How to Find and Edit Resume Templates
Updated : June 2nd, 2022
Writing a resume from scratch? If you are unemployed and looking for a new job or want to change your career, having the perfect resume is crucial. The first step in creating an eye-catching resume is to choose the ideal layout. The following tips will help you pick the right format for your resume so you can land your dream job.
6 Tips for Finding the Perfect Resume Template
- Focus on the Industry
- Consider your Style
- Highlight Your Skills
- Concentrate on the Company
- Strike a Balance
- Review the Resume Do’s and Don’ts
Nothing is set in stone, especially when it comes to crafting a killer curriculum vitae. This can be harder than it sounds since there are thousands of resume templates available on the internet. There is no need to be overwhelmed, though. By keeping these six tips in mind, you can stand out among a sea of resumes and snag the job you desire.
Tip #1: Focus on the Industry
The type of resume template you need depends on the kind of job you are trying to get. The CV template for a marketing executive would vary from the resume builder you would use for a customer service job. Here are some of the common industries and jobs that a resume builder or specific templates are designed for:
- Administrative professionals– Office administrators and assistants, dispatchers, data entry clerks, research assistants, cashiers, managers, and receptionists
- Accounting/Banking– Payroll clerks, bookkeepers, investors, bank tellers, and managers
- Beauty– Hairstylists, estheticians, and makeup artists
- Customer Service– Managers, call center agents, and other representatives
- Education– Professors, elementary and secondary teachers, paraprofessionals, child care workers, camp counselors, librarians, personal trainers, and coaches
- Healthcare– Physicians, nurses, paramedics, veterinarians, phlebotomists, social workers, caregivers, dental hygienists, and other medical office workers
- Law/ Law Enforcement/Security– Attorneys, paralegals, police officers, firefighters, lifeguards, and security officers
- Media/Design– Creative directors, video editors, graphic designers, architect, models, fashion designers, writers and editors, actors and actresses, industrial and interior designers
- Marketing/PR– Marketing analysts, specialists, consultants, business developers, brand managers, and event planners
- Restaurant/Hospitality– Chefs and cooks, housekeeping, servers, restaurant managers, hotel clerks, travel specialists, and bartenders
- Sales– Sales associates, consultants, executives, directors, retail workers, merchandisers, and shopkeepers
- IT/Technology– Consultants, engineers, technicians, project managers, computer programmers, and web designers
- Operations/Manufacturing– Factory workers, welders, custodians, janitors, and truck drivers
These are just some of the many different positions that use a specific resume format. And while there are many other types of jobs to consider, this comparison will help you understand why field-focused resumes can be beneficial.
Let’s say you’re a beautician, looking to craft the perfect resume using the best resume template Microsoft Word has to offer. You finished high school and graduated from cosmetology school. Salon hiring managers are most interested in your work experience. Instead of an education-focused resume template, like a professor or researcher might use, you want to find a beauty curriculum vitae template that is focused on work experience. For this type of job, it’s important to list your accomplishments.
Tip #2: Highlight Your Skills
If you can’t find a simple resume that is based on your career field, focus on your professional skills instead. Even if you don’t have a formal education or a lot of experience, you can still create a resume that will get you noticed. The same can be said for handling any employment gaps. Many resume templates have a section where you can highlight the skills you will “bring to the table.” If you think your skills are your strong point, select a cv template that focuses on your skills and talents.
However, to do this properly, you’ll need to do more than find and edit resume templates. Start by making a list of your strong points, including character traits and the abilities that make you a desirable employee. If you find yourself stuck on what to write, think of what skills you must have to do the job you want to do well. These are called hard skills. Hard skills are specific, teachable skills that you must have to do a job well. Examples include skills like carpentry, editing, knowing a foreign language, bookkeeping, equipment operation, remodeling, lesson planning, etc.
Hard skills will vary greatly from person to person, as well as from career to career, but there are some general skills and experience that will pique an employer’s interest when mulling through resumes. We call these soft skills. Soft skills are “people skills” that make someone a strong worker regardless of the field. Examples include:
- Time Management
- Conflict Resolution
- Leadership Abilities
Once you have your abilities outlined, you’ll be ready to choose the best resume format and craft an attractive, skill-based CV.
Tip #3: Consider Your Style
It wasn’t that long ago when career coaches taught us that a plain resume is desired and anything other than a bulleted list of your last ten-year work experience will get your resume tossed in the trash. These days, however, this just isn’t true. When looking at resume layout samples and preparing to choose the perfect curriculum vitae format, let your creative side and personality play a part. This is especially important for those fields where a hiring manager or hiring recruiter will want to see creativity, like with graphic designer job positions and art instructor openings.
