iStock_000020173836XSmallWhen it comes to writing your resume, there is a lot of buzz about resume templates. Some people are for them, some are against it. Realistically, practically everyone uses a template of some sort. The key is to make it your own and avoid the temptation to simply copy and paste. Microsoft Word offers a variety of resume templates, but consider how many people have this software. If you’re pulling a resume template, think about how many others may be as well. What is there to make your resume stand out when from the start it blends in?

Do your Research

Go ahead and Google a variety of resume templates to see what is out there. Look at the common features and layouts. Make sure you know what key elements your resume should contain, such as a summary of qualifications and core competencies as opposed to an objective, and bullet points to emphasize accomplishments. Read up on current resume trends and what employers are looking for before you dig in and start building your own. Brainstorm content and what is most important to highlight.

Build a Hybrid

Pull from a variety of templates to create a format of your own that fits your background, experience, and personality. It can be tempting when using a template to try to make your information fit into the boxes. This may cause you miss some essentials, add unnecessary details, or detract from your strongest qualities. Put together a style that works for you yet is still professional looking and reads well. This can also help you to avoid lying or stretching the truth in order to fill in a section that doesn’t really fit with your history anyway.

Avoid Textboxes

One of the common features of templates is textboxes. While these can make it easier to plug in and format information, they also run the risk of being overlooked by resume scanners. Instead, use tabs, indenting, and other formatting features in Word to get the desired look. It may take some time to get things just right, but it gives you more options and reduces the risk of items being accidentally stripped away. Also avoid putting all of your contact information in the header because this too can be overlooked by ATS programs. Place your contact information at the very top of your resume but still within the body of the document.

Make it Your Own

One of the most important things to remember when creating your resume is to make it your own. It should be personalized to your experience and qualifications. It may not look just like someone else’s, but that’s okay. You want it to be representative of you and present your information in the most effective manner.

If your resume is looking a little outdated or you’re not sure where to start, contact Chic Resumes today. We can help you craft a polished, professional document that emphasizes your strengths, qualifications, and abilities. Call (803) 831-7444 or email to schedule a consultation.