Have you ever been guilty of copying a resume template to make writing and submission flow a bit more smoothly? Don’t feel bad if you have. But do keep in mind that by taking this route you run the risk of appearing inauthentic to hiring managers who are looking for unique candidates. It’s easier than you think to write your own resume, so let’s try to step away from the template and instead create an original one using the following tips:
Think About What’s Important in Your Resume
The people who take time to create templates are doing the public a service by guiding them through the often tedious process of writing a resume. This is undoubtedly a kind and selfless thing to do. But the problem with using templates is that not only do many of the same people use one template, but the information in templates is usually deemed important to the writer and may not be relevant to your career.
So when writing your own resume, it’s a great idea to think about what’s important in your own career. Is communication more important than technology in your field? Then you want to place your focus there. The idea is to really look at not just what your field needs but what the position needs from you. The truth is that your resumes will vary with each job you apply for, so take time to think about what’s important to you and the company as you write each unique resume.
Create Sections Specific to Your Career
In a template, you’ll find a number of sections such as Education, Job History, Professional Affiliations, and more. While some concepts are standard in resumes, others can be tweaked to meet your professional needs. For instance, you might need to mention job history, but also one to zero in on technical experience. In your resume, you might need two sections for employment background whereas a template might include only one.
Incorporate Your Own Flair
You are a unique, independent, strong candidate with plenty of experience and personality. This should shine through in your resume. So as you write your resume, while it’s good to keep certain ideas at the forefront of the process (stick to professional fonts, add white space, use bullet points, incorporate action words, include a career summary and job target, place important details near the top, etc.), it’s great to come up with your own unique design that shows your flair.
If you’ve never written a resume in your life, then a template works wonders in giving you guidance, so you don’t have to close your eyes every time you see one. But use them only as inspiration for your unique resume that focuses on your personal strengths—not those of the template writer. Taking time to make your resume unique is exactly what will make you stand out from the pack.
For more resume advice follow us on Twitter @GreatResume.
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About the author
Jessica Hernandez, President, CEO & Founder of Great Resumes Fast
Hi, I’m Jessica. I started this company back in 2008 after more than a decade directing hiring practices at Fortune 500 companies.
What started as a side hustle (before that was even a word!) helping friends of friends with their resumes has now grown into a company that serves hundreds of happy clients a year. But the personal touch? I’ve kept that.
You might have seen me featured as a resume expert in publications like Forbes, Fast Company, and Fortune. And in 2020, I was honored to be named as a LinkedIn Top Voice of the year!
I’m so glad you’re here, and I can’t wait to help you find your next perfect-fit position!
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