I believe most of us have invested a good amount of time perfecting a resume on Word and it was all for attaining the recruiter’s attention.
Basically, you need to stand out from the crowd and that is unachievable if you use a generic word template as there are about a billion users that use MS Office on a daily basis.
But, that is not it. There are various factors that you need to consider before deciding on a template that caters to your needs.
Let’s take a look at the 5 key elements to choose a resume template that will help you showcase your expertise to the recruiter and help you land your dream job.
ATS stands for applicant tracking system which allows companies to screen resumes based on a set of job-related requirements.
ATS does not recognize information with graphics, charts, tables, and generic templates. It screens resumes based on keywords. Basically, you need to look for a template that allows ATS to parse information easily and makes it a pleasant read for the recruiters as well.
So, here is what you should prioritize in a template to pass the ATS:
- A conservative approach with fonts like Calibri, Arial, etc.
- Do not use graphics or charts and focus on the keywords
- Avoid flashy colors and images.
At times, these things are great for showcasing your expertise, but this approach will result in not letting the software recognize your skills.
Your resume needs to have a balance between unnecessary white space and written information. The point is that white space does not look professional and cluttered content may just bore the recruiter.
How should you choose a template that offers a clear and crisp formatting option?
- Left aligned: You need to make sure that the information you write is left aligned. Humans are used to reading a sentence from left to right and if you experiment with it then it can confuse the recruiter.
- Spacing: There should be options to increase and decrease the spacing between characters and sections headings. For example, if you have a good amount of experience, you may require more space to write information. Spacing should be flexible to fix to restrict the content to one or two pages.
Before choosing a template, you need to ask yourself the question of who is your target audience?
For instance, there are traditional templates that follow a single column approach and it is an ideal choice for senior and tech professionals.
Moreover, there are modern templates that follow a double column approach that is perfect for creative individuals such as photographers, writers, or designers.
It may depend on the profile of the company as well. For instance, if you are applying for a job at a rather conventional company or a corporation, you may have to choose a traditional template to create the right impression.
So, understand your target audience and choose your template accordingly.
The idea of a template is that you should not have to be a professional resume writer to compose this document.
It should be easy to fill in the details along with various arrangements to suit your needs. A lot of good templates have pre-written content that you can tweak to make it uniquely yours.
Target such professional resources to make a job-winning resume.
Writing a resume is not your end-goal. You write a resume to get a call for an interview and that is where you need to shine. Also, you will need to invest time in practicing the answers for the interview.
Time optimization is a priority while composing the resume so that you can spend your time preparing for the assessment.
Hence, that’s what you should be looking for in a resume template, where you can add information without spending hours tweaking the content and sections headings to restrict it to one page or making it look more professional. The template should do all of these things for you.