That seductive gleam on that Porsche behind the dealer's window? It's called a burnish, a gloss only achieved by loads of polishing. Likewise, you can burnish a resume by polishing it until it's perfect.

A caution about usage: burnish in the physical sense is usually reserved for inanimate objects, not people — you usually wouldn't say that someone's appearance is "burnished to perfection" or that your freshly scrubbed face is burnished. But you could burnish a car, a suit of armor, or a copper kettle. Reputations are among the most common non-physical things to be burnished.

Definitions of burnish
  1. verb
    polish and make shiny
    synonyms: buff, furbish
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    type of:
    polish, shine, smooth, smoothen
    make (a surface) shine
  2. noun
    the property of being smooth and shiny
    synonyms: gloss, glossiness, polish
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    French polish
    the glaze produced by repeated applications of French polish shellac
    a glossy finish on a fabric
    a sheen or gloss on a surface, especially resulting from use or age
    type of:
    a texture without roughness; smooth to the touch
    effulgence, radiance, radiancy, refulgence, refulgency, shine
    the quality of being bright and sending out rays of light
  3. verb
    bring to a highly developed, finished, or refined state
    synonyms: brush up, polish, polish up, round, round off
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    type of:
    hone, perfect
    refine or make more perfect or effective
Word Family

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