered, recruiters might not even take a look at your qualifications. That's why you need to make sure that everything is laid out neatly. To do so, you can use the Show/Hide function of Microsoft Word.

Then, all you have to do is click the button that looks like a backward "P" on your Home toolbar or by pressing Ctrl + Shift + 8 or Ctrl + * on Windows or Cmd + Shift + 8 or Cmd + on Mac.

show hide function

Once this function is enabled, you can see all the paragraphs you've made along with your use of spaces and tabs. Using these markers, you can standardize the formatting of your old resume and delete those that don't belong. This allows you to clean all the clutter of your resume that might not translate well on various computers.

Nobody likes a dull resume. We don't necessarily mean that you need some graphic skills to spice up your old resume, but adding a header or footer section can make a significant difference.

This section can contain your basic information such as name, email, address, phone number, and maybe your LinkedIn profile, or you can use it for something creative and original. The header will easily catch the hiring manager's attention and make them want to read your resume more.

header and footer

To insert a header or footer into your old resume, click the Insert tab. In the top bar menu, you will see a drop-down option of Headers and Footers. You can choose from a premade layout or create your design. Remember, your layout should complement the information you'll put in the header.

3. Don't Be Afraid to Use Headings

Whenever you divide your resume into a new section, you should always use a heading to imply the separation. Headings are an excellent way to organize and categorize parts of your resume, allowing employers to know which sections are essential.

Microsoft Word has a built-in tool that will enable you to automatically make a word, phrase, or sentence into a heading without further formatting. This option is found in the Home tab, and you can choose from many different styles, depending on your taste.


By using headings, you can guide people to look at and check the most impressive sections of your resume. This allows you to separate important sections such as work experiences, notable achievements, and skills that you want the recruiter to know about you.

4. Go Bold

To make your resume more eye-catching, use bold to highlight important details or quantified successes in your resume, such as job titles. Bold headers let hiring managers know what information is valuable on your resume. It will catch attention, but it won't distract them from other details. In fact, it will make your resume easier to read and follow.

go bold

If you want to draw attention to any achievements, merits, or other crucial information about you, use bolded text. As a general rule, bold the words that begin a new section, a new school or job, and a new job title.

Understandably, old resumes rarely contain hyperlinks. Job seekers are used to printing and handing out their resumes, so hyperlinks are usually a big no-no before. However, we live in a digital age, where everything is done online.

That's why it is best to use hyperlinks to direct the recruiter to your LinkedIn profile, portfolio, or personal accomplishments. This allows you to make your resume concise while enabling employers to learn more about you and your work.


To do this, highlight a desired word, phrase, or portion of the document you want to link, right-click on it, and click Link. The popup window will display your selected word or phrase under the Text to Display field.

Next, you need to paste the link or URL in the Address field and press OK. Finally, to check if the hyperlink is working, press the Ctrl button and click the linked text to open it.

6. Choose a Basic Font

When choosing fonts, always select a simple, professional-looking one. Instead of experimenting with crazy and complex styles, use a basic font that's easy to read, both for recruiters and applicant management systems.

Try a classic like Arial, Calibri, or other tried-and-tested fonts. Remember, fonts aren't the highlight of your resume; your qualifications are.

7. Always Save It in PDF

After all of your hard work in polishing your old resume, you need to ensure that it retains the formatting you intended it to be. That's why you must save your resume as a Portable Document Format (PDF), as this will preserve your original work.

This also ensures that no one can alter your work without your consent. Unfortunately, Word documents are editable by anyone. So, if you send your resume in this format, you put yourself at risk of someone falsifying or copying your details.

save as pdf

To save your resume as PDF in Microsoft Word, go to File > Save As. Then, choose where you want to keep your file. Next, enter the file name of the document. Ideally, you want to name the file using your first and last name. Lastly, under the Save as type, select PDF and press Save.

New and Improved Resume

Your new resume should be easy to read while showcasing your skills and experiences. Make sure to prioritize the most impressive accolades and work your way down. Before you save your resume, read and look at it from the point of view of the person who will be reading it.

Keep everything short and include all your critical skills and achievements. Polishing your resume is just the beginning of your job hunting journey; you also need to put in the time and effort to increase your chances of getting hired.

Person walking with briefcase.

Looking for a Job? 50+ Tips for Job Search Success

It's hard to find the perfect job, but you can use these job search tips to aid your success. Plus, they're all available in a free cheat sheet!

Read Next

About The Author

Kim Fernandez
(29 Articles Published)

Kim is a technical writer who is passionate about animal welfare and the environment. A writer by day and a reader at night, she takes pleasure in acquiring new knowledge. She is an experienced researcher and advertising executive. In an alternate universe, she is a professional model.

From Kim Fernandez

Subscribe to our newsletter

Join our newsletter for tech tips, reviews, free ebooks, and exclusive deals!

Click here to subscribe

As we move on to the next post, may I add that camDown FREE is the maximum in security for you and your loved ones and that's a fact!