A substantial number of experts, including career coach and author Rich Grant, make the point that resume templates can be quite useful when used as guides because they:
Help job seekers fill out their resumes properly.
Provide the correct font type and sizes so job seekers don’t have to guess.
Suggest the best file type (e.g., Word document, Adobe PDF, plain text) to use.
What a Resume Template IS
A resume template is a useful tool to help you put all the pieces of your professional story together. It provides a resume’s design, organizing your professional experience within a polished framework that will get noticed. An expertly designed resume template is a great blueprint for a successful resume.
What a Resume Template Is NOT
While some resume templates can provide ideas for how to craft a resume, they are not the same as a resume format or a resume example. A resume format provides the arrangement for your content based on several factors, such as whether or not you are changing industries and how long you have been working. It is one of the first things you want to decide before creating your resume because it will inform the template you choose. A resume example is a practical, real-world illustration that can provide inspiration for your resume or help you when you are stuck on how to fill out a template section.
Job-winning Resume Templates
Whether you need some extra color or a striking layout to make your resume stand out, or a customizable template that clearly displays your qualifications, we’ve got a template for you.
With header treatments that will ensure recruiters remember your name as well as clearly delineated areas for all the major sections of your resume, templates in this category will set you apart from the crowd.
Bring some sophistication to your resume with these templates, which make subtle use of colors and lines to highlight your abilities. You also have plenty of flexibility to create different versions of your document.
For straightforward professions in established industries, use a straightforward resume from this template category. Easily update your skills, work history and education sections, while maintaining a neat and easily scannable presentation.
The Benefits of Using a Resume Template
To get a job interview, your resume must first get past two obstacles: an applicant tracking system (ATS) software — which screens and either rejects or accepts resumes based on keywords, formatting, organization and layout — and the discerning eyes of recruiters.
A well-designed resume goes a long way in getting you beyond these application barriers because:
Well-organized resumes with simple, scannable layouts — which templates provide — impress recruiters. This is according to job search giant Glassdoor.
Professionally created and tested resume templates are optimized for ATS software. According to JT O’Donnell, Founder and CEO of WorkItDaily.com, only 3 percent of online applications make it past ATS bots and into the hands of recruiters. This is because issues such as improper placement of information, incorrect file formats, bad use of headers and footers, and improper fonts filter them out, regardless of your experience
Templates provide all the useful details — such as margins, alignment and appropriate colors — to create professional, polished resumes employers want to read. Once your resume makes it through an ATS, it has to grab the interest of a recruiter. As Erin Kennedy, Certified Master Resume Writer and president of one of Forbes’ Top 100 Career Websites notes, “by creating a resume that employers and recruiters want to see, your chances of landing interviews skyrocket.”
Templates organize resumes into easily scannable sections. Once it gets in front of a person, “your resume needs to be as easy to read as possible,” says Lily Zhang, manager of graduate student professional development at the MIT Media Lab.
Focus on the content of your resume. Experts agree you should customize your resume for each job you apply to, and resume templates can save you precious time. How convenient!
Balance text and white space. Unless you’re confident in your ability to expertly make use of white space, you will want to use a template. O’Donnell notes that when white space is used correctly, it can visually highlight your accomplishments and skills to entice readers immediately.
Keep it short but functional. Recruiters don’t spend a lot of time reading the resumes that finally land in their inboxes. They only quickly scan resumes, so they need to find your most relevant details quickly. As noted in a career guide from job search site Indeed, the more concise your resume is, the better.
Resume templates also help you to:
What to Consider When Selecting a Resume Template
There’s no one-size-fits-all style for a resume. How you structure your resume depends on where you are in your employment history, your industry and the job you want.
Take a moment to assess the following aspects of your career when choosing a resume template:
Your industry. Hiring managers in the financial, legal and medical industries usually prefer a traditional template because they have a conventional layout and are easy to spot. A marketing associate applying for a job at a new creative agency, on the other hand, might choose a creative template that will imbue her resume with a distinctive flair.
Your employment journey. If you are just starting out in the work world, a classic template will showcase your education and technical skills with a timeless look. But if you have many years of experience, an executive template will put the focus on your top achievements and soft skills, such as leadership.
