One of the easiest ways to breathe new life into your resume is to use a pre-designed resume template. This single change will highlight your skills in new and more compelling ways and infuse a little bit of personality to make a memorable impression from the start.

We’ve found that the best source of quality templates are Etsy (per the usual) and CreativeMarket, which is great for so may design needs from beautiful, hand-lettered fonts to PowerPoint templates and blog design.

Choosing the Right Design
  • Choose a design that doesn’t overwhelm the content. Your template should highlight and help organize the most important content, not distract from or bury it.
  • Consider how the design will look on mobile and when printed. If a design is overly complicated it can be too overwhelming to read on a smaller screen and it may not get a second glance.
  • Take a screenshot and print it in grayscale or black & white to see what it will look like when it’s printed from the standard office printer.
  • Review the feedback about the designer and customer service carefully. Look for comments about ease of formatting, response times and customer support.
  • Check for system and software compatibility. Although you may be able to open a Pages file in Word, the formatting will be off and you’ll spend precious time reformatting. 
  • Avoid templates that require Illustrator and Photoshop unless you’re a designer yourself or have a good amount of experience in these programs. 


Caution // Design Trends

With so many gorgeously designed templates, it’s easy to get caught up in the design for the ‘purpose of design’ and forget that the sole intention of the document is the convey your professional skills and experience.

Below are some design trends to consider with caution. Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule. You know your industry, personality and profession best.

  • Sliding scale for skills: These have become popular and look great from a design perspective, but may not be a good idea when it comes to highlighting your strengths. Think about it: a sliding scale is intended to show variance, otherwise, it’s useless, so inherently it highlights areas of weakness.
  • Photo: while we love the way a photo looks as a design element, ultimately, we feel it’s better to avoid them. 

Below are a few of our current favorites. Some of these use design elements we cautioned against above. We recommend simply removing this content, but again, you know your industry best and should make a decision based on what’s best for your profession and personality.

Let us know if you’ve used a design template and what you think!
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