WARNING: This article is likely to make you mad.
In fact, I’m pretty sure it will.
I imagine you were hoping for a free resume template in this article that you could download and fill in. Well, you won’t find one here. I had planned on including a link to a free resume template or three, but I decided against it.
Because I’m not sure recommending a resume template, free or otherwise is a good idea. That’s really for two reasons.
First, with a resume your goal is to stand out. Using a template can make that harder to do. It doesn’t necessarily do that, but in a world of hundreds and thousands of resumes for a single position, the odds are already against you. Why make them worse?
Second, there are only two primary options with a free resume template (or a purchased one).
You can try a “one-size-fits-all” template. Or you can try to find a “several-sizes-fit-most” template that’s as close a match to your situation as possible.
The third option, the one EVERYBODY wants, is the “perfect-for-my-personal-situation…um…template.” Um, nope. You won’t find it. That’s what you hire a professional resume writer for. The best you can hope for is a “several-sizes-fit-most” flavor that results in a solid document.
Don’t worry, though. I won’t leave you hanging completely. In the future, I might just break down and add some templates. In the meantime, you have two options if you choose not to get professional resume writing help.
You can Google for “free resume template” and see what’s out there. It’s likely you’ll find some good ones. You’ll also find some relatively cheap resume template packages (not free, but close). They might cost you $50. That’s not even dinner and a movie for a family of four. It’s well worth the investment if it helps you create a job-winning resume that reduces your job search time.
For now, I recommend a different approach to maximizing the results of a “several-sizes-fit-most” free resume template. I suggest you use a bare-bones resume skeleton, just as a place to start. What you’re looking for has almost no “sample content,” but it should come with instructions.
In almost all cases, your free resume template should be chronological. In other words, it should present your career accomplishments newest-to-oldest, with no gaps. There are always creative ways to deal with gaps.
Functional resumes aren’t necessarily the kiss of death, but they’re close. They increase your odds of failure. Those odds don’t need any help! Usually that format gets used by folks who have a “resume challenge.”
If you have a complicated, delicate, or challenging resume situation (or if you’re changing careers), I strongly recommend you hire a professional. Those situations are tough. Going it alone is a strategy for getting it wrong. That causes delay. Delay costs serious money.
Whatever free resume template you choose, make sure it helps you put your best foot forward. When you put meat on the bones, you want to end up with a solid document that’s as all-purpose as it needs to be for an online job search. Beyond that (and I recommend you go WAY beyond that), you’ll need a more customized resume for each targeted job.
At least you’ll have a place to start. That’s all a free resume template is good for anyway.
(c) Copyright 2005 by Roy Miller
We have many more Career Help Articles Now Available.