Should You Use a Resume Template?

  • Posted by Nicole Adams

First impressions matter when it comes to applying for a job, and that first impression is most often your resume. Having a well-structured and attractive document that catches the eyes of both applicant tracking systems and recruiters is important and might feel overwhelming to create from scratch so you might be tempted to use a pre-made template. Let’s explore how to use a resume template to your advantage. 

How to Use Resume a Template

You don’t need a fancy, complicated resume to stand out, in fact it’s best to use a rather simple style perfectly packed with just the right amount of information. Utilizing a template will help ensure that you have a cohesive, readable and appealing format with all of the pertinent information like your job history, hard and soft skills. First you’ll want to decide which resume format best suits your current and prospective employment. 

The most common resume format is the reverse-chronological work history which begins with your current job and ends with your first. There’s also the functional format that can be organized by skills and experiences relevant to the job you’re applying to rather than your work history and you can also use a combination of the two. Now that you know what info to include you can look for a design or template.

Recruiters have developed a trained eye for spotting resume templates so instead of copying and pasting your info into one, we recommend looking at lots of different templates, making note of designs or aspects that you like and then using them for inspiration. You can cherry pick different components like fonts, colors, a general layout and skills graphs and then create your own unique eye-catching resume. 

What Should a Resume Look Like?

Regardless of which resume design you choose, just remember you only have six or seven seconds to make a recruiter want to read more. Put your best content up top whether that’s a job, skills or achievements. It’s critical that you customize these sections for every job. Carefully read the ad and list of skills, experience and requirements it calls for then add those to your resume using the same language. Once you get the words hashed out, work on the design. 

Less is more in terms of resume design, so there’s no need for large, fancy fonts with lots of colors or graphics. A good resume is clearly formatted and divided into logical sections. It’s quick and easy to read in terms of the content, has non-serif fonts and minimal colors, and should likely be only one page and incorporate some white space. It should be designed in a way that matches the industry, your personality and also your cover letter. 

Create a resume for each position you’re applying for, even if you only make minimal changes, each one should be a little different; the same goes for your cover letters. Always edit and proofread your resume and utilize friends and associates for feedback. Once your resume is done, be sure to create an account and post it on our site