Resumes & Cover Letters

Create a great resume in 10 minutes

Written by Eric Titner

Do you want to learn how to create a great resume fast? Whether you’re starting from scratch or updating an existing document, creating a great resume does not have to take a lot of time.

According to a recent LinkedIn article, it isn’t uncommon for individuals to spend anywhere from several hours to several weeks working on their resumes. Although this can be time well spent, especially if it results in the new job of your dreams, you may be surprised to hear that in just 10 minutes you can have a functional and effective resume that will get you noticed.

Use the strategies presented here to get your resume in great shape—in no time.

Set a goal.

Try not to think of creating a resume as a “one and done” activity. Instead, imagine every job you apply for as an opportunity to craft a targeted resume that best showcases your experience, abilities, and potential value. This means setting a goal—which doesn’t need to take up a great deal of your time.

Why is setting a goal important? Consider creating a resume as a journey, and the quickest way to complete any journey is to have a clearly defined endpoint, which helps you determine the most efficient path forward. Your resume’s goal is your “guiding light,” saving you time and keeping you on track along your resume-writing path.

When you come across a job opening that interests you, you should be able to conjure up a goal in around a minute. Here’s an example: if you’re eager to apply to a job as a marketing manager at a tech company, you may decide that a good goal is “portray myself as an experienced leader with a track record of marketing success and technical knowhow.” That was easy enough, and now you can move forward.

Nail the fundamentals.

Once you have a goal, ask yourself the following questions as you craft your resume’s bullet points: “Does this help me achieve my overall goal?” “Is there a better way to phrase this to help me achieve my goal?” Before long, this questioning process will become second nature and happen almost instinctively, ultimately saving you from sweating endlessly over each point.

Stick to the fundamentals—the key responsibilities you’ve held during each of your previous job positions—and you’ll be able to quickly put together a resume that achieves your goal. Your resume doesn’t have to include every single thing you’ve ever done in your professional life, just the major items that serve to meet your goal. Remember, you can always go into greater detail regarding your experience during interviews.

Hit your high notes.

Did you take the lead on a major cost-saving initiative at work? Are you responsible for closing a lucrative deal for a previous employer? Do you have a slew of professional promotions and accolades that you’re proud of? Make sure that all of your positive on-the-job accomplishments are included on your resume. These complimentary items—which will help you stand out from the job hunting crowd—are likely easy to recall, so you won’t need to spend too much time remembering them.

Have a basic template.

Having a core resume template is a fantastic time saving tool. This basic resume “skeleton” should include the core fundamentals and high notes for each position you’ve held and will comprise most of the resume work you’ll need to do; you’ll simply need to tweak your resume template for any given position, which shouldn’t take much time. Typically, these tweaks include adding industry-specific keywords, which will help your resume make it through automated screening applications, and any items specifically asked for in a particular ad. With a well-crafted template, creating targeted resumes should be quick!

Save your time for the job hunt!

These days, the average person is busier than ever before, and all of us are eager to make our daily responsibilities as quick and easy as possible. Save time and energy creating a great resume by using the strategies listed here, and invest that extra time in your job hunt!

About the author

Eric Titner

Eric is a NYC-based editor and writer, with years of experience in career-focused content development across a wide range of industries.