As a task nestled between the lines of exhausting and tricky, creating a resume requires a lot of careful consideration. You need an easy-to-use format that’ll suit your job experience, and obviously, it needs to contain all the relevant info. Luckily, the web is jam-packed with a plethora of resume templates to help you get started.
The reason why resume templates are great is that they do the bulk of the design for you. All you have to do is add the correct information in all the right places. Some templates are even geared toward specific industries.
Adzuna recently did some digging and found 25 impressive (and free) resume templates to help you stand out from the crowd. These templates all stand up against applicant tracking systems (ATS), the programs that parse resume content before humans work through them.
How to Choose Resume Templates
ATS’s don’t always “read” content the way humans do. They’re also not great with handling loads of formatting. Design elements like text boxes, graphs, images, and graphics can confuse the ATS, so your resume might get dumped.
If you find a template you like, it’s still essential to ensure it follows best practices. If there are text boxes, move the text out of them. Change any creative headers to standard ones and get rid of any graphic elements or replace them with text.
It’s OK to use bold and italicized text, and so is using headings and hyperlinks. Colours are also OK but stick to the easiest ones to read, like dark blues, reds, and greens.
The Best Basic Resume Templates
Here are three traditional templates with straightforward formatting and classic headings. Tried and true; these guys will pass through the ATS without any issues.
ATS-Friendly Resume by HLoom
Most of the HLoom templates are crafted to fit ATS requirements precisely. Their ATS-Friendly resumes are simple and offer enough space so you can add your education, experience, and skills. You might just want to remove your street address. Just your suburb and province should suffice.
ATS-Optimized Traditional Template by Rezi
Rezi will guide you on how to fill out their Traditional Template, and since you’ll be asked about your experience and industry, it’ll only display the sections appropriate to your profile. Don’t use the Rezi Alternative Format option, though, because it doesn’t work with ATS.
Targeted Template by Resume Companion
If you want to call attention to the specific job you want, you can use Resume Companion’s Targeted Template to maximise salient keywords. We like the fact that you can download it with headers available in different colour options like forest green and aquatic blue.
Templates with a Dash of Colour
Although these three templates are still relatively straightforward, they use colors to highlight key elements and give your resume some character.
Mandy by Career Reload
The Mandy resume template from Career Reload is a simple, single-page resume that’s easy to customise according to your experience and skills. It’s ATS-friendly and easy to download as a Word file. By adding a pop of colour, this one has a bit more pizazz than the three basic templates we mentioned earlier.
Emily by Career Reload
Another great resume sample by Career Reload is the Emily option. It takes advantage of ATS-optimised design elements to help you craft a unique resume. Just replace “Career Objective” with “Summary” and add relevant info to the description.
Elegant Template by Resume Companion
Elegant is a practical and straightforward template that includes some colour and elegance without making it look unprofessional. With its coloured bars highlighting important sections and traditional bulleted format, this resume is perfect for just about any job application.
Minimalistic Resume Templates
Looking for something free of distractions? Here’s a roundup of three of the sleekest templates that’ll keep the focus on your skills and experience instead of frills and fancy fonts.
Minimalist by Resume Companion
Striking the perfect balance between focused function and sophistication, Minimalist is the epitome of minimalism as far as resumes are concerned. Designed for people that want to display their qualifications gracefully, this template is free of embellishments to keep things as simple as possible.
ATS Resume Template by Instant Resume Templates
The ATS Resume Template from Instant Resume Templates contains no formatting, making it ideal for individuals that want a no-risk-of-rejection option that’ll still include everything they need. It’s probably the lowest of low-frill templates, but it might just be your ideal fit.
Chronological Resume by Microsoft Word
By placing section headers on the left and details on the right, Microsoft Word’s Chronological Resume template is very minimalistic. And since the columns in this template can be read from left to right, they’re 100% ATS-friendly too.
Captivating Resume Templates
If you want a resume that not only passes through the ATS but is also eye-catching, try one of the following templates:
Austin Belcak by Cultivated Culture
In essence, you can really use any one of the templates from Cultivated Culture, but we recommend Austin Belcak as a starting point. All templates are fully customisable, giving you the freedom to remove any elements that aren’t optimized for ATS.
Chef Resume Template by Gumroad
The Chef Resume Template from Gumroad emphasizes the summary at the top and keeps the experience section straightforward. It’s perfect for specialised fields where building professional relationships are crucial to career success. Although the original template was designed for chefs and restaurant employees, it can be adapted to any other field.
Simple Word Template by Resume Kraft
Resume Kraft’s Simple Word Template features a super modern look yet manages to keep things very simple. Because some ATS’ will read your resume from left to right and ignore columns, add only the job title or year in the left column and move the rest of the info to the right, just to be on the safe side of things.
Aside from featuring impressive content, your resume also needs to look modern and professional. To ensure it passes ATS processes and actually makes it into a recruiter’s hands, we suggest using one of these free resume templates. Your resume is a critical component of the job search process, and with proper format and wording, you’ll be able to stand out from the crowd.