Not sure where to begin with a resume builder? Ask yourself this question: “What does my perfect resume look like?” Then comb through some examples. After finding a few that pique your interest, go back to tips 2 and 3 and see which one works the best.
For example, you might find a contemporary resume template that fits your style to the T. But as you look it over, you realize that it’s structured to focus on experience–and you’re just starting out in your field. Even though it fits your style, it’s probably not the right professional template for you.
That’s okay–don’t lose hope. Just go back to the drawing board and look for other professional resume drafts that focus more on education and skills rather than prior work history.
Tip #4: Concentrate on the Company
Think back to the first three tips for crafting an attractive resume. What do they all have in common? They are focused on YOU, and that’s a good thing! After all, the whole point of a resume is to sell yourself to those who are hiring. Your resume is essentially an advertisement. But there is a second party that should be considered when creating a resume—the company where you want to work.
Most of the time, when crafting a resume, we make a “one size fits all” CV or resume layout that can be submitted to many different potential employers. This is a smart and efficient way to go about the job search process.
However, there are times when you might want to consider a different approach. Especially if there are one or two specific companies that you really desire to join. We call this a targeted resume. If you’re focusing on a particular job opening, answers to the following questions:
- What are the company’s goals and vision?
- What does the company do well? What exactly do they need?
- What relevant information can I pull from the job description?
- What qualifications are needed for this particular position?
- What are recruiters looking for?
- Is my resume template a good fit for this company?
Once you find the right resume template to edit, make sure to draft a targeted cover letter. This will help your resume can stand out even more.
Tip #5: Strike a Balance
The first four tips offer unique ways to go about finding and editing resume templates that are professionally designed and polished. However, sometimes a more unified approach works best. You may want to strike a balance and focus on industry, self, skill, and company.
One way to do this is to draw a square on a piece of paper and put a large cross inside. You will end up with what looks like four sections. Label each of these smaller squares with the words listed above: Industry, skill, self, and company. Now, enter the information and accomplishments that you think are most important into each section. This will give you a good head start.
Next, start looking through resume examples. When you find one that speaks to your style, examine it more closely. Ask yourself questions relating to the other sections. Will this work for my industry? Is it professional enough for hiring recruiters? Is it focused on my experience or skill set? If the answers are yes, you may have found the right resume for you.
Get a better feel for the resume outline by downloading it and entering in some of your information. If it isn’t exactly what you’re looking for, you can always try a different template.
Tip #6: Review the Do’s and Don’ts
By reviewing commonly accepted resume “do’s and don’ts,” you can make sure to avoid common resume mistakes. Follow these steps to make sure your resume is attractive and error-free.
Do Use the Right Structure
The format does matter! This is why we’ve written an entire article focused around ways to find the right, professionally-designed resume templates. Whether it is a chronological resume, minimal resume template, or a modern resume doesn’t really matter–as long as it is right for you.
Do Include a Summary Statement in Your Resume
Even if it is just one line, a summary of who you are and what you are seeking is important to potential employers.
Don’t Forget to Include Unique Work Experiences
This includes volunteer work and mission trips. Including this information can be especially useful for filling in employment gaps.
Do Use Just One Page (If Possible)
A one-page resume is best, if possible. Flipping through pages to read your information can be overwhelming, especially for recruiters wanting to make a quick decision. You are your own personal brand. Let your experiences speak.
Don’t Let Inexperience Stop You
Even the most experienced professionals in your field started somewhere. Use a functional resume template to highlight the hard and soft skills that set you apart.
Do List Real Accomplishments (and Real Numbers)
Although many people are tempted to lie on their resumes, don’t fall into this trap. Be realistic and honest while also including what sets you apart–like the time you won Teacher of the Year or had the best sales numbers in the district.
Do Offer References
Be sure to include references. You want to back up what you’ve provided with access to people who can confirm your experience and accomplishments.
Finding the Right Resume Template
With patience and persistence, you’ll find the right resume template. Remember, you are creating an advertisement about yourself. As you look at resume samples, decide whether to focus on your skills, education, or work experience– or consider using an online resume builder that focuses on all three areas. It’s important to focus on yourself, but it’s also important to consider the company as well.
One final piece of advice when getting ready to select and edit resume templates: try to enjoy the process. Being unemployed can be stressful, but making the perfect, professionally designed resume doesn’t have to be painful. Think of creating a resume as a positive stepping stone into your future. Pour yourself a cup of tea and let the drafting begin!
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