Free resume templates
Looking for downloadable resume templates for free? You’ve come to the right place.
These free designs are among the best resume templates in the industry. Choose from classic resume templates to more modern layouts as you craft a professional resume to achieve your goals. Choose one of the styles below for a resume template that is downloadable and easily customizable for your desired job.
Modern resume templates
Creative resume templates
Simple resume templates
Basic resume templates
Microsoft Word resume templates
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Professional resume advice
How to choose a format that works for your career
There are three main resume formats:
- Chronological: This format focuses on work experience and is best for job seekers with a steady and long employment history.
- Functional: This format emphasizes skills, making it well-suited for anyone new to the workforce.
- Combination: This format balances skills with professional experience, which is a good match for many candidates.
Just make sure you understand the purpose of each format and how it is organized to use it effectively.
How to pick a design that aligns with your industry
Some resume designs work better in one industry rather than another.
For example, hiring managers in the financial, legal and medical sectors usually prefer a conventional resume style. However, a video game designer might choose a Creative resume template with a distinctive flair.
The main point is you should be mindful of your career field and the type of template style your peers would find acceptable. You never want your resume to get tossed in the trash bin purely over style choice.
How to customize a professional resume using a template
You should create a new resume for every prospective employer. A customizable resume design helps you move quickly from one application to another by following a few simple steps.
Here’s how to customize a professional resume on your own:
- Download a free template to open in Microsoft Word or Google Docs.
- The template will include instructions on how to fill it out. In general, you should replace the preexisting text with fresh text specific to your previous roles.
- Save the revised version as a different file name. Return to this file (or the original) to create and save the next version of your resume.
Here’s how to customize a template with a resume builder:
- Open our Resume Builder, then select whether you’d like to upload an existing resume or create a new one.
- Choose your level of professional experience.
- The builder will generate template recommendations — including premium designs only available in the builder — based on your previous experience.
- From there, the builder walks you through every resume section offering advice and auto-generated text to help you write a summary, work experience, skills section and more.
- Download the template in a file format of your choice. The template will be saved in your Resume Now account so you can return to create as many versions as you need.
How to fill in the five major resume sections
Fill out the clearly defined sections of the resume template with your professional details.
- Contact info: Make sure to include your name, phone number and email address in the header, in addition to a link to your professional website, portfolio or LinkedIn profile.
- Professional summary or resume objective: Summarize your work history in just a few sentences and hone in on points that would be most important to the company.
- Work experience: List your previous jobs in reverse-chronological order — beginning with the most recent — and use bullet points to highlight a few key accomplishments under each role.
- Skills: Include a variety of hard and soft skills in your skills section, making sure to mention some you found in the job description.
- Education: Finally, credentials are still important to many companies. We suggest including an education section where you list your most recent degree. No need to include high school if you’ve graduated college.
Don’t forget to consider adding optional sections like awards, professional memberships, foreign languages or volunteer work. Any of these could make your resume stand apart from the rest.
How to decide between a CV and resume template
A curriculum vitae (CV) is a job application document commonly used in academic fields like medicine, law and the sciences. They tend to be at least two or three pages long and present a comprehensive career picture.
You may want to use a CV template if you work in an academic field in the U.S. Templates are easily customizable in our CV Maker. Plus, there are dozens of CV examples to browse if you’d like a better understanding of how they differ from resumes.
How to build a cover letter for a resume
Cover letters are still a great way to set yourself apart from the competition. As long as you write a cover letter that is compelling, personal and full of strong selling points, you increase your chances of getting an interview.
But there’s one more factor. Your cover letter should match your resume. Choose a cover letter template similar (if not identical) to your resume design to come across as professional and organized. You may be able to find a matching template in our Cover Letter Builder, which will also auto-generate content for your letter based on your work experience. Ultimately, if you decide to write it on your own, cover letter examples are a great source of inspiration.
Resume templates FAQ
Yes! A resume’s appearance plays a significant role in impressing an employer, so a good resume template can help you land a job. Plus, poor alignment or excessive graphics can hinder an ATS program from scanning your resume correctly and can turn prospective employers away instantly.
A high-quality, clean resume template lets you add your content and make adjustments without worrying about spacing, tabs and other common issues. Our Resume Builder offers great resume templates appropriate for various industries and companies you can check out.
Using a resume template is easy! When you download a template, it is fully editable in the program of your choice. Save the template as a Word doc if you’d like to edit it in Microsoft Word, as a PDF if you plan to use Adobe Acrobat or as a Google Doc if that’s your preference.
Alternatively, you could import a template into a resume builder. The great thing about using a resume builder is that you’ll get auto-generated text to add to your professional summary, work experience, skills and education sections when you share a bit about yourself. Not only does this save time, but you can also easily customize and personalize the resume without losing your formatting.
You choose the right sample resume template by considering your industry and employer. If you’re applying for a job as a librarian or claims adjuster, for instance, opt for Classic or Professional resume templates. But, if you’re applying for a role as a hairstylist, then our Creative or Unique resume templates might suit your needs.
Also, select a resume design that makes sense for your employment history and qualifications. For example, if you lack experience, choose a one-page resume template that plays up your skills and education while balancing out extra white space, such as our Basic and Simple resume templates.
Conversely, if you have a lot of experience, pick a resume sample that helps you showcase your accomplishments without much extra text.
The best template for a resume is one that aligns with your industry, matches your job title and speaks to where you are in your career.
A good template for a resume should also match your cover letter template. So, for example, if you are an entry-level job seeker looking for work as a marketing associate in the art industry, you might choose one of our Creative or Modern resume templates.
But if you are a job candidate with 10 or more years of experience as a legal aide, our Professional or Simple resume templates would be ideal. When in doubt, our MS Word templates work well for most job applicants.
You can find a resume template to download for free on Resume Now. Simply scroll up to see our dozens of free downloadable template options.
Regardless of your job title, industry and experience, we have a resume template that is downloadable for you.
A resume should rarely go back further than 10 or 15 years. Employers will always be more interested in your recent career experience. Anything from earlier in your career that you want to highlight can be represented in a different resume section, like skills or accomplishments.
A resume should generally be no more than one page in length. Any more than that and prospective employers could lose interest.
Use a one-page resume template to focus on your most valuable skills, achievements and work experience. By displaying your top credentials, you’ll intrigue hiring managers and leave them wanting to learn more about you in an interview.
That said, if you have more than 15 years of experience and have many qualifications to display, then a two-page resume or a CV is acceptable.
For most job seekers the best resume format for 2023 is a chronological resume. Hiring managers love chronological resumes because they put work experience front and center. Within seconds, they can see your top accomplishments at your previous jobs.
Also, the best resume templates are clean resume templates. Skip those with heavy graphics, offbeat fonts and many different colors. Your resume has to pass the ATS test and be easy for a recruiter or hiring manager to read. So, go for simple lines, fluid organization and standard fonts.
- Work experience that’s relevant to the employer. Hiring managers are always looking for a good reason to call you in for an interview, and showcasing your work history is the best way to do that. Make sure to drive home your quantifiable achievements in easy-to-digest bullet points.
- A logical organization that’s easily scannable. Recruiters only spend a few seconds looking at a resume, so you want to make yours well-organized and easy to understand at a glance. Additionally, your resume must get past an applicant tracking system (ATS), and a layout that isn’t properly formatted can make your document hard to scan.
- Proper spelling and punctuation. This may seem minor compared to the other two factors, but the truth is many hiring managers immediately toss out applications that are riddled with errors.
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