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Should You Use a Resume Template?

06/19/15

Written by Louise Fletcher

5299375687_fef8ff6708_zRecently I got an email from someone asking if a Google Docs resume template is a good idea. At first glance, this article from Lifehacker may make a lot of sense. Like they say “why waste time…” And the Google template is attractive, so where’s the harm?

The problem is that your resume is your only chance to make an amazing first impression. Using a one-size-fits-all resume template is a surefire way to send the clear message “I am pretty much like everyone else.” (And unless you’re applying for a job that calls for ‘average Joes’, that’s not likely to be the message you want to send!)

Even if you don’t use a template, you might be tempted to steal a format from resume samples you find online.

Here’s why not to do that …

When you use a resume template, or copy someone else’s format, you’re allowing someone else to dictate what you say about yourself and how you say it. You’re squeezing yourself into a box that may or may not be a good fit for you. That doesn’t make any sense.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t take ideas from other resumes. By all means use our gallery of resume samples for inspiration.

But don’t be afraid to take ideas from more than one resume, so that the resulting document suits you and not someone else.

When determining how to lay out your resume, consider what message you want to convey.

  • What are your main selling points?
  • Why should employers be interested in you?
  • What makes you different from other candidates?

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Louise

Our CEO, Louise Fletcher

Louise co-founded Blue Sky in 2002 after a career as an HR executive. Her industry experience includes music, video games, fashion and advertising. She lived and worked in the US for many years, but moved back to her native UK in 2012, where she now lives in the Yorkshire countryside. In addition to her full-time role with Blue Sky, she's a professional artist, so you can imagine why she couldn't answer the 'what do you do with your free time' question! Contact Louise by email.

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