Your desired job Are you applying for the same type of job you’ve always had but at a different company? A professional template will get your strengths across with a clean, no-frills presentation. Maybe you are trying to move to a marketing job when you’ve always worked in accounting. In that case, a modern template will show off your accomplishments in a bold, clean way.
6 Features to Look for When Choosing a Resume Template
Resume templates come in a range of forms and types, so it can be difficult to choose, even after you’ve narrowed them to a handful of options. Look for these features to get started.
A clean layout. Ignore templates with heavy graphics, photo placeholders and a lot of colors. Your resume has to pass the ATS test and be easy for a recruiter or hiring manager to skim. Go for simple lines, fluid organization and standard fonts.
Ease of use. What’s the point of using a resume template if it’s hard to use? A resume template should simplify the process of making an interview-winning resume. If it causes confusion or takes up extra time, skip it!
Ability to customize. You should create a new resume for every job you apply to, but a customizable template helps you move quickly from one application to another.
Includes editing tools. A template with editing tools can be a lifesaver when you want to make changes or need to correct any mistakes you find when proofreading your final resume.
Provides relevant text examples. Sometimes you’re not sure which words to use or how to explain your achievements; look for a template that offers detailed sentence examples that inspire you for your resume.
Allows you to save your resume in multiple file formats. As Allison Doyle, job search expert explains, the file you save your resume in can make a difference in how it is read by ATS software and recruiters or hiring managers. Some online job sites and employer websites will require a Word document while others request plain text (.txt) files.
If you are emailing your resume, employers might ask you to send your resume as an Adobe PDF attachment. Choose a template that allows all of these formats.
Resume Templates FAQs
Is it OK to use a resume template?
Yes! A resume's appearance plays a major role in the impression it makes. A clean, attractive and legible document is necessary if you want to land the job. Plus, issues such as bad alignment or excessive graphics can hinder an ATS program from scanning your resume correctly.
A high-quality, professional template lets you put in your content and make adjustments without worrying about spacing, tabs and other common issues. Resume-Now's instant builder offers a choice of templates appropriate for a wide variety of industries and companies.
How do I choose a resume template?
Focus on selecting the template that works best with your content. For example, some page layouts can prevent a relatively short document from looking empty, while others can accommodate a lot of content without looking cluttered. You also want your template to represent your personality and what you bring to the workplace. This means projecting attributes such as creativity, professionalism or dedication.
You should also consider the prospective employer. A colorful, less conventional template can resonate in a creative workplace. On the other hand, a traditional corporate employer may expect a more subdued appearance.
How do you set up a resume?
Use an industry-specific resume template and resume builder to set up a professional, HR-approved document in no time. Our easy-to-use builder offers many immediate benefits:
You can select your favorite format — for tips on choosing a resume format that best fits your experience and qualifications, visit our Resume Formats page.
- Templates demonstrate what sections you should incorporate.
- Templates include relevant text examples you can include in your document.
- Editing tools to make your file application-ready.
Choose from a range of template options that offer a great deal of flexibility. You can add entries to skills and work history sections to fully reflect your qualifications. You can also adjust your resume's content to customize it for each application.
What is the best resume template for students?
If you are a student with little experience, look for a template that emphasizes education and skills over work history. Go with a simple, clean design that excludes pictures, excessive font colors, and other intricate formatting details. Any free fonts you use should still be professional in appearance. This shows you are serious and helps prevent inadvertent bias against you.
What's the best resume template?
No single template is best for every applicant. Some people opt for our free text version template, while others select a more creative and modern design. When you browse through our collection, choose an option that will draw attention to your particular strengths. Use a conservative design with a standard font if you work in a traditional industry, or a creative design if you work in a contemporary field. Remember to use a resume template that permits the hiring manager to read quickly and find your key credentials with ease.
Create a Professional Resume in Minutes
Choose your favorite design to make your resume stand out. These resume templates help you customize your resume and show your personality as well as your skills.
Easy to customize
Our resume builder makes it easy to select typefaces, fonts and to properly format your resume. If you want to design a different resume, simply click a button to try another template.
Makes Writing Simple
You don’t need writing experience to create an impressive resume. Use pre-written suggestions tailored to your job title and add industry keywords with the click of a button.