How to Pick the Right Resume Template

How to Pick the Right Resume Template

Why does the template matter?

Resumes are crucial. At times, hiring managers won't have time to dig into your background. They’ll rely on a resume as a sole resource during your initial conversation. It’s a first impression, so presentation is key.

Did you know that the template you use actually matters? It’s best to do some research and find the ideal resume template for your background and desired industry. Entry-level candidates should order their resume differently than industry pros.

How do I find the right resume template for me?

We hate to be obvious, but a Google search is always helpful. A simple search for resume templates offers many options (some better than others). Always use a clear, clean look that outlines your background and objectives in a direct way.

Be sure to consider the ideal format and outline for your background. If you don't have many years of experience (or possibly none), be sure to lead with your skills and education. If you have work experience you'd like to highlight, pull the most relevant roles to the front. There are several types of resumes you can choose from:

  1. Chronological – works best for those with a lot of experience.
  2. Functional – works best for people who are changing careers.
  3. Combination – (mix of Chronological and Functional). Multi-purpose.
  4. Targeted – works best for jobs you are highly qualified for.
  5. Non-traditional – works best in creative and tech industries.

How do I help my resume stand out?

From there, look for options that will help you to stand out - but always pay attention to your intended audience. If you are looking for a job in the finance industry, a resume that evokes a sense of legitimacy, security, and maturity is crucial. For a creative professional, something far more design-focused and unique is key.

Most of us need a look that is modern and classic. Use small pops of color and clean formatting. It may seem cool at the time, but too much creativity and formatting actually annoys hiring managers. Our advice? Spend more time aligning the skills you include with what your potential employer is looking for.

What’s next?

Once you've put together your resume with the template of your choice, always download a PDF copy and use this version when sending your information to potential employers. Many times, resume content can get jumbled or the format will get lost — avoid this by using PDF versions via email.

For the next phase of the resume crafting process, we'll craft a strong professional summary.

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