Google Docs Resume Template (With Examples)

By Chris Kolmar - Nov. 30, 2020
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Getting your resume perfect can be a daunting task, especially when it comes to formatting it and making it look nice. Luckily, Google Docs has a beautiful and easy solution for crafting an effective resume. The site offers resume templates, so all you have to do is enter your information and press save.

These free templates can save you lots of time and make your resume look super professional. They also offer many types of resume templates so that you can find one that fits your needs.

On top of Google’s standard templates, many third parties have free professional resume templates available to use. With all of the Google and external offerings out there, you’ll find a resume that’s perfect for whatever job you’re applying to.

We’re going to go over how to find these templates, how to use them, and a few general tips to make your resume stand out. If you’re looking for advice on how to write the perfect resume, check out some of our other guides.

Getting Started on Google Docs

If you’re not familiar with Google Docs yet, you’re missing out on an incredible free resource. Google Docs is a free cloud-based software suite that anyone with a Google account can use. You’ll have access to word processing software (Google Docs), a spreadsheet program (Google Sheets), a slideshow creator (Google Slides), and other tools. If you have a Gmail address, you’re already set up to use Google Docs.

The best part about Google Docs is that you can access your account from any computer with internet access since it’s cloud-based. There’s also a great sharing and collaboration feature, so you can share your resume with friends or colleagues for them to leave feedback. All of this is free to use, as long as you sign up for a free Google account.

When you open the Google Docs site, you’ll see an option to start a new document at the top of the page. There should be options to pick a template, and you can browse all of the resume templates available through Google. Once you have a template picked out, you’ll be able to edit all of the default text with your skills and experience.

The great thing about Google’s resume templates is that they’re already set up with the sections you need and placeholder text. You don’t have to rearrange anything; you just have to replace their text with your previous work experience and professional skills. It’s like a resume sample that you can just replace with your own information.

Google Docs also offers cover letter templates that you can use just as you would use their resume template. The cover letters require more work from you since you need to write the letter, but their formatting is perfect for writing a professional cover letter.

Using Google Docs Resume and Cover Letter Templates

Using the Google Docs templates is fairly straightforward, but there are a few things to keep in mind. First, you shouldn’t play with any of the formatting. The documents have been set up to keep the borders, spacing, and formatting consistent and make your resume look nice. You can make cosmetic changes like font, font size, and color, but try not to touch any of the resume layout settings.

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Another thing to remember is that you want to keep a lot of white space on your resume. You don’t want to hand over a densely packed sheet of paper to a recruiter. That makes it hard to pull out the key skills and experience you have, even if you have a lot you want to communicate. Cover letters are a great opportunity to go more in-depth and explain more experience. Keeping the resume template’s original formatting will help you stay brief and only mention what’s necessary.

When it comes to writing your resume, make sure you really make it your own. Even though you’re using a pre-made template, it’s important to pay attention to the details and fill the resume with relevant information. Take a look at some resumes before you get started, and try to copy their formatting and information.

It’s essential to create a resume that’s specific to the job that you’re applying to. Google Docs makes it easy to create multiple resumes at once, so take advantage of the technology and write different resumes for all of the skills and jobs you’re applying for.

The same applies to cover letters. While you can repeat information, it’s crucial that each cover letter specifically addresses the job description you’re looking at. Think of how to tell employers what skills you have and concrete examples of when you used them. Relate your previous work experience to the job description and show how you can excel in the role.

Reviewing a Resume Template

Let’s take a look at one of Google’s most popular resume templates. We’re going to show you why it’s a good template and how you can edit it to make it your own to impress recruiters.

The Serif template from Google Docs is one of the most popular resume templates, and for a good reason. It’s a simple and clear format that easily communicates all of your qualifications to a recruiter.

First, your name is clear from the beginning. With your name right at the top in a big font, you can make sure your name sticks out and whoever is reading your resume knows who you are. The option to add a headline below your name can help you communicate your objective or any information you want to highlight immediately. Also at the top is a space for your contact information, which you definitely want to include.

