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July 13, 2012

Writing IT Resumes with Word 2010 Part 1: Three Time Saving Tips

By Word 2010 Tips & Tricks for Resume Writing

Resume Writing for IT Professionals

A note from the author: Over the past year, our series of resume writing articles has focused mostly on resumes from a large-scale perspective, taking a conceptual rather than how-to approach. For this series, though, we deal with step-by-step technical matters that will simplify your resume writing process. This article, and others in this series, assumes that you’re using Microsoft Word 2010. We hope you find it useful and look forward to your comments and feedback!

Writing a resume is a time-consuming process under the best of circumstances. Not to mention nerve-wracking, gut-wrenching, and occasionally frustrating. This feeling can be even more intense if you’re not sure how to efficiently make the program you’re using do what you need it to do. So for this inaugural article in our Resumes with Microsoft Word 101 series, we’ll talk about some shortcuts you can use in Word 2010 that will speed up your resume process tremendously.

3. Word 2010 Format Painter

This is a fun one.

Aesthetically, resumes require consistency above all else. Following rules you’ve set for yourself regarding font choices, italics, and bolding does more than simply improve appearance. It also sends visual cues to your reader about how to swiftly identify different features, quickly distinguishing a job title from, say, your education section.

Word 2010 Format PainterFormatting each chunk of text step-by-step, however, can be tedious if each line requires tinkering in font type, size, color, and special effects like bolding and italics. Rather than recreating each individual line, consider using the format painter, which identifies the formatting features of a particular section of text, then copies and applies those features to other selected text.

How to Use the Format Painter

  1. Format one section of text to your desired specifications (font type, size, color, and special effects).
  2. Select the text by left-clicking and dragging your mouse icon over it.
  3. Select “Format Painter” from the Clipboard section of the Home tab on the MS Word Ribbon. When hovered over text, your mouse icon will now look like a paintbrush next to a small vertical line.
  4. Left-Click and drag the mouse over any section of unformatted text.
  5. Release the mouse.

Your target text should now be reformatted in the same way as your source text. You can then repeat the process for other text throughout the document, saving time and ensuring consistency.

2. The Cut, Copy and Paste Feature

Copy and Paste is pretty standard fare among Word users, but if it’s off your radar, get ready for a treat. It’s basically a feature where you can select chunks of text and temporarily delete or copy them, only to then direct them to reappear at a place of your choosing. Writing a resume requires some trial and error, as you play around with the order of your bullet points, sections, or technical skills. To simplify this process of rearranging, just follow these steps to cut and paste something.
Using Cut Copy and Paste in Word 2010

How to Use Cut, Copy, Paste

  1. Click and drag your cursor over the text you want to eliminate or relocate. This will highlight the text, and make it receptive to the command.
  2. Click either the “cut” or “copy” icon, which can be found on the clipboard section of the Home tab on the MS Word ribbon. Cut will delete the text from your document; Copy will leave it in place, but still make a copy of the text to be relocated elsewhere.
  3. Move your cursor to the location in the document you want the text to reappear by right-clicking at that location.
  4. Click the paste icon, which can be found in the clipboard section of the Home tab.

If you don’t feel like using the icons, you can also highlight text and then left click over the selection. This will bring up a secondary interface. At the very top of the secondary window will be the commands for copy and cut.

Or, if you don’t feel like going that route, it might be worth your while to try…

Word 2010 Keyboard Shortcuts

There are a LOT of keyboard shortcuts in Word 2010. So many, in fact, that a lot of them just vanish out of popular use, into obscurity. We don’t want to list out all the possible keyboard shortcuts, but here are some that might be especially helpful when creating your resume. Start using one or two each day and really push yourself to utilize the keyboard more.

CTRL + SHIFT + A will capitalize all SELECTED letters

CTRL + A will select all text in a document

CTRL + I will italicize all selected letters

CTRL + B will bold all selected letters

CTRL + S will save your document

CTRL + Z will undo your most recent action (which is very handy for those “uh-oh” moments)

CTRL + Y will redo your most recent action

CTRL + C will copy text

CTRL + X will cut text

CTRL + V will paste text

Those last three, by the way, can also be useful shortcuts if you need to copy an entire resume, but are using a browser that gets a little fussy about what you can and can’t paste into certain fields. CTRL + V can be an especially useful work around.

Coming Next Week: Part 2: Maximizing Tab Stops

The second part in our Writing IT Resumes with Word 2010 blog series will discuss how to achieve easier formatting using tab stops and by working with the ruler and margins.

About the Author

teaches professional and technical writing at DePaul University in Chicago. His work has appeared in a variety of journals, and he is the author of the following Pluralsight Courses: Fundamentals of Written Proposals; Writing Process Instructions and Directions; and Resumes, Research, and Writing on the Job Hunt.

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