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The Top 6 Best Resume Templates

Updated : June 1st, 2022

Best Resume Templates

The best resume templates help an applicant connect with a prospective employer. A hiring manager is looking for an employee who will become an asset to their company. If a resume is poorly designed or difficult to interpret, an employer will move to the next resume without even considering that candidate. By choosing the right resume template, your chances of landing an interview are greatly increased.

Top 6 Best Resume Templates

  1. Chronological
  2. Functional
  3. Hybrid/Combination
  4. Targeted
  5. Curriculum Vitae
  6. Digital

A good resume needs to be simple and easy to understand and navigate, as hiring departments must review submissions from dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of applicants.

What is the best resume format?

While there is no single “best resume template” that will work for every individual, once you know how to find a resume template, there are several broad categories that you can explore to find a good fit for your background and personality. Look for a website that offers free professional resume templates available to download. In order to explore and choose from the best resume templates and creative cover letters to use in your job search, you need to understand the available options and some advantages and disadvantages of each type.

1. Chronological

A chronological resume focuses on your job history and lists your work experience in a reverse chronological timeline–from your most recent jobs to older positions. It is not necessary to include a comprehensive list of all daily tasks for each job; employers will generally be able to ascertain those duties from the position title. Instead, focus on accomplishments and awards received while on the job. In addition to job history, the reverse chronological resume format lists the applicant’s skills and educational background. Volunteer work experience may also be included if it is relevant to the position.

The chronological resume is the most common resume template, often paired with a cover letter, and it is the layout preferred by many hiring departments. An applicant in the personal finance industry might also use the Accounting Word template for their modern resume, while a designer may prefer the creative organic sample template.

How far back should a resume go?

It is not necessary to include more than 15 years of experience, even if your career spans a longer time. The primary goal should be to present your career progress in a clear and concise fashion, rather than exhaustively documenting every detail of your entire work history. The best resumes should be as brief and simple as possible, preferably confined to a single page.

What do employers look for in a resume?

Employers want to verify that an applicant’s skills and experience qualify him or her for the position, and they need to locate that information quickly and easily. It is important to remember that employers may be reviewing hundreds of resumes in a short period of time, so the best eye-catching resume templates are those which present the relevant competencies and experience in a simple and accessible layout. It is vital to proofread carefully, as your resume and cover letter will determine whether an employer will seriously consider you as a candidate for employment or simply discard your resume due to poor grammar, spelling errors, or inconsistent formatting.

2. Functional

Functional resumes highlight your competencies and education ahead of your reverse chronological work experience. Pertinent skills are usually displayed near the top, perhaps accompanied by a short introduction or statement of purpose. Because of the emphasis on education, functional resumes are often preferred by recent graduates, as well as applicants who are entering a new career and lack relevant work experience in the field.

What is the best resume template for students?

Students and recent graduates often struggle to highlight their job qualifications. A student often has a limited work profile, or the employment history consists of seasonal positions unrelated to their field of study. As such, many opt to use the functional resume layout, which focuses on their educational experience ahead of employment.

3. Hybrid

A hybrid resume, also known as a combination resume, blends elements of both chronological and functional templates. A hybrid resume begins with a brief summary of your skills and applicable achievements, followed by your relevant work experience and educational background. Hybrid resumes are useful for applicants changing careers or entering a new job.

What should you include in a resume?

Always include reliable contact information in your resume. If you have an email or social media account with a playful or confusing name, you may want to consider creating a more professional account to use for your resume and applications. A combination resume often includes a short statement of purpose, with a longer narrative included in a cover letter. If you include social media accounts on your resume, be aware that anything publicly posted may be used to evaluate you along with the information in your resume.

Always be prepared to supply references, either in your resume or upon request. If possible, list professional references who can confirm and promote your experiences and accomplishments. Former employers, co-workers, or clients are commonly used as references. Personal references are not generally used unless the applicant does not have other options. Recent graduates lacking relevant work experience may instead list academic references such as instructors or advisors. Be sure to notify the people that you list as your references so that they will be prepared to respond to prospective employers.

4. Targeted

A targeted resume is tailored closely to the desired position, rather than including a broader range of skills and experience. Work history that is not related to the prospective position is normally excluded from this type of resume, unless duties or achievements can be described in a way that is relevant to the job. This style has some advantages to more generic resumes, as it can indicate to an employer that the applicant is not just using their standard resume, but really making an effort to study the work requirements and demonstrate their qualifications for that specific position. The best resume templates for targeted resumes typically conform to a simple, single-page design.

What are some skills to put on your resume?

Relevant skills to include in your resume will depend on the type of position being sought. For instance, if you are applying for a graphic design position, you might list your knowledge of Photoshop and other design programs. Similarly, bookkeeping skills will be vital proficiencies for an applicant in the accounting field. Whenever possible, use measurable or quantifiable skills that have a direct connection to the position. Don’t forget about interpersonal skills, particularly in sales and service-related industries. For a sales position, an applicant might highlight verbal communication and problem-solving skills as well as social media experience.

5. Curriculum Vitae

The curriculum vitae style of resume is also abbreviated as CV. A CV resume highlights education as well as job experience and accomplishments such as published research. As such, the CV theme often results in a much longer resume than other styles.

This format is most commonly used when applying for medical positions or schools–especially among those with masters or doctorate degrees. Given their focus on scientific and professional fields, most CV resumes are conservatively designed, lacking elaborate formatting that might be found in other resumes.

Should resumes be printed double-sided?

You should avoid double-sided printing. Applicants with experience and qualifications that do not suit a one-page resume, such as a curriculum vitae, can print multiple single-sided pages. This allows hiring departments to easily scan the documents into electronic format without inadvertently missing sections. Avoid stapling your resume or CV as well; many hiring officials also prefer to lay out pages side by side for easier viewing.

6. Digital

While the term “digital” might suggest that the style includes anything in an electronic format, digital resumes actually are a distinct group. They are specifically designed to take advantage of applicant tracking systems (ATS) and the online submission process. Digital resumes typically rely heavily on using specific theme keywords that will be recognized by ATS, and they have minimal formatting to avoid interfering with those systems.

Another tip for optimizing your digital resume is to use active rather than passive voice whenever possible. For example, instead of stating “The ‘Designer of the Month’ award was given to me four times,” use an active voice: “I won the ‘Designer of the Month’ award four times.”

What does a good resume look like?

Simple design and formatting are important when resumes are filtered through ATS systems. Use a readable, standard font, sufficient margins and include plenty of white space. Graphics, photos, and light text on darker backgrounds should be avoided for digital resumes, as the content may not scan properly. Be careful not to overdo the formatting or design of your resume and cover letter. Unless you’re applying as a graphic designer or creative position, using an overly complex, modern design or flashy layout might distract from the content of your resume.

Choosing the Best Resume Template

While there are a number of variations among the best resume templates, by considering your background and desired job field, it becomes easier to narrow down possible choices. Whether opting for an eye-catching reverse chronological resume or constructing a targeted resume for your graphic designer dream job, you can update your existing resume or learn how to make a resume that’s an entirely different style.

There is no single “best fit” solution for everyone. Browse to find the format that works best for you. Be sure to choose a template that will highlight your strengths, experience, and personality while remaining visually appealing to an employer. Before you know it, you’ll be asked to schedule an interview. Happy job hunting!

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