When you are ready to make your next career move, some of the first decisions you need to make are: Should you write your own resume? Should you use a template? What information should you include? How do you make yourself stand out from the crowd?
These are all important questions, and it is essential to consider each when crafting your own resume. Let’s go through the pros and cons of using a template for your resume so that you get noticed and decision makers have all the information they need to make an informed decision.
The Pros of Using a Resume Template
Using a template gives structure to your document as it allows you to create an organized and efficient resume that covers all the bases without having to reinvent the wheel.
- Resume templates help direct your focus toward what information you should include.
- The right resume templates can help you satisfy modern design standards.
- If you choose this path, make sure you find an ATS-friendly resume template designed for MS Word (which is different from the preloaded templates that come with the software).
The Cons of Using a Resume Template
While a resume template may help you organize your information, there are some potential drawbacks that should be considered prior to deciding whether a template is right for you.
- Templates tend to be generic so they may lack the spark needed to set you apart from other applicants who choose not to use them.
- Many free templates have poor formatting which will cause difficulties when submitting your documents via online job boards.
- The wrong template could end up costing you time + money.
- Using a template won’t help you stand out if you still don’t know how to present your skills + experience + qualifications + success stories.
Furthermore, if you choose a template that hundreds of others have used, then the employer may not take notice since it blends in with the crowd rather than standing out amongst them.
There are definitely some advantages and disadvantages of using a resume template while crafting your own document. A template will give you the framework you need to create your resume; however, this “fill in the blanks” format locks you into placing information within a predetermined area which can stifle your story. In addition, there is concern that many templates will not pass through Applicant Tracking Software systems. If you choose to use a template, before you upload it in response to job openings, save it as a text (.txt) file, then view it using Notepad to ensure all of your information is readable.
Whether you choose to use a template or start from scratch, be mindful of formatting and remember, your resume needs to be an accurate reflection of who you are + the value you offer, showcasing why you are an ideal fit for the position you are pursuing.
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