When it comes to a job search, you’ll want to do everything you can to make the process as easy as possible. One method you may utilize is building your resume with a template rather than from scratch. But what are the benefits and drawbacks to templates, and if you do decide to make use of one, how can you be sure it’s as effective as possible?
Crafting resumes from scratch takes time. By using a resume template, you can skip some of the work and have more time for job applications, interviews, or whatever else you may need to get done.
Guides what to put on your resume
If this is your first resume, a template can be useful for letting you know what should be included and where things should go. Space for all the core items will be laid out for you, so you won’t run the risk of overlooking or forgetting to add something important.
Helpful for those with limited formatting skills
Not everyone is a design wizard. If you’re unsure how best to format the page, professionally-designed templates will enable you to create a resume that’s clean and aesthetic.
Might blend in with the crowd
Certain resume templates can be popular, but that means you might end up with one that looks just like several other applicants’. That’s certainly not the worst possible outcome, but it does mean it won’t stand out to hiring managers.
Risk of overlooking placeholder text
When everything is already laid out with placeholder text, it can be easy for your eyes to miss things. If you’re not careful, you risk accidentally leaving in placeholder text, which can leave a bad impression on prospective employers.
Formatting may not match with your experiences
Since resume templates have all of the sections already laid out, a certain amount of space has been allotted to your skills and experience. If you’re new to the field, this might result in a large gap — and if you’re unable to edit the spacing, your formatting could end up looking thin and uneven.
Risk of the resume not being ATS-friendly
These days, most employers use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to go through submitted resumes and filter out those that don’t tick the right boxes. Not all resume templates are optimized for ATS, so there’s a chance it will never even make it to the hiring manager at all.
Tips for using a resume template
Triple-check to make sure all placeholder text has been edited
Re-read everything on your resume, and even have friends or family look over it to make sure you didn’t miss anything.
Find a template that fits with your industry
Some fields might benefit from a more creative resume, while others may require something basic. Make sure whatever you choose, it matches your prospective career.
Use templates as guidelines, not mandates
Don’t be afraid to add your own personal touch to the resume where possible, to help you stand out as a candidate.
Search for templates that are ATS-friendly
Find templates that are specifically designed to work with ATS so that yours doesn’t get filtered out.
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