5 Things to Consider if Using a Resume Template

Nancy Anderson
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A resume template gives you a basic idea of what your document should look like. The trick is to jazz up the template to tailor it to your style and to the needs of the employer. When you look for a template to use, keep five things in mind that are important as you compose your vital document.

1. Versatility

Your resume template of choice should offer you flexibility when it comes to formatting. For example, you should easily be able to choose an Objective section for some resumes and a Career Summary for others, based on the position. Make sure you can insert or remove sections and make each of the sections longer or shorter.

2. Guides

A fantastic resume template guides you through the process of creating your document. It usually starts with your contact information and works you through every section with short tips and suggestions. For example, a template might encourage you to put each of your previous positions in date order or in order of relevance to the position for which you're applying.

3. Tailoring

A standard resume template is straightforward and plain, but you need to tailor each one to the position you're applying for to make your document stand out. Your template should also allow you to put a bit of your personality into the document through your word choice or font type. Times New Roman works well as a standard font, but if you're applying for a position in a creative field, then that font might look too plain.

4. Eye-Catching Features

Make sure your template lets you insert the proper eye-catching features. Experts say that the average position gets 200 applicants, and hiring managers generally spend only six seconds skimming a resume. Without something to draw the manager's attention, your efforts to create the perfect resume may be in vain.

Shaped bullet points, that aren't your standard dark squares, make an impact. Maximize the white space on the page so the reader's eyes are easily drawn to the dark print. Set your name apart by using a different font. If you're in a creative field, make sure you see some artsy elements in the template as well.

5. Formatting Choices

There are two basic types of resumes: chronological and functional. While a resume template may suggest a resume in reverse chronological order with the most recent items first, a functional resume puts your most important skills and experiences front and center. A hybrid of both puts your most recent and relevant experience first. A template should give you the freedom to choose any of these styles for your document.

Picking a resume template is a challenging task, as there are many available. These five things can help you narrow your search for a template that can help you throughout your job search.

Photo courtesy of ResumeWay at Flickr.com


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