No matter what the news says about low unemployment rates, if you don't yet have your dream job, you're going to need every tool at your disposal to attract an employer's eye. Literally.
That's why it's increasingly popular for people to incorporate flashy designs in their résumé. For those of us who aren't graphic designers, that often means using a résumé template. We'll point you in the direction of some résumé templates out there in a minute, but first, you might be wondering how necessary these are for a job search. Do hiring managers even look at résumés when they can find out everything about us on social media or in those lengthy online applications we're always filling out?
"Employers are always going to look you up on LinkedIn, but you also need to have some kind of tangible document that you can send along to demonstrate your professional identity," career coach Elana Konstant tells Refinery29.
As you browse through some of the templates, you might be tempted to choose the designs that are the most artistic or fit the most words on the page. Konstant warns that those aren't necessarily the ones that will land you a job. Some managers in creative fields might welcome an unconventional design, while many others will prefer a more conservative approach.
"I've noticed on Etsy, and some other sites, they sell formats that are pretty to look at, but I sometimes find that it can be hard to extract the right information from them," she says. "It's a delicate balance between finding something that you think looks good, but that represents the right information. ... I definitely err on the side of fewer bells and whistles and really having the experience stand out. "
While many of these template sites include guidance on the content, not just the design, Konstant suggests seeking guidance offline. "Ask people who actually do the kind of work that you want to do to take a look at [your résumé] and see what's missing," she says. "[That way] you can make sure that your résumé really speaks to the kind of jobs that you're looking for."
Before you run off and find your mentor, you can at least start by using the following template sites. One note: Beware of many sites offering free or low-cost templates. Some of them will automatically subscribe you to their services after 14 days, and charge you fees as high as $25 a month. If there's no pricing info available on a site, that should be a red flag.