In today’s job market, having a well-crafted and effective resume is crucial to getting the job you want. A resume is often the first impression a potential employer will have of you, so it’s essential to make it count.
When crafting a resume, it’s important to consider what information to include, the qualities and skills employers are looking for, and how to structure your resume to make it past the scanning software employers use to filter out candidates.
One way to ensure that your resume is both professional and easy to read is to use a basic resume template. Using an effective but basic resume template will not only help you stand out from other candidates but will also help you speed up the job application process.
To help you streamline your job search and get the position you want, here are a few high-quality basic resume templates and examples, as well as some tips for personalizing your resume.
A basic resume template is an excellent option for several reasons. First, it is straightforward and easy to use, with a clean layout that allows potential employers to quickly find the information they need.
When hiring for a position, employers have to comb through countless applications. As a result, they often only spend a few seconds reviewing each resume.
According to a study by Ladders, recruiters spend an average of just 7.4 seconds reviewing each resume during the initial screening process. If you don’t make it easy for recruiters to find the information they need, they may move on to the next candidate.
This same study found that the best way to make your resume perform well is to use a layout with clearly marked sections, simple fonts, and a professional objective statement at the top of the resume.
While it may be tempting to get creative with the design and layout of your resume, doing so may result in your application being tossed to the side if it makes it difficult for the recruiter to learn about your qualifications quickly.
Using a basic resume template can save you time and effort. Rather than spending hours creating a resume from scratch, you can use a template as a guide and simply fill in your information. This can be especially useful if you’re applying for multiple types of jobs and need to create several resumes quickly.
After choosing a basic resume template, you need to take some time to fill in the resume with your information, including your contact information, professional objective statement, employment history, education history, and skills.
While this may seem pretty straightforward, it’s important to think carefully about what to include and what to leave out. Too much unnecessary information can make it hard for employers to find what they’re looking for.
You also need to try to include the right keywords for each job application to ensure your resume makes it through applicant tracking systems (ATS). Employers use ATS software to scan resumes for keywords and skills as a way to filter out applicants that don’t have the necessary qualifications.
With that in mind, here are a few key tips for completing your resume.
Your contact information should be prominently displayed at the top of your resume, including your name, address (it’s sufficient to list just your city and state rather than your full physical address), phone number, and email address. Make sure your email address is professional (e.g., [email protected]) and that you check it regularly to ensure you are able to reply promptly to emails from potential employers. If you have a strong presence on LinkedIn, you can add a link to your profile on that platform as well.
Depending on your profession, you may also include a link to a portfolio website alongside your contact information. This may be necessary for positions in graphic design, copywriting, web development, and other professions that typically require candidates to show proof of their skills and experience.
Your professional profile is a brief statement that summarizes your experience, skills, and career goals. This should be tailored to the specific job you’re applying for and should highlight your most relevant experience and skills. For example, if you’re applying for a job as a software engineer, your professional profile might begin with, “A skilled software engineer with over five years of experience in developing applications and leading teams.”
This section should be concise and provide a clear overview of your experience and goals. This allows recruiters to quickly learn more about your professional history, making it easier to determine if you might be a good fit for the position.
Your key skills section should highlight the skills that are most important for the job you’re applying for. This can include technical skills (e.g., proficiency in Microsoft Excel), soft skills (e.g., strong communication skills), or industry-specific skills (e.g., knowledge of medical terminology).
Make sure to use keywords from the job posting to ensure your resume gets noticed by applicant tracking systems. For example, if the job posting mentions that candidates should have experience with Photoshop, make sure to include this skill on your resume. The ATS will likely scan your resume for the skills listed in the job posting, so making sure to list these skills will improve your chances of moving on to the next step in the recruitment process.
Your work experience section should provide a detailed description of your previous jobs, including your job title, employer, dates of employment, and key responsibilities and accomplishments.
Use bullet points to make this section easy to read and scan. We recommend starting each bullet point with a strong, specific action verb in order to catch the hiring manager’s attention, and you should limit each bullet point to a length of two lines or less for optimal readability.
Also, it’s important to focus on specific achievements whenever possible, such as “increased sales by 20%”, rather than simply listing job duties. This will provide the hiring manager with a more precise understanding of your capabilities. For these bullet points, succinctly explain how you achieved the result, and then add a quantifiable figure — in addition to sales performance, this could be the number of support tickets you closed, the dollar amount of the budget you managed, or anything else that can be measured.
Your education and credentials section should include information about your educational background and any relevant certifications or licenses. Make sure to include the name of the institution you attended, your degree or certification, and the date you received it (unless the degree or certification is over a decade old — in that case, dates aren’t necessary). If you have limited work experience, you can emphasize your education and any relevant coursework or projects.