What Should You Know Before Deciding on a Resume Template?

resume catFor many people, particularly those without design experience or expertise with word processing programs, using a resume template is a reliable way to create a quality resume. And, working from a template can be much more efficient than starting from scratch.

If you’re interested in using a resume template, you’ll have seemingly countless options available in all styles and price points. However, before you decide on one, there are a few considerations to keep in mind.

How Easily is the Template Customized?

When you choose a resume template, you might not find one that fits your needs right out of the gate. Many templates contain outdated sections for a resume objective or information about your references, for example. These sections must be changed, or deleted. Be aware, though, that too much tinkering with a template could result in errors, formatting problems, or a clunky layout.

Extensive modifications of a template constructed using tables can be especially problematic. And remember that not every applicant tracking system can read tables properly. If you come across a template that features lots of tables and columns, it might be best to steer clear.

Is the Template the Right Length for Your Career Status?

Many resume templates are designed to be one page long. If your resume is longer than one page, you have a few options. Trimming your resume content to fit onto one page is a possibility, but not ideal for everyone. Creating two identically-formatted pages by just using the template twice is possible, but may not work well depending on the specific resume template and the content of your resume.

Modifying the template for a second page is an option, but it may require a fair amount of effort and experience with word processing programs.

Will The Resume Meet the Needs of Your Industry?

Don’t choose a colorful or flashy resume template if it isn’t right for your field. Fancy graphics and design elements may make your resume stand out, but not necessarily in a positive light. Large monograms are a common trend on resume templates today, but remember that on a resume, space is at a premium. Employers are going to be more interested in your experience than in your initials. If you’re in the United States, choose a template that does not include a place for a photo of yourself.

What Support is Provided?

A free resume template is far less likely to come with document support than a purchased one. If you think you will have questions or want help modifying a template, look for one that mentions details about the customer service available before purchasing.

Using a resume template can save you time and effort and provide you with a way to create a great-looking, professional resume. Just make sure to think you are clear on your specific needs before you make your choice.


For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at JobScan!




Trista WhiteAbout the Author: Trista Winnie, editor of Jobscan, covers the latest job market news, including resume technology and job search tips. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Pacific Lutheran University and her master’s degree from Gonzaga University.


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