Resume Templates: Just…Don’t

Let’s talk about one of my favorite things: resume templates.

If you know me at all, I hate them.  They’re the bane of my existence and I think they should all be shot right in their templatey faces.

So, why the passion?  Why the rage?  Why the threats?

  • They’re absolutely hellacious to edit, customize and otherwise reformat.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ll do it.  But I will grimace literally the entire time.  It’s like hand-to-claw (?) combat with a live crocodile.  It rolls and thrashes and it takes small breaks, making you think that you’ve got the fucker slated and then, BOOM, it starts rolling again.

The indents, alignment, fonts, heading types…they all end up as fights every time you try to change them.  Because, well, it’s a template.  And yes, all of these things matter.  From the size of your bullet points to the font type you use – they all combine to affect the readability, overall look and tone of your resume.

Perhaps you can’t afford a resume writer (which, trust me, you can) and using a template is less daunting.  Fine and well but as your skill set grows and develops, your resume needs to grow and develop also.  You’ll have to wage the fight with the template crocodile too or you’ll hire someone like me to do it and I will but…grimace.

  • They’re the closest thing to the vanilla kiddie cone you can get.

A resume is supposed to tell your story.  It’s supposed to jump out at a potential employer and highlight why you’re the best, what you’re capable of and urge them to call you to assure them you’re a real human being.

When you go with a template, your creative license is kind of snatched from your hands, hung behind the cash register for all to see, saying you’re not tall enough to ride alone.  It’s oftentimes plain, and unpalatable.

At its best, it’s a guide.  At its worst, its a helicopter parent, not letting go of your hand long enough to wipe your snotty nose.

Grow a pair (ladies, that doesn’t exclude you, of course).  Do some research, some outlining and own that page.  Or hire someone who can masterfully do it for you.

  • They’re fucking ridiculous-looking.

Call me partial.  Check out some resume templates.  They’re not all horrid but most have hit a few branches coming down from the ugly tree.  They may gain some attention but not in a “come look at this…let’s hire this guy” kind of way.  Probably in a “hey, get in here…check out this doofy-looking resume.”

Your resume should be just like you: unique, one-of-a-kind, and damned good-looking.  It needs to be customized for the job for which you’re applying.  It needs to be succinct, sexy and structurally sound.

For as much heartache, hard-earned coin and hassle you could go through to download, fill in and use a template, you can facilitate your own knowledge and abilities to write one or seek out a professional to hook you up.

If you go against my advice and take a walk into the hellfires of templates, I’ll still come rescue you but I may tell you that I told you so.  When have I ever steered you wrong?

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