Why You Shouldn’t Be Using a Résumé Template


You have put in enormous hours and extreme effort to excel at your goals. You have joined clubs, gotten involved in community outreach projects, and participated in socially conscious initiatives. Perhaps you have been working on your career path for years and you have accumulated a list of impressive achievements, accolades, and awards at your various jobs over the years? Then you decide to find a job or change jobs and you try to squash all of your unique, hard-earned expertise into a one size fits all onesie résumé template? Smart move? Maybe not. Why are you choosing ordinary, everyday solutions for your individual, epic story?


Template Fatigue Syndrome

Don’t dabble in the drab. At the very least think about the HR person who has to trawl through thousands of applications that all look and sound the same. Make the decision to stand out to them. If you have decided to condense your worth into someone else’s words in a generic template, you are going to be run of the mill. Hiring managers might have to start to claim benefits for template fatigue. They have to actually read through these documents that all sound the same, using the same words.

There are loads of articles that speak to the most overused words on résumés. These include, “extensive experience”, “successful”, “track record”, “motivated” and “creative”. Just don’t use them. It’s time that you took more thoughtful, researched hours to craft a document that is going to speak on your behalf. You aren’t in the room yet to show your charm, exuberance and super skills. Your words must go before you and do the extremely hard work of getting through the recruiter’s gate. Don’t be boring and borrow, be yourself.


Knuckle Down

Building your own résumé from scratch can feel harder than a thesis but you will definitely experience the benefits of your efforts. A template reeks of the shortcut. Don’t be that person. Copy and paste will land you in the waste. Then there is the problem that so many of the templates out there are truly awful. You really can do better.

Creating your own résumé is about having a conversation with yourself:
•What have you achieved?
•What are you proud of in your career?
•How would you describe yourself?
•What are your best attributes?

You need to find the way to impart your individuality using your own words. In the process, you are learning a new skill –promoting yourself in an authentic, natural tone.


Steal to Start

This is not a process that you should take lightly or try to do quickly. This is the most important bridge building activity you will be required to do in your career. It is going to connect you, in all of your glorious complexity, to your new work environment. Make the structure strong and lasting. You can use this document throughout your career (with a few updates and tweaks).

A good starting point is to research the résumés of leaders in your field. Save examples of those ones you found captivating and pulled your attention immediately. As you examine them you will start to see the different layouts and formats they have used that were relevant to their particular field. Take note of the language they used to convey their achievements. When you really feel you are getting a powerful sense of what works and what doesn’t –throw all of the collected résumés away. You are now ready to design your own.


What’s Your Story?

You have the inspiration and it’s time to get original. Consider the story you are wanting to weave about yourself. What do you want the reader of your résumé to come away with at the end of it? Why would you be a good fit for their work culture? What are your special superhero skills? Why are you more suited to this job than the other candidates? Your life milestones define the résumé you choose.

But steer away from using tables because online application systems can’t read them. Also never use skill ratings, leave those to rotten tomato film reviews. You don’t want to go for flashy graphics or large monograms –you need every bit of space to talk about you and your special offering. Use your very own words, be honest and make sure it’s easy to read.

For many people the thought of starting it all from scratch is terrifying and they feel they lack the necessary design skills to make an eye-catching format. Start off borrowing the best elements of templates to add the first brush stroke to the canvas and then find your own artistry coming to the fore.


Or You Can Have Our Experts Do It For You


If the idea of finding the right design format to house your experience and expertise scares you into paralysis – we’re here to help you. We’ll spend quality time crafting an incredibly-effective résumé with you. Speak with one of our Résumé Experts today by reaching out to us at the link below – we’d love to hear from you.

Click To Speak With A Resume Expert Today


Respected Résumés writers have 20+ years’ of experience, and have produced more than 100,000 powerful résumés.  We have a 93% success rate in landing our clients interviews, and we’d love to help you stand out.