How to choose the best templates for your resume

A resume is one of the most important documents in any job search and can attract the attention of a hiring manager to help increase the chance of an interview or offer. Strong resumes reflect a candidate’s skills, experience and personality in a professional and structured manner. Reviewing or using a resume template website can inspire seasoned professionals or guide those starting out in the workforce. In this article, we explore four websites that offer resume templates and discuss how they work and how they can help you strengthen or inspire your own resume.

How do I choose the right resume template?

With options for style and content, choosing the right resume template often is about preference. Abstract formats are good for creative industries and positions, like graphic designers, and simple layouts can appeal more to those in finance or legal fields. Consider what an employer might expect to see for your level of experience, education or area of interest, and pick a layout and design that fits your personality and career goals.

Websites with resume templates

While there are many online options, here is a list of four useful websites with resume templates and tool builders that can help you improve your own:

Indeed

Indeed is a worldwide employment website for job listings and features free access to upload resumes, search for jobs, research companies and read through career-related articles and guides. Indeed’s resume builder is free and allows you to start with an empty template or upload an existing resume of your own to pull content from.

There are several templates and layouts to choose from, based on the type of look you like, and you can adjust accent colors and fonts within each one. Template styles include:

  • Clean
  • Minimalist
  • Simple
  • Executive
  • Modern
  • Overline
  • Boxed

As you enter your data in each prompt, there are expert tips and advice to inspire or guide you through the process. Each template automatically includes basic information like name and contact details, education, skills and work experience, and you can click other sections that apply to you, like:

  • Awards
  • Certifications or licenses
  • Military experience
  • Groups or associations
  • Links
  • Publications or patents

Indeed’s resume builder focuses on creating documents employers and the applicant tracking system (ATS) are looking for. ATS is a common human resource software tool employers use to scan large numbers of applications and search by keyword to select the best-matched candidates.

If you have an Indeed profile, which is free to create, you can set your resume to public and let employers find you in their candidate search for open positions or upload your resume and use it to apply to postings on the site with just a few steps.

Pro Tip: Be sure to save and download the resume before closing your web browser.

Resume.com

This website offers resume templates for free, using samples from professional resume experts and researched hiring data of what employers want to see on a candidate’s documents. No account sign-up is necessary, and resumes are accessible for 14-days within the browser, though it’s best to save and download once you’re finished. It aims to make resumes that fit on one page, which employees sometimes prefer, though candidates with more experience often need two pages for their resume.

You can upload an existing resume into the builder or begin with a blank template and fill in the prompts. The intuitive platform can search templates by job title and provide tips and advice as you use it. You can also generate a cover letter to match. You can also import your work history and data from your online professional profile if you have one.

Professional and creative template styles focus on formatting your resume around what you’d like to highlight most, including:

  • Education
  • Skill
  • Experience
  • Personality

Other features of Resume.com’s resume builder platform include:

  • Editing tools directly on the platform
  • Ability to download and print resumes instantly
  • Downloads in PDF, Word, RTF and plain text formatting
  • Unlimited sharing of resume over email and social media

Pro Tip: Resume.com has an automated resume review feature to check for typos, grammatical errors and areas for improvement, and it’s also free to use once you complete your resume.

SimplyHired

This free site also offers both resumes and cover letters templates with its online platform, which features over 30 templates in the sample library, with names like:

  • Aurora
  • Celeste
  • Dawn
  • Orion
  • Nova
  • Luna
  • Juliet
  • Portia
  • Vega
  • Bianca
  • Lyra
  • Estella

SimplyHired’s resume builder has expertly written examples to add to your resume for sections you need help writing. It is free to use and does not require an account sign-up. Resumes are accessible for 14 days within the browser, though saving and downloading is best. You can continue to use SimplyHired after building your resume by searching the website and submitting your newly created resume.

Pro Tip: The site also has a salary calculator for various professions, which can help you negotiate pay and compensation during a job offer process.

Glassdoor

This website has helpful resume information, samples, guides and suggestions to build a resume, though no formal builder tool. Rather, Glassdoor focuses on offering valuable insights into jobs and companies, with information shared directly by current and former employees to help you find a job and company you want to join.

You can be an informed candidate and understand what working at a company is like through millions of anonymous reviews that describe and rate a company’s atmosphere, compensation, salaries and offerings, without having to know someone who works there.

Other components of Glassdoor include:

  • An easy upload for you to keep your resume on file to apply for jobs listed.
  • Over 700,000 employer profiles to explore company cultures.
  • Interview preparation with frequently asked questions used in interviews and listed by company.

From exploring careers to negotiating an offer, you can use Glassdoor’s unique salary-specific features throughout your job search. It has three particular salary tools to help gauge your earnings:

February 24, 2020 | By Lauren McAdams | Reviewed by Howard Davies, CPRW

Let’s say you go shopping for a new outfit to wear to an event. You put a lot of time and effort into planning what is going to make you look your best, but when it comes time to get ready for the event, you have a few too many fizzy drinks and you put every item on backwards. All that time and effort you put in has been undone by failing to pull it all together properly.

Don’t make the same mistake when writing a resume. How you format and structure your resume matters.

There are three main resume formats to decide from: reverse chronological, functional, or the combination resume format.

This guide is here to help you choose the best format for your skills, experience, and situation.

What Is the Best Resume Format for You?

Use this chart to decide which resume format is best for your situation:

How to choose the best templates for your resume

Resume Format Samples

To get a better idea of what each of the above resume formats looks like on a real resume, check out the samples below:

The Three Best Resume Formats

1. Reverse Chronological Resume Format

This resume format highlights your most recent / current work experience and works its way backwards. It makes sense for anyone looking to move vertically within a particular industry or career path as it demonstrates your growth in your niche and focuses on your relevant experience. It also tells the hiring manager the narrative of your career development that can help them see how you fit in their current and future plans.

How to choose the best templates for your resume

For more on the reverse-chronological resume format, read the full guide.

2. Functional Resume Format

The functional resume format primarily highlights your skills and qualifications while placing less emphasis on your work experience and history. It’s useful for those who have large gaps that need further explanation than a single page resume will allow.

Chances are, if you have big gaps in your employment history, you’ll have to explain them at some point in the interview process. The goal of the functional resume is to get you to the interview without letting those gaps sink your chances of getting shortlisted.

How to choose the best templates for your resume

For more on the functional resume format, read the full guide.

3. Combination Resume Format

Believe it or not, the combination resume format is actually a combination of the reverse-chronological format and the functional format.

It offers a lot of flexibility to those with well-developed skillsets and a mix of experience and education. If it has an advantage over the reverse-chronological resume, it’s that it’s more reader-focused toward what you can do for the employer, rather than what you’ve already done in your past job experience. For this reason it works well in situations where you’re looking to launch a new career path, and not so well when you’re trying to emphasize your vertical career progression.

How to choose the best templates for your resume

For more on the combination resume format, read the full guide.

Things to Remember About Resume Format

The type of format you decide to go with is less important than the substance of what’s on your resume, but it can either enhance or detract from the quality of your candidacy if you don’t put some thought into it.

The right resume format enhances the content of your resume by helping the reader get a clearer picture of why you’re the right person for the job you’re applying for. It should call attention to your best qualifications and attributes, while simultaneously minimizing irrelevant information or potential red flags.

Still not sure which format makes the most sense for you? Post your question in the comments below and our crack team of resume experts and career advisors will point you in the right direction!