When you first sit down to write your resume you may feel overwhelmed. Where should you start? How should you start? How should you organize it on the page? Using a resume template may seem appealing. You may think that a template will provide you the best resume format and help you easily build your resume. However, Revision Resume suggests you skip the template! Consider the following 3 reasons you should NOT use a resume template!
1). The Template You Find May be Outdated
If you search for a resume template, you will find endless options. Within a few minutes you can locate dozens of different resume templates. How do you know if the template you have chosen is up to date with current resume guidelines? Unfortunately, many free templates are made available but then aren't removed when they become outdated. If you aren't familiar with current standards, you may inadvertently pick an outdated template which will be unimpressive to the hiring manager.
2). The Template May Not Get Through the Applicant Tracking System (ATS)
We took a quick look at the templates available through an industry leader in word-processing software, and many are not ATS friendly. For example, they have multiple columns or use the header for contact information. Some templates attempt to make the resume look fancy; however, that may prevent your resume from getting through the ATS. The result is a human may never actually get to see that fancy resume! Colors and graphics may look pretty, but it is best to stick with an ATS friendly format.
3). The Template May Break Basic Rules
Different countries have different resume 'rules.' In some places it is OK to include your photo or your salary expectations. In the U.S. it is not. Do you know the rules for your area? Are the templates you are looking at in compliance with what a hiring manager expects to see?
Even within the U.S., there are different expectations for different levels of experience. A recruiter will expect to see a certain length resume from an employee with 15+ years experience but a different length for a new graduate. The categories listed on the resume may be different for those two types of job applicants as well. A template you select won't differentiate between an experienced employee and a new hire.
In addition, you may have a non-linear career or a gap in time when you weren't working. A template may accentuate that which is not desirable. You want your resume to showcase your skills and experience so it is best not to try to fit information into a template that isn't suited to you and your job history.
While it may seem like a way to save time, resume templates aren't worth it. They could end up costing you the chance to earn an interview. If your resume is discarded because it broke basic rules or was outdated, you won't get called in. If your resume doesn't get past the ATS, the hiring manager will never even know you were an applicant.
Revision Resume suggests you avoid cutting corners and create a unique resume to represent your unique qualifications. We are aware of current resume standards and know how to make a resume that can get through the ATS. We would love to build you a resume that highlights your skills and uses an appropriate format to get through the ATS and impress the hiring manager. Contact us to get started!