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If you want to get a good job, you need a good resume. But getting started can be the hardest part. We’ve all been there…staring at a blank page and feeling frustrated.

Thanks to our resume templates, you won’t ever have to feel that again! In fact, our customers who use our resume templates get a job 33% faster than those who don’t.* With our resume templates, your resumes turn out better, and you spend less time writing them. Let’s see how easy it is to get started!

The first step in creating a great resume is deciding how to share your information. You want to choose a resume template that will help you make a great first impression, even before people start reading. The most common resume templates are: Professional, Modern, and Creative/Contempo. Which should you choose?

Professional Resume Template

If you’re not sure which resume template to use, it is always a safe bet to go with the professional template. It is acceptable in any industry and for just about any role. A well-crafted professional resume doesn’t make you look boring. Instead, it makes you look sharp!

Best for:

  • Conservative industries, such as law, banking, finance, healthcare, energy, government, or public safety.
  • Production jobs in manufacturing, construction, transportation, logistics, agriculture, and mining.
  • Jobseekers that have either a very short or very long work history.

Modern Resume Template

Use a modern resume template when applying to jobs in organizations with strong brands, and which involve representing that brand. You should also use the modern resume template for jobs where you are expected to have up-to-the minute knowledge, particularly in business, technology, or culture trends.

Best for:

  • Highly visible jobs in retail, customer service, public relations, promotions, and advertising
  • Most sales and marketing roles, especially those involving close contact with customers
  • Most tech industry jobs
  • Consulting, financial, scientific, or technical services

Creative/Contempo Resume Template

The creative/contempo template is for jobseekers who need to make a different kind of first impression than those who use the simple or modern templates. That’s because getting past the gatekeeper is a little trickier when applying for a job in a creative field. Your resume is also treated as a work sample. If your resume’s appearance fails to impress, you fail.

Best for:

  • Creative professions, including design, UX/UI, visual merchandiser, art teacher, fashion, digital arts, game design
  • Entertainment and sports industries
  • Creative positions in the software development field and social media

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Get The Most Out of Our Resume Templates

Now that you’ve selected a resume template, you’re ready to write a great resume. You’ve probably already seen a dizzying amount of internet advice on how to write a resume, and are not sure how to make sense of it all. Don’t worry, with over 10 years of helping customers write resumes we can tell you the best thing to do is not to get hung up on a bunch of details. Instead, focus on the fundamentals.

There are many approaches to great resume writing. And there a lot of right things that you should do to get the most out of our resume templates. We’ll cover the most important ones now.

  • DO focus on what’s in it for them.

    This is the #1 rule in all of resume writing, bar none. Discuss your talents that can make their organization run better, not how talented you are. Focus on their needs, and make it clear the unique ways you can address them. This is exactly what the experts mean when they say, “talk about the value you bring to the organization.”

  • DO address job responsibilities and duties specifically.

    Recruiters and hiring managers hate resumes that talk in generalities. They are looking for people who are ready to tackle specific problems literally from day one. Show that you’re up for the challenge by addressing the skills that you have that they need.

  • DO customize your resume for the job description.

    More often than not, customizing your resume does not mean a major rewrite, but rather just a few tweaks. Sometimes all that you need is to reorder a few bullet points. This helps you draw attention to your skills and accomplishments that are most relevant to the job description. Other times, you may need to rewrite only the personal summary to match the job description.

  • DO make every word count.

    Be careful with overused words or expressions. Avoid business clichés and industry jargon that the reader might not know well. Recruiters and hiring managers are notoriously fussy about certain words and phrases that are used just to sound clever or fill up space. Instead, come across as a real person who wants to talk with others, not at them.

  • DO make every keyword count, too.

    Yes, it’s true: one of the biggest factors of whether your resume gets read by a real person is whether it contains enough of the right keywords. A good place to figure out what they are is the job description. Start by looking at the job’s requirements. Use them as they appear. If the job description reads, “highly organized” then don’t write “very methodized.” Take care not to overuse keywords in your resume though. You might get past the electronic gatekeeper, but you’ll get stopped cold by the human one.

  • DO make sure the rest of your resume is completely machine readable.

    Remove anything that could throw off an applicant tracking system (ATS) and cause your resume to get filtered out.

    • Use standard fonts.
    • Avoid unusual characters or formatting.
    • Put a space before and after a forward slash (“/”) so that both terms are searchable.
    • Submit your resume as a PDF to preserve the format. Most ATS recognize PDF. If you’re concerned, then you may attach a Word version of your resume.
    • Avoid a .TXT document.
  • DO leave some white space on your resume.

    A good resume, like a good living room, should be spacious and uncluttered enough so that a guest feels comfortable. Make your resume a comfortable place for recruiters to spend time learning about you.

  • DO have a trusted friend or colleague review your resume.

    They can provide a fresh set of eyes to help catch grammar mistakes, awkward phrasing and give you candid feedback. Does it paint a picture of someone they would want as a colleague? They’ll also tell you if you are using the right professional language that shows you truly know what you are talking about.

  • And finally, DO leave them wanting more.

    The purpose of the resume is not to get hired on the spot, but to arouse enough interest that the recruiter and the hiring team can’t wait to hear more about you. Resist the urge to jam pack your resume full of every experience you think they need to know about. You need to save some tales for the interview.

And No Matter What You Do, Don’t Do These Things in Your Resume

  • DON’T lie on your resume. Ever.

    Sure, a lot of people do it, including top executives. But these days it is remarkably easy to detect resume liars. Getting caught can cost you a dream job, tarnish your career, kill your professional reputation, and even have legal consequences. A good rule of thumb: don’t include anything that you couldn’t verify if asked to do so.

  • DON’T include anything irrelevant to the job you are applying for.

    That includes your marital status, children, hobbies, jobs from your distant past, and non-professional memberships. Everything on your resume must support your fit for the job you want, no exceptions. Avoid religion or politics unless you are joining a religious or political organization. Even then, keep it professional, not personal.

  • DON’T ignore the details, any of them.

    This includes punctuation, spelling, grammar, formatting, and fonts. These are the first things recruiters and hiring managers look for to disqualify candidates. This is also a good reason to use a resume builder, as it corrects a lot of these mistakes automatically.

  • DON’T copy and paste parts of other resumes and insert them into yours.

    Recruiters are masters at detecting imposters and will immediately slam the door on a phony. You want to get hired for who you are, so show confidence in that person. Express yourself naturally but professionally, using your own words.

* Based on a survey of 322 respondents who canceled the service because they had found a job. Calculation was made based on average annual pay (pre-tax) and how much faster, in average, respondents were able to get hired with My Perfect Resume’s help.