If you’re not sure how to choose a resume design that will give your job search the best shot at landing the right role, sometimes the best thing to do is go back to basics. Simple resume templates get straight to the point by presenting job applicants’ work experience, skills and education in a clean and uncluttered design, making it easy for recruiters and applicant tracking systems (ATS) to scan.
One of the most popular resume template types, a simple resume template can save you time and help you organize your qualifications in a way that makes hiring managers want to hire you.
Ready to build a resume? A simple resume is best for job applicants who want to:
Keep the focus on their qualifications.
Take a bare-bones approach to their resume designs.
Work in industries like construction, automotive, logistics and transportation.
Build a resume on an ATS-friendly template.
Keep reading to find a simple resume format that works for you.
Top simple resume templates
A simple professional resume template is the best way to get your qualifications noticed without providing any unwanted distractions. These free and premium layouts will help you neatly display your experience — giving you an edge over other applicants.
Premium simple resume templates
Free simple resume templates
If simple resume designs aren’t for you, check out our other styles:
How to choose the right resume layout
Simple professional resume templates are a great place to start writing your resume, but recruiters will only give you the time of day if you’ve chosen the right resume format for your career level. A resume format organizes your career information in a way that highlights your strengths.
How you organize and format the sections of your resume — from skills and work history to career summary and education — depends on your personal and professional circumstances. Ideally, your resume template and resume format should work together to highlight the strengths that make you a fantastic candidate.
Before you’re prepared to choose a simple resume format, you should know the three format types, which are:
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Job skills are traits and abilities that make a person good at a particular job. Everyone has their own unique set of skills. Some, such as writing, must be learned and others, such as creative thinking, are innate qualities.
There are three categories of skills:
Transferable: These are skills you can apply across job titles and industries. Examples include problem-solving, listening and verbal communication.
Soft skills: These are personal traits that indicate how you might function in the workplace; many of them are transferable. They include adaptability, critical thinking and dependability.
Hard skills: These are skills and knowledge we acquire through work, education and life experiences. They include job-relevant skills like management, software proficiency and budget planning.
In two words: relevant information. The best thing you can put on your resume is work experience, skills, education and achievements that apply to the position.
To make this information stand out when you write your resume, use impactful words like: led, created or increased. Prove your successes with numbers, such as “Awarded Teacher of the Month four months in a row.”
Also, describe your experience in terms of achievements rather than duties: “Resolved 50 customer complaints per week” rather than “Responsible for handling customer complaints.” Numerical data gives your achievements a more concrete impact and proves that you understand the scope of your work.
Unless the job description tells you not to add a cover letter, you always need a cover letter with your resume.
A simple cover letter will help you explain career changes, resume gaps and short-term jobs. It gives you the space to expand on your experience and demonstrate precisely how you can use your skills to help the employer.
Your cover letter is a vital opportunity to showcase your personality and discuss the aspects of the job that excite you the most. That’s why you’ll want to be smart about choosing a cover letter template and having it formatted correctly. Don’t forget to look at plenty of cover letter examples before you write one.
When you’re ready, our Cover Letter Builder will help you create the perfect cover letter to accompany your resume.
Whether you opt for a simple resume or not should be based on a couple of factors:
- The job you are applying for
- Your style preferences
If you work in automotive, logistics or construction, employers will expect to see a simple design — the most common template type in those industries. But these aren’t the only contexts where a simple resume template makes sense. In fact, simple resume templates are versatile because they are so minimal, meaning that they can be a great fit for almost any career. The important thing is that you choose a resume template that you like and that you feel tells your story in the best possible way — while also aligning to the role and industry expectations.