In the body of the resume, the experiences section takes up most of the space and allows you to highlight relevant jobs or experience for the position. Google includes space for you to indicate the job title, company title, location of the job, dates you worked, and a description of your work. You should provide all of this information if possible, so recruiters have the most context as possible.

The education and projects sections are less important (but still necessary), so they’re lower on the resume. Make sure to include any relevant education (college degree, master’s degree, or certification programs, for example) and what you studied. For the projects section, include any big projects you contributed to significantly or led. You should make sure that whatever project you highlight is relevant to the job you’re applying for.

On the right side of the template, there’s space for you to include your skills, certifications, and language knowledge. You can play with these categories to fit your needs, but you do need to include your skills at least. Pick skills relevant to the position you’re applying to, especially pulling any skills listed in the job description you have.

Under awards, you can include any professional awards or certifications that you’ve earned. Examples include industry awards, company awards, industry certifications, or career programs you’ve completed.

Storing and Sharing Your Google Docs Resume or Cover Letter

Google Docs makes it extremely easy to save and share your resume or cover letter. The site will automatically save while you work, as long as you’re connected to the internet.

All of your work will get uploaded to your cloud drive automatically, so you don’t have to worry about losing your work. If you want to have a copy on your computer, you can download the Google Doc as a PDF or Word document.

When you want to share your resume with someone, whether it’s a friend who will edit it for you or a potential employer, you have a few options. If you’re sending your resume as part of a job application, the best thing to do is download it as a PDF and send it to whoever needs it. This is the most versatile way to share your PDF since you don’t need internet access to view it, and whoever you’re sharing with can’t make any changes to your document.

If you want to share your resume sample with a friend to look over, Google Docs has great sharing and collaboration features. As you edit your resume, you might notice a blue “Share” button at the top right of your window. This allows you to send your document to any email address and grant them specific editing and viewing permissions. Here’s what all of the permissions mean:

  • Editor. This person can edit your document without you being notified of the changes. This is great for collaborating on a joint project but may not be the best option for a resume critique.

  • Viewer. This person can only view your document. They can’t make changes or comments on your resume, so you’ll need another way for them to give you feedback.

  • Commenter. This person can see your document and leave comments. They can’t make changes, so this is a great way to get resume feedback.

Tips for Using Templates

  • Proofread your work. As you would do with any resume or professional document, make sure you read over your resume for accuracy and spelling mistakes. Google Docs can catch most spelling and grammar errors, but not all of them, so be on the lookout. Also, check for an easy to read resume. Recruiters don’t have much time to spend on individual resumes, so make it easy for them.

  • Don’t change the formatting. You can play with the fonts and colors, but try not to change your template’s resume layout or formatting. People worked to design them to look good, so the less you touch the layout, the better your resume will look.

  • Test out different templates. The odds are you won’t love the first resume template you use, but that’s ok. There are tons of options out there that you can test out. A simple Google search for Google resume templates should get you a wide range if you don’t like the Google defaults.

  • Share with a friend. Since resume templates tend to be more stylish and design-focused than something you would create yourself, ask a friend to look at it before sending it to potential employers. You might have a creative resume template that’s too ornate or doesn’t match your profession, so it’s a good idea to have a friend look.

  • Remove all default text. One common mistake when using resume templates is that people leave the default placeholder text in the resume instead of replacing it with their own information. Do a quick check to make sure there’s no text that doesn’t fit.

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Chris Kolmar

Author

Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar is a co-founder of Zippia and the editor-in-chief of the Zippia career advice blog. He has hired over 50 people in his career, been hired five times, and wants to help you land your next job. His research has been featured on the New York Times, Thrillist, VOX, The Atlantic, and a host of local news. More recently, he's been quoted on USA Today, BusinessInsider, and CNBC.

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