A resume template provides you with a layout for your resume. That way, you don't have to design the document from scratch. A template starts the process for you by laying out certain basic sections hiring managers expect to see, such as name and contact information. A resume outline can come in handy as well to get you started.
Once you have the requirements covered, it’s much easier to customize your resume and make your achievements shine.
Why Use a Resume Template
You may be great at your job, but that doesn't mean you're equally skilled when it comes to designing a professional resume. Even if you are adept at writing this kind of document, the whole process is time-consuming. Not only does a template save time, but it reminds you of exactly what sections to include.
Even if you're not a rookie when it comes to resume writing, it's always useful to review resume templates and samples when preparing your resume. That way, you can get an idea of what a resume should (and could) look like.
Tips for Using a Resume Template
The best way to use a resume template, or sample resume, is as a starting point. Don't think of it as something engraved in stone. In other words, just because the template uses a Times New Roman font, that doesn't mean that you can't use your preferred Arial font.
In fact, personalizing a resume template is advantageous. After all, nearly every resume template out there is available to every other job applicant out there, and it pays to stand out from the crowd. Just be sure to stay within the boundaries of what's appropriate when you personalize your resume. For example, while you can change the font, be sure to stick with a professional, resume-appropriate font choice.
After reviewing a few options, choose the template that appeals to you the most. Part of the template selection process may involve deciding what type of resume you'd like to have: functional, targeted, chronological, or some hybrid option. Once you've selected a template, add your information. Then, tweak and edit the document to personalize your resume, making sure it highlights your unique skills and abilities.
Free Resume Templates
Review these resume templates, looking for the option that best suits your career level and background.
- Basic Resume Template: Starting from scratch? This simple template will get you headed in the right direction. It includes all the most essential resume sections and the formatting for each.
- College Resume Template: If you’re a current student or a recent grad, you need a resume template that blends your college achievements with your growing work history. Make the most of your internships, student jobs, and extracurricular activities and set yourself up for job hunting success right out of the gate.
- High School Resume Template: Today’s high school students often have more to offer employers than they might realize. Learn how to organize and highlight your experience.
- Google Docs Resume Templates: Need a free template that helps you format your skills and experience right on the page? Google Docs has you covered. They offer templates for resumes, cover letters, and more.
- Free Microsoft Resume Templates: You don’t necessarily have to own a copy of (or a subscription to) Microsoft Word in order to use their templates. Many are available for free online.
- Resume Templates and Samples: Whether you’re applying for a job as an Android Developer or a Writer/Copy Editor, this comprehensive collection of resume examples has something for you. This section also offers advice on how to choose the right resume type for your work experience.
How to Write a Resume That Sells
- Read these writing tips. Still staring down the blank page without a clue where to begin? Learn the difference between a resume and a cover letter, the purpose of a resume, how to focus on your achievements, and what to leave off your CV. Plus, get direction on how to choose between the types of resumes and how to format your final product.
- Review resume samples. Templates will help you sort out your thoughts, but resume samples will show you what work experience looks like on the page. Examining how other people describe their experience and adapt templates can be very helpful. This is particularly true if you look at samples which are either at your current career level or from people in your field. Use sample resumes only for inspiration—do not copy information or phrases.
- Above all, be honest. It's important to be truthful on your resume and to portray your experience accurately. Don’t fall into the trap of stretching your experience, changing your job titles, or fudging dates to cover employment gaps. You’ll likely be caught, either during the background check or once you’re on the job.