Great Resumes Fast » Resume Writing Tips » Resume Templates: A Smart Idea or a Huge Mistake?

If you have ever been stuck and held back by writer’s block while trying to create your resume, you know how tempting it is to use a resume template. Using a resume template, you may reason, will lead you in including all the crucial details in your career background. Further, a resume template will help you in creating a resume that is appropriately formatted and designed, and looks professional. Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth than these assumptions.

Resume templates are inflexible, one-size-fits-all formats. You, on the other hand, are a one-of-a-kind individual with incomparable experience and value to bring to your next employer. Resume templates force you to present your experience in an unbending format that makes every candidate look just like every other candidate. Is that your goal in a job search? Or is it better to promote yourself and your professional capabilities in a way that helps you to stand out to recruiters as an applicant who has distinguishing abilities and will produce benefits for the hiring company in a way that all your competitors in the job market will not.

The job market is fierce, after all. Many applicants for the positions you are going after will have experience and qualifications that are similar to yours. Using a template to develop your resume will simply spotlight this same-ness. Creating a unique resume format that is tailored to accentuate your past accomplishments and your unique selling points will get attention from hiring authorities, and will ensure that your resume is pulled from the pile of hundreds as you’ll be recognized as an exceptional candidate worthy of bringing in for an interview.

So, without using a resume template, how will you overcome your writers’s block and create a dynamic resume that generates superb results in the job market? One potential source of inspiration is examples of other distinctively written, custom-formatted resumes, particularly before and after example resumes. Of course, you should never, never copy wording or duplicate a design and format idea without giving it some unique twist to make it your own. But, example resumes are still great resources to show you the creative design and formatting techniques that have been successful for other job seekers.

If you are really stuck, professional resume writers are experts in developing creative, tailored resumes that will accentuate your top selling points while downplaying any potential negatives. While having your resume professionally written is an investment, it is one that will often pay large returns by helping you get attention in a crowded job market and land a new job faster, many times at a salary that is higher than anticipated.

However you proceed, remember that your goal is to stand out, generate interviews, and win job offers. Writing a resume can be challenging, but there are many resources available to help you. Just be certain to avoid the use of resume templates. Even though they may save you some time and effort at the start, using them will almost always backfire and result in a longer, more difficult, and more costly job search.

Guest Post by: Michelle Dumas is the author of 101 Before-and-After Resume Examples. Since 1996, Michelle has empowered thousands of professionals worldwide with resumes that get results. For your copy of her ebook, go to

For additional tips and advice on resumes and cover letters, follow @GreatResume or visit our blog.


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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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