Using a template to help prevent resume format mistakes can be a very smart way of preparing your resume. Writing your resume seems overwhelming when you’re staring a blank screen. What should go first? What should be included? How long should it be? Instead of worrying about what information to include, first choose a suitable resume template. This is the initial step to creating a resume that’s fitting and professional.
A template gives you something to start with, especially if you’re inexperienced with writing a resume. There are a variety of formats built into your word processor or online. Choose one that makes an attractive and organized first impression and see if you can fill in the blanks. A generic template is especially helpful if you’re a beginner still trying to figure things out. It will help you get everything in one place and clarify your thinking.
Although using a template will enable you to include everything, it also helps you limit your information to only the most salient details. Extraneous information is one of a beginner’s resume format mistakes. Remember that you don’t need to include every job you’ve ever held and that you should write multiple resumes that are tailored specifically for different job postings. After you’ve completed a generic template, it’s time to customize your resume. Search for templates that will allow you to list your qualifications as they match up with the requirements you read in the job posting.
By this time, you’ll have also completed research in your career field, so you’ll know more about how your data should be presented. Some companies value education over experience. Others are interested in industry achievements. A resume template is not carved in stone, nor does one format fit all. Rearrange the sections so that they meet the preferences of your potential employer.
It’s also perfectly all right, if not advisable, to tweak the format a bit here and there. Some parts of your work experience or education sections are more important than other parts. Put them at or near the top of your resume. If the template has an unusual font or the layout isn’t quite right, change it. If there isn’t a particular template that adequately presents your qualifications, combine one or more into a document that highlights what you can bring to the job. When you’re finished, read through your resume to ensure that the information flows coherently from one point to the next.
Staying on Track
Using a template allows you to tweak and customize your data without inadvertently leaving out something important. It also prevents resume format mistakes. Because good templates will automatically organize your qualifications in sections, they help you achieve the brevity prized by first readers without sacrificing completeness.
The subheadings also keep you focused on presenting relevant information. Sometimes people who have minimal work experience or education will devote a disproportionate amount of space to information that isn’t of interest to a potential employer. That’s one of the resume format mistakes that using a template helps you to avoid.
Present yourself in the best possible light to a potential employer and increase your chances of getting an interview by submitting a resume that’s relevant, complete and organized.
With a little practice, you can increase your confidence in getting the job you’re seeking. You can find more helpful tips on using templates and preventing resume format mistakes at LiveCareer.