If you’ve been following me for any length of time, you probably know that having a pretty, graphically designed resume isn’t necessary to sell your value to employers…
That’s because content is king!
Seriously, the best resumes start with great content.
But if you are interested in having a modern, eye-catching resume so that your brand really pops, then you’re in the right place because today I’m covering what you REALLY need to know about resume templates….BEFORE you buy one.
What I’m about to teach you in today’s post has worked for Karen, who said:
“Just an update on my Resume and outcome. I’ve done my Resume as per your instructions and I am pleased to say that I received a call 2 days after my application. I got another full-time job with a much better salary and better working conditions.”
WHAT IS A RESUME TEMPLATE?
First things first, what is a resume template?
Resume templates are essentially pre-made designs, including graphics, text or images.
They are made once, ideally in Microsoft Word, and you can use them again and again for future resumes.
Using a resume template allows you to be consistent across your resume, including colours, font, spacing, sections and headings. The whole nine yards.
The cool thing is, once you have a great template, it saves you soOoOoOo much time because you can fill it out and modify the content again and again for future job applications.
THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE AWFUL OF RESUME TEMPLATES
Did you know that Microsoft Word has actually provided templates for you?
Let me show you where you can find them inside MS Word…
Open a new Word document and select resume/cover letter templates. You’ll see what I mean.
But wait, then there is Canva, Etsy, Creative Market, Template Monster and more.
With their pretty graphics, cool font and trendy layouts, it’s easy to get swept up in emotional buying and push rational thinking to the side.
And that’s where our first resume problem comes in…
RESUME TEMPLATE PROBLEM #1
Most of these templates aren’t applicant tracking system (ATS) friendly.
“Ummmm, Lisa…what the heck is an ATS?”
Glad you asked.
An ATS is a piece of software that recruiting firms, Fortune 500 corporations and even smaller organisations use to sort, rank, and store the resumes they receive.
Just like this one…
The software will either jumble the information or leave it out altogether if your resume isn’t in a format that an ATS can read.
‘So what?’ I hear you say.
Well, if your information can’t be read correctly by software, then a recruiter may not even see your application. Therefore, decreasing your chances of getting a callback.
What can’t an ATS read or will jumble up?
- Graphics and anything in text boxes
- Text that lives in headers/footers
- Text in a complicated table (think lots of columns and rows)
- Designer font
And guess how most of the templates you can purchase online are designed?
THAT BRINGS US TO RESUME PROBLEM #2
Just because something looks pretty doesn’t mean it’s easy to use.
Often the templates are difficult to add, remove, or rearrange sections. I’ve been there. It’s as frustrating as the lack of consistent UI in Microsoft 10.
The point is, when you buy a template online, no one is there to help you fix that formatting issue.
If that template is complex and you don’t know how to use Microsoft Word, Canva or any other program it comes in — Tough.
AND FINALLY, RESUME PROBLEM #3
Resume templates you purchase — 99% of the time break the “rules”.
Yes, even resumes have precise rules that are deal breakers for employers. If you don’t know the rules…well, you’ll look:
- Oh, and it may accidentally introduce bias
Things that break the rules are:
- Photos (headshots)
- Salary Expectations
- Interests (specifically non-job-related ones)
Those are just a few. There are plenty more.
READY TO IMPROVE YOUR JOB SEARCH USING A GREAT RESUME TEMPLATE?
My 2-page professionally designed Microsoft Word resume template will help you get visible in your market…so you go from being invisible to “OMG, I love your resume!”
Boost your engagement…so you never get a “crickets only” response to your job search again.
Did I mention it's Free?
✔️ ATS Friendly
✔️ Microsoft Word
✔️ Correct font and sections included