Resumes & Cover Letters

Resume Template FAQ

February 22, 2021

Using a template can help you simplify the writing processing by outlining sections to include, information to include in those sections and proper formatting. Resumes, for instance, often include similar sections and types of information depending on the purpose for writing and intended audience. Using a template to write your resume can help you feel confident that you have included all of the necessary information in the best possible format. In this article, we discuss why it can be beneficial to use a resume template and answer some frequently asked questions about finding and using a resume template.

Related: Resume Samples and Templates to Help Get You Hired

Why use a resume template?

Using a resume template can help you make the best impression on an employer by keeping your document clear, organized and easy to read. It can also streamline online applications because some will automatically populate based on your resume, and those programs will recognize more pieces of information when they are formatted consistently. Using a resume template that is tailored to your field can also show a hiring manager you are familiar with the accepted conventions of your industry. A good resume template will allow you to focus on the content, meaning you can spend more time fine-tuning your language.

Related: Best Resume Templates and Types

Where can you find the best resume template?

You can find resume templates in a variety of places online. Perform a web search for online resume templates and evaluate the results to see if they'll meet your needs. Be sure to screen resume templates thoroughly to be sure the one you choose meets the accepted conventions of your field.

Many word processing programs also include a library of document templates, including resumes. If you are using a desktop or browser-based word processor, try reviewing the built-in resume templates to see if they'll work for your situation. You can usually review template options when you create a new document.

Related: Free Modern Resume Templates and Examples

How long is the best resume template?

The appropriate length for a resume is often one page, but that number can change depending on the industry and depth of detail required. A CV, for example, is a form of resume used in many academic settings that is longer than one page. Research the standard resume length in your field and find a resume template that is approximately that length.

What information does the best resume template include?

The best resume template for you will include the information that is standard in your industry. In some fields, it is standard to present work experience in reverse chronological order, for example. In others, it may be more effective to choose a template structured around job-specific skills. Investigate the usual practices in your career field, and use the information you find to guide your decision about the best resume template.

How to customize resume templates

One useful function of most of the best resume templates is the ability to customize them to meet your individual needs.

  1. In your word processing software, select a template that meets your needs and then rearrange the sections if you wish.
  2. Make any changes to features like font styles and colors if you prefer.
  3. If you're using another type of downloadable resume template, follow the source's guidelines for customizing.

How to save a resume template

If you are using a pre-designed template to create your own resume:

  1. Save that file by choosing an appropriate filename and save it in a location where you will be able to easily find it later.
  2. Investigate any file naming conventions required by the specific job to which you are applying.
  3. Some application processes require resumes and other files to be named in a certain way in order to pass through screening—for example, including your last name and the word "resume."
  4. If you have modified a resume format and would like to use that same structure again, or if you have designed a resume from scratch yourself, you might want to save that file as a template you can reuse. In most word processing software, you can choose the template file type when you save your document. This will allow you to open new documents with that format in the future so you can reuse your preferred resume.

How to name your file

It is important to name your resume file something distinguishable so you can find it later.

  1. Consider using some combination of your name and the word "resume."
  2. Some employers require resume submissions to follow a specific naming pattern, so be sure to read the listing you are applying for carefully with attention to requested file type and file name.
  3. If you need to change the file type, either save or export your file in the required format from your word processing software.

Other tips for using a resume template

To get the best results from your resume template, here are some tips you can use:

  • Proofread carefully: Even the best resume template might have errors in grammar, usage and mechanics or other conventions. Carefully edit your entire resume to be sure it is as professional as possible before applying for each job.
  • Simplify your formatting: ATS programs, or applicant tracking software, can automatically fill in applications based on your resume information. These kinds of software work best when the resume document is relatively simple without unusual formatting or excessive graphics.
  • Stay organized: You might find multiple resume templates that meet your needs, especially if you are applying for different types of jobs. Be sure to name your templates using a consistent naming format and save them in a location you can easily access later.

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