I believe in working smarter, not harder. In the case of resume writing, that means you need a professional resume template.
Sure, you could open a blank page in Word and start typing from scratch. Set your own margins, indents, bullet points, fonts, borders, bold, underlines, and special features to make your resume look organized and handsome. But these are time-consuming tasks and I've seen that many people are not good at doing them. I often get resumes sent to me with all sorts of resume formatting mistakes in them — mistakes that reflect poorly on the job seekers behind those resumes.
A great way to avoid that problem is to use a good professional resume template. With the resume formatting all done in the Word document, you don't have to think about those details. You can focus on bigger things like... what you're going to say to make a good impression.
One more benefit of a good resume template: It serves as a checklist for what you should have in your resume. With all the sections formatted right into the resume template, you can decide section by section if you want that info on your resume or not. If it doesn't apply to you, then just delete it.
Convinced that you need a resume template? Good! Let's move on to picking the right one for you.
The Big 3 Professional Resume Templates
The first step in choosing a professional resume template is to decide what resume format is best for your job search. You have three to choose from: chronological, functional, and combination. In a nutshell, here's what each one does. Be sure to click on the link to see the sample resume template so you see what I mean in each case.
The chronological resume template is the most traditional resume format. It highlights your work history and achievements in the Experience section. Employers like this resume template a lot because it's what they're used to seeing and they can quickly see where you've been throughout your career.
Don't have a perfect work history to show off in a chronological resume template? Don't let that stop you from using it. There are ways to address unemployment and age issues in this resume template.
The functional resume template is the least favorite among employers. Most employers don't like functional resumes because achievements are in one section near the start of the resume and the work history is in its own section later in the resume. This separation means more work for the employer to try to figure out where your achievements took place.
Back in the 1990s the functional resume format was a good format to use because it was new and handled some tricky issues such as frequent career change and mothers re-entering the workforce. But times have changed and using a functional resume template is no longer advised unless your resume problems are so big that the other two resume templates simply don't work.
The combination resume template has the best of the chronological and functional resume templates. It's a hybrid of the two. It is a chronological resume with skill headings inserted into the work chronology.
The combination resume template is ideal for career change, for listing unpaid work that's relevant to your job objective, and for moving up in your current career.
Need a Good Professional Resume Template in Word?
Now that you understand the three resume formats, are you ready to download and use a professional resume template in Word? I suggest using a template that does not have tables because tables are so darn hard for most people to use.
Feel free to check out my Ready-Made Resumes, a group of resume templates in Word with no tables.