Writing a Resume: To Template or Not To Template?
Are free resume templates a viable answer to preparing a
It's a fact that if your resume doesn't stand out--both in
terms of content AND appearance-- you'll find it very
difficult to get the job you seek.
Hiring managers get hundreds of resumes for every open
position, but usually have time to interview only a handful
of applicants. So, they'll scan through the resumes as
quickly as they can, looking for candidates to "jump out" at
them. At best, your resume has mere seconds to make an
The best way to raise instant interest is with an eye-
catching and clean design that enhances your content. Some
people, such as those with experience in graphic design or
desktop publishing, may be able to produce a great-looking
resume on their own.
But most people need a little help. If you don't have the
innate talent or desire to play around with resume design,
you have 2 basic choices:
* Use a resume template
* Hire a professional resume writer
Let's start with the second option. It's a great one, if you
can afford it. Pick the right resume writer or writing
service and you'll get help not only with design, but also
with your content. Plus, a professional can help you zero in
on a well-focused resume for your desired career path, given
your skills and experience. It's a great way to go, but it
can be pricey.
If you can't afford to spend the money right now for a
professional writer (no matter how much value it may be
worth) OR you're one of those "do-it-yourselfers," then a
resume template is another way to go. You can buy resume
template software, but it's not necessary.
If you know how to use Microsoft Word, then you can whip up
a striking resume!
Many experts warn against using MS Word resume templates.
They argue that your resume will look like many others that
were also prepared using Word. But what they're really
referring to with those comments are the 3 standard Word
formats that come with the program. It's true, they're not
particularly inspiring in appearance.
However, here's another option. Use an MS Word template that
is different from the standard ones. There's nothing
inherently wrong with using free resume templates. The key
is to find unique templates. Here are some of the benefits
of using templates:
* They guide you in the correct format and organization,
with the right headings and sections in the right order.
* They come preset with fonts, formatting, and white space
for a pleasing and sophisticated design.
* They're easy to use. Just type in your personal
information, save and go. Also, if you want, it's easy
enough to change fonts or almost anything else to get a more
unique design--if you wish.
Of course, the key is to spend enough time to find high
quality free resume templates. There are many sites that
offer sample resumes that they call templates, but you'd
have to cut and paste them into Word to use them. Other
sites, such as www.Powerful-Sample-Resume-Formats.com,
provide true "click and type" templates that are all set up
for you to start filling in the content.
Ultimately, how you prepare your resume is a personal
decision. But, if you're looking for an economical solution
that still gives you a measure of control, think about free
resume templates. If you choose the template wisely, it's
still possible to have a standout resume that is uniquely
Kathi MacNaughton, a freelance writer and
editor, has years of management and recruitment experience.
For unique, eye-catching MS Word free resume templates
that are truly "Click and type" and that include tips and
advice on content, see
http://www.powerful-sample-resume-formats.com. Copyright 2004 Kathi MacNaughton. All rights reserved.
Does Your Resume Lack Vision?
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The Perfect Resume
The perfect resume presents hiring managers with a four-fold vision of who you are and what you bring to the table:
The perfect resume offers Logical Proofs:
Achievement and success statements
Relevant professional goals/accomplishments
Limits the use of jargon
Maximizes use of occupation/industry-specific key words
Your capabilities and skills
Clear, specific, measurable, and quantifiable words and phrases
Sells you based on your achievements to date
The perfect resume offers Your Vision & Creativity:
Balanced white space
Visually easy to read
A resume style and paper consistent with your self-marketing vision
Clear big picture of who you are
Sells you based on your potential
Examples of your creativity relating to your targeted position
Your vision of your role and your capacity to contribute
The perfect resume offers Sensible Organization:
Easy-to-follow resume structure
Presents relevant historical information in reverse chronological order
Places the most relevant/marketable data early in the resume
Omits what cannot be proved
Is neatly laid-out and word processed
Stretches to the appropriate length for someone of your experience (one page for up to 10 years of experience; 2 pages for up to 15 years of experience, and 3 pages for senior-level positions demanding over 15 years of experience)
Sells your past
The perfect resume offers Your Personality and Values:
Stresses your interpersonal/written communication skills
Describes your teamwork skills and cites examples of your cross-functionality
Highlights your work-related values
Showcases your work-related personality
Previews who you are
Emphasizes your uniqueness
Is enjoyable to read
Sells who you are
Why not review your resume by comparing it with these four critical categories? You may discover why your resume isn't winning you the interview response you'd hoped for with hiring managers.Cheryl Lynch Simpson is a Spiritual Director and Solutions Coach who helps women discover and create the life they've always wanted to live.
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