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Should I Use a Microsoft Template to Create My Resume?

Should I Use a Microsoft Template to Create My Resume?

If you’ve ever had the opportunity to review resumes, you’ll know that a template resume can be spotted a mile away. When I work with individuals at a job fair, providing resume critiques, I can always tell when someone has used a Microsoft Template to create their resume.

You can go to http://www.hloom.com/ and get yourself a resume template. The template will prompt you to fill in all the blanks and then format the information in a “pretty package”. The only problem is, it’s really easy to spot these and they do not a good job at representing anyone’s skill sets.

A resume is a very individual creation. No two resumes are the same. You cannot put the information in and expect a cookie cutter to be able to produce something that represents everyone’s skills in the best format. There are many factors that go into choosing a resume design. Here are a questions the template will not ask you:

  1. Is your education recent? If it is, you will want to put this near the beginning of the resume. Most likely you will be using this to qualify for your next position. Fresh education needs to be up front.
  2. Have you had the same type of position for a decade or more? If so, you may want to use a hybrid format. This would entail breaking down your functional skills in the beginning and demonstrating your greatest accomplishments relating to each one.
  3. What are your accomplishments? In your resume, you need to be concerned with your duties, as well as your accomplishments. The accomplishments demonstrate what you bring to each job. These set you apart from your peers.
  4. Are you a career changer? Have you been working in a position that brings you down? Are you ready for a new career? If so, you may want to divide your resume into “Relevant Experience” and “Additional Experience” in order to place the relevant experience up front, since that is most closely related to the direction you want to go.
  5. Are you writing a federal resume? If you are trying to pull together a resume to submit for a federal job, DO NOT use a Microsoft Template to write your resume. Go to USAJobs and use the Resume Builder there.

Hopefully this information will discourage you from using a template. You can do it yourself! Go to the library and check out some resume books with sample resumes. Pick one that aligns with what you are trying to do, and use that format to build your own. YOU can do it!