Saturday, September 22, 2012

Catch The Employer's Eye: Using Resume Templates

First impressions are critical. When searching for employment, the resume is the first impression. You can't be well groomed and on your best behavior at the interview until your resume gets you through the door. If you have your content ready and polished and all you need is a strong, appealing design, resume templates are time savers.

A well written resume with all the right content is as important today as it was before the word processor existed. Fortunately for us though, the word processor does exist. As formidable as the competition is in these economically dire times, you're going to need a resume that stands out from the pack. This could mean a splash of color and a little creativity in the layout.

Unfortunately, many of us may not have the skill set to accomplish the task. What font should I select? How do I lay out the page so that it's creative but not distracting? Is one bullet style better than another? Is there a specific resume format used for the job I'm looking for? Why am I worrying about any of this? Isn't the content alone sufficient?

Even if you do use a standard, straightforward set-up, there's still spacing and formatting, design and color. If you're not proficient with this type of work, it's not only annoying but is a distraction from what's really important: the content, getting it out there, reaching potential employers and getting those interviews.

Considering our options, there's really no reason to rely on droning, flat text on our resumes anymore. Templates for resumes are plentiful and so many are free, or included with software, the idea of spending a penny on even one isn't worth your time.

Resume templates will make the process stress free and streamlined. They're set up for nothing but input of information: contact, career highlights and qualifications, experience, objectives, skills, education and a note that references are available upon request. Some templates may not include all this information, others may include more. It's a simple matter of copying and pasting to insert what you need, or you can find another template altogether.

These templates come in a variety of styles and arrangements. More importantly, they may even be tailored to specific industries. The categories can be as broad as 'Professional', 'Academic' or 'Business'. They can also be as precise as 'Nursing', 'Administrative Assistant', and 'College Student'.

Use these templates to create professional and eye appealing resumes, but do not use them as substitutes for good content. If anything, a good template allows you to focus on creating the best content, not give you less to worry about in terms of content. If you're new to the job market (fresh out of school, etc.) you may not have a lot of content in terms of experience, but make use of what you have. If you've had summer employment or worked at the supermarket bagging groceries, include it.

Fill the page as best you can. A resume with only half a page of content doesn't look good at all. Make creative, but not obvious, use of spacing and, if necessary, a slighter larger font. Avoid using standard copy paper for your resume. There is paper designed for resumes. Always go with a higher grade of paper. Remember, your resume should look as good as you will on the interview.

Thomas Roberts is a professional who has studied the art of resume writing to improve his own career, although he does not claim expertise. If you need help with your resume, as an alternative to resume templates he highly recommends the e-book "101 Before-and-After Resume Examples" written by one of the top resume pros in the nation. You can download the e-book now at

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