Microsoft Word Resume Templates – Just Say No!

Please make this a New Year’s Resolution: “I will not try to find a job by doing exactly what everyone else does, because I know that the result will be that I look just like everyone else.”

Microsoft Resume Templates – Just Say No!

According to Google, one of the most popular searches on resume writing is “Microsoft Word Resume Templates.” 

That means that literally millions of people typed into Google the equivalent of ‘please help me to look like millions of other people.’

There’s a recipe for success!

Maybe people look for resume templates because of a lack of confidence. (“I’m not sure how a resume is supposed to look, so this will at least mean I look professional”). But think about the recipient for a minute. Think about the jaded HR rep or head hunter or line manager who sees hundreds of resumes for every vacancy and who has seen thousands of resumes just like yours over the years. At best, she won’t really notice you. At worst she’ll think you’re either lazy or unimaginative … or both.

And here’s another problem – those templates are so out of date. I don’t know what year they were first created – maybe 1927? They just scream “I am old-fashioned.”

And the third problem? Starting with a resume template and then trying to shoehorn your own story in is exactly backwards.

The right way to create an effective resume is to start with your story. Decide what you want to say. Decide what your audience wants to hear. Then create a resume structure that helps to communicate that message. Don’t get caught up in rules or standards. Just ask yourself: ‘what is the message I need to communicate to the people who make hiring decisions?’ Then let that determine what your resume looks like.

Your own design will always be more eye-catching than something created up by a Microsoft engineer who drew the short straw on assignments. So, please trust yourself … and step away from the Microsoft Word resume templates.

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