Resume templates can be a mixed blessing. On the one hand, their look is familiar to recruiters, who can be put off by receiving something that looks mass-produced and potentially out-of-date. On the other hand, starting a resume with a blank page can be incredibly difficult, especially if you don’t have a lot of experience. If you’re thinking about using a resume template, ask yourself the following questions.
– Am I willing and able to tweak it? It’s best to use a resume template as a starting point. If you use the template as a guide and customize it to better reflect your needs by altering the structure, changing fonts and font sizes, and adding or removing graphical nuances like section borders, a template can be very helpful.
– Am I having trouble getting started? Even though resume templates have drawbacks, having a resume built from a template beats not having one at all. If you’re spending a lot of time stopping and starting, typing and deleting, or just staring at a blank screen, using a resume template might be your best bet for at least getting a first draft of your resume finished.
– Can I create my own template? If you build your own template by combining ideas you see in other templates, you can create a resume that has a unique look without having to start from scratch. You can then re-use your template when making customized resumes for different job applications.
– How important is the resume? In some industries, resumes take a backseat to other forms of presentation, such as a portfolio of your work. When your resume is largely a formality, your time may be better spent polishing the other elements of your job application.