(MoneyWatch) This summer, whipping your resume into shape will put you into prime position when hiring heats up in the fall. These easy fixes take only a few minutes, so you don't have to spend your long summer evenings or weekends indoors working on your job search. Here are five to try that should make your CV more effective -- in 20 minutes or less.
This is Part 1 of a three-part series on job searching during the summer. Check back for Part 2, "Stay in the loop on Summer Fridays," on Monday.
Clear out clutter
Your resume should be concise, not crowded. Some white space and a decent font size are both critical to readability. To achieve these goals, remove unnecessary information to make the important stuff stand out, says Louise Kursmark, founder of Best Impression Career Services, Inc.: "Examples of items to delete are multiple phone numbers or e-mail addresses, your supervisor's name and contact information, and the phrase 'references upon request.' "
Make your hyperlinks live
Creating a clickable link to your e-mail address, website or blog makes it easier for people to contact you or learn more about you, says Kursmark. It also shows that you pay attention to detail and are relatively web-savvy.
Delete a fluffy objective statement
Again, your resume is prime real estate, so you shouldn't waste any space with filler. "Anyone can write 'to use my outstanding communication, leadership and analytical skills to advance quickly through a large multinational corporation,' " says Brad Karsh, author of "Manager 3.0: A Millennial's Guide to Rewriting the Rules of Management." If you don't have a lot of professional experience, flesh out your page with substantive info about internships, volunteer jobs or even relevant classwork that shows skills that will translate in the workplace.
Make your phrasing more active
Avoid passive phrases like "responsible for" or "handled." "Instead, use strong action verbs at the beginning of every sentence, like 'managed,' 'built,' 'directed,' 'led,' 'supervised,' 'generated,' 'achieved,' etc.," says Ford Myers, author of "Get the Job You Want, Even When No One's Hiring."
State your results
A resume shouldn't just say what you did, but also what you achieved. "Quantify your measurable results wherever possible," says Myers. Use stats and specific examples whenever possible.