Resume writing tips

Identifying A Good Free Resume Template

So, you've found a free resume template - how do you know whether it is any good?

There are many resume templates to choose from. A simple search on the web for free resume template, resume outline, or blank resume template will yield thousands of results. How do you choose a good resume template?

  • First, read the rest of this page and the guidelines given for the various "job levels" identified.

  • Next review a number of resume templates to "get a feel for what is available", the different styles, and the resume templates that may have been designed for your particular industry.

  • Some formats that are appropriate for one industry may not be for another. An example of this is a creative resume incorporating graphics; this approach is best used for someone in graphic design rather than an MBA seeking a management position.

  • Also keep in mind that you can always combine elements of various templates into one resume. You may really like the header of one resume template and the layout of another.

  • Resumes are creative documents that are designed to best highlight your unique experience, qualifications, and to some degree, personal style. This is why the best strategy is to look at some templates and then design your own. I will give you step-by-step guidelines for creating your own resume template if you feel like it. If you choose not to design your own template you can use some of the free resume templates provided.

When choosing a resume template there are some things you should keep in mind:

  • The template should use a consistent font throughout. If different fonts are used (for example when you combine elements of different templates) they should complement each other.

  • There should be space for all the pertinent information including your contact information, profile, work history, and education.

  • There should be room for you to add additional information and doing so should not be difficult - this is one of the reasons why resume software is not always a good idea...

  • There should always be adequate white space; in other words, the free resume template should not be so full of text that it is difficult to read. Remember your resume will be scanned (read very quickly) - you should make sure it reads easily and that the important information jumps out at the reader.

  • The resume template should use font sizes between 10 and 12 point.

  • ALL CAPS, bold, underline, and italics should be used sparingly - remember, this is a professional document, not a friendly web page :).

  • The resume template should ideally not contain a lot of "hidden" formatting; templates that are created using wide range of formatting tools can be very frustrating when you decide to make a change. Try typing over the existing text to get an idea if formatting rules are being used and how easy it will be to change things when you need to.

  • The resume template you chose should be appropriate for your job target and industry. You may need to look at a few samples before making your choice.

  • Review the rest of the articles listed below select the one(s) geared toward your particular situation, such as entry level, sales, etc.

  • You should like it. Sounds obvious, right? Many people feel a resume "must" look a certain way or be a certain number of pages (although MOST resumes should not exceed two pages).

  • This is your resume, and you need to feel confident about it before sending it out.

  • Save yourself a heap of time and review the other articles on this site to get a good feel for resume writing techniques.