How To Make A Resume In Word (With Examples)

By Chris Kolmar - Feb. 25, 2021

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Resumes, (a.k.a CV, résumé, or resumé), are a single sheet of paper that gives hiring managers and recruiters a quick summary of your experience, education, and skills.

It is the document that is meant to sell you as a potential employee and convince the reader that you’re the perfect fit for the job.

One of the easiest ways to create a professional-looking resume is to use one of many pre-made templates. Most word processors recognize the difficulty of writing a resume and therefore have added many resume templates for you to use.

The Importance of a Great Resume

A resume is a means of introducing yourself to a potential employer, laying out what you’ve done, what you’re good at, and why you’re a good fit for the position. This is where you make a good first impression. A great resume gets the recruiter interested in you, which can lead to more interviews and more chances to get the job.

Studies have shown that the average recruiter will give your resume no more than a glance, which means you have to sell yourself fast. Hiring managers have to sift through an astronomical amount of resumes, and they will get bored of having to read the same qualifications over and over.

To make yours stand out, only include the important stuff. Think about your resume as if it is a billboard, and you have until the recruiter’s car passes you to prove that you’re right for the job. Because of this, the resume that will get you the most results is one that is organized, easy to read, and direct.

It can seem nearly impossible to create such a lasting impression in so short a time, but luckily there are templates you can use to help you create a flawless resume.

Why Use a Resume Template

A resume template is a great way to ensure that your resume comes out looking its best and helps the hiring manager quickly find out what makes you qualified for the position.

There are several kinds of templates, ranging the gamut from colorful and casual to business-like and formal, so everyone can find a template that fits their needs. Using a template can also help cut down on the confusion, as we sometimes receive contradictory advice on how to write a resume.

An easy-to-use template helps guarantee that your resume always has what hiring managers are looking for, with proper formatting and without errors, allowing you to make the best first impression you can.

Sometimes, resume templates also come with matching cover letter templates, so you can make use of these if an application calls for one, or if you want a chance to explain, in your own words, why you would be a great fit for the position.

Templates can also serve as a jumping-off point, allowing you to create the first draft of your resume, before adjusting it to better fit your needs. You can choose to use as much of the template as you want, whether you want to use it as just a bare-bones outline, or if you want to fill in every blank you are given.

Where to find a Word Resume Template

If you’re using Microsoft Word, it is easy to find resume templates. Simply, open Word, and on the left side of the screen choose “New” to create a new document. For advice on using a Google Docs template, click here.

Next, use the search bar to search for resume templates. Word will supply you with dozens of online templates to choose from. Scroll through the results and find one that is appealing to you, but also appropriate for the job you’re applying to.

For example, if you are creative and looking to show off your originality, choosing a more colorful resume could be for you, and if you are an accountant, try sticking to a more minimalist and professional resume template, or a plain text resume. Consider each templates’ use of layout, graphics, font, and text size.

Ask yourself where the eye goes first when viewing the document. If it does not go to the most important information, you may want to try another template. Don’t overdo it on color, as this will just distract from the information you want the recruiter to see. Keep graphics professional-looking and minimal.

Choose your template, click “Create.” Feel free to play around with several templates before deciding which one is right for you. You can also use the template for inspiration if you want to create your resume from scratch.

Do not feel married to this template, especially if you are applying to multiple jobs. You can always change it up later if you decide it doesn’t work for you.

How to Fill in a Resume Template

Now that you have your resume template chosen, fill in your information. Anything that is in brackets ([]) should be replaced with your information and the brackets deleted. Make sure you change the contact information; if the hiring manager cannot reach you, all of this work will have been for nothing.

Keep in mind the short time you have to convince your reader, and list only relevant job experience; this will help you keep your resume to only one page and will help you keep the hiring manager’s attention.

When listing job experience, you can choose to list it chronologically, by most recent job to least recent. Or you can choose to list your job experience functionally, meaning you list jobs that gave you valuable experience that you will use in the position you’re applying to, with the most valuable being listed first.

For example, if you’re applying to a digital marketing job, you would list all of the jobs that gave you digital marketing experience and choose not to list a customer service position you may have worked recently.

Include the dates you worked. You do not have to be specific, but usually, the month and year are included with a job title, such as “July 2016 – September 2019.”

When describing your responsibilities in a position, try to list only those that are relevant to the position you’re applying to. Even if you had more responsibilities, do not list them unless they speak to the abilities you would use in this position. By listing only the relevant responsibilities, you are more likely to keep the recruiter’s attention.

Keep your descriptions active, and avoid passive language. This means it is better to write, “managed inventory,” rather than “inventory was managed.”

Try using figures, if they are relevant. For example, you can talk about the number of employees you managed, so the hiring manager understands the scale of your responsibility. You can also choose to emphasize specific accomplishments you made while in a particular position, such as a particular project or an obstacle you overcame.

If you are applying to multiple positions at once, consider creating a resume for each position, tailoring each document to best highlight the skills that position requires. To keep the resumes organized, consider saving the file as “Resume_CompanyName,” or something similar.

This will make sure you don’t send the wrong resume with an application.

Resume Template Tips

  1. Do not leave in any brackets. Or any indication that you are using a template. Doing so can leave your resume looking rushed or incomplete, which reflects poorly on you. Make sure to do a few proof-reading before sending in your resume. Maybe have a friend or family member look it over.

  2. Personalize each resume. Tailoring the resume for the job you’re applying to is a great way to make sure you’re putting your best foot forward. Highlight the skills that you could bring to the position, and list any relevant experience.

    Since the recruiter is likely to skim your resume, do not bog them down with useless information and fluff.

  3. Talk yourself up. This is your chance to show what you know and talk about what you’re good at. It can be difficult for some of us to write this way, but it is important to describe yourself in the best possible light. Don’t be afraid to brag a little.

  4. Use a skills section. Many resume templates include a sidebar or summary section, which is a place for you to list off your most useful skills.

    Using this allows for the hiring manager to find the crucial information quickly, without having to dig through more wordy descriptions. Using a bullet-point format is a fast way to convey your skills and what separates you from the competition.

  5. Know how to write a resume. If you’ve never written one before, using a template as a starting point can be confusing, especially if you don’t know what recruiters are looking for.

    You will find your resume more polished and refined if you take into account advice for what a resume should look like. Templates will give you the blank to fill in, but rules on writing a resume will tell you what to fill that blank with and why.

Final Thoughts

Writing a resume can seem daunting, especially when we consider just how much rides on having a perfect resume.

However, through the use of templates, you will be able to easily create a resume that will faithfully portray your skills while grabbing the attention of any hiring manager or job recruiter.

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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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