October 4, 2021

Have you ever looked at the resume templates in MS Word?

I hadn’t looked at the templates in years. But I review hundreds of resumes every week, and it shocks me how many poorly written resumes I receive. As it turns out, many of them are built from MS Word templates.

The other day I was chatting with my team of recruiters, complaining about a particularly bad resume, and one of them told me this resume was clearly based on an MS Word template.

So, I finally took a look at the templates.

Sure enough, the majority were loaded with text boxes, images, columns, and fancy fonts. All things I strongly recommend avoiding on a resume. Many even had colourful geometric shapes. And, of course, there was the dreaded functional resume!

I didn’t find a single template in MS Word that I would recommend using. Not one.

Avoid using text boxes and columns, as these will confuse most Applicant Tracking Systems, and can make your resume difficult to read. Instead, stick to a clean, basic format, with the same font and a consistent layout throughout the document.

Recruiters look for candidates with the right experience for the job, not the candidate with the fanciest resume. Hiring managers are not impressed by geometric shapes and colours on a resume. This is especially true in the data-driven world of supply chain and logistics.

One more point I should emphasize – avoid using a functional resume. A functional resume focuses on skills and abilities, which are really just the jobseeker’s opinion of themselves. Most recruiters don’t pay attention to those opinions. Instead, we look for quantifiable accomplishments and achievements, preferably in chronological order.

So, my advice is to start from scratch. Or perhaps use the basic chronological resume template as a reference if you’re not sure how to structure your resume, but please don’t build your resume from a template.

Have you found a useful resume template? Other resume writing tips? Let me know in the comments.

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