One of the most searched phrases (career and resume-related) on Google is “resume templates” or “resume samples” due to the sheer volume of people looking for creative resume ideas. So, the question is this: if you are writing your resume, should you use a resume sample you found on the internet?
Advantages: There are several advantages to using resume templates you found online. For instance, if you are struggling to create a unique design, there are a myriad of different layouts online to choose from. In addition, if you search carefully you can usually find resumes that are specific to your industry (or job title) which can help you if you are having a hard time coming up with how to describe your work history. Another main advantage to resume templates is that they can easily demonstrate different types of resumes, such as chronological, functional, and various other types. This is quite helpful if you are not familiar with all of the different resume/design variations.
Disadvantages: After reading the advantages, you may be wondering what the negative aspects could possibly be of using a resume template. Simply put, employers know that there are templates online, and so do other job seekers. If you base your design or verbiage off of a sample you found online, there is a chance that you might have a nearly-identical resume to other candidates who found and used the exact same template. Even if you are the only candidate to turn in a resume based on a sample online, there is a good chance that Hiring Managers have already seen the template thousands of times. Also consider that just because the resume sample is online, that does not mean it is effective and error-free. Most samples will have an error, whether it is an outdated design or misspelled content.
In summary, resume templates can be both helpful and hurtful, depending on the extent to which you use them. If you are writing your resume on your own, feel free to take a look at samples online, but make sure to be unique in your content and design, otherwise your job search may suffer unintentionally.
By Drew Roark