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Format for Success?

You don’t need to have design skills to have a professional looking resume

If you’ve been a member of the job-search club for any amount of time you’ve probably heard more than your share of war stories about resumes — good and bad. This one got a job based solely on the resume. That one lost a job due to the resume.

Then, of course, there is the entire world of ATS – applicant tracking systems. Many of those software screeners have their own criteria as to what is acceptable in the wild, wonderful world of resumes.

If you haven’t searched for a job since the Clinton administration, you very likely don’t know where to begin in deciding what to do about your resume. One thing is certain: you probably don’t want, or can’t afford to spend several hundred dollars to have someone create a resume for you.

What to do? Where to turn?

Since this is the 21st Century, the most likely place to turn is, of course, the internet. A simple Google search of “free resume templates” yielded 136 million hits. If you don’t have the time or the patience to peruse all 136 million, you can turn to some trusted names a little closer to home.

Google Docs – a free, stripped down, but effective word processing program from, you guessed it, Google – offers no less than five resume templates. All you need to access these templates is your own, personal (free) Google account (i.e. g-mail)

Not satisfied with that? Your old friends at Microsoft stand ready to help. Searching through Microsoft Word templates in Office Online, uncovered 144 mostly resume and a few cover letter templates. There are chronological templates, templates for teachers, as well as professional and functional resume templates. There are also templates with photos, some with various graphic elements and others dubbed simply “creative.”

In the end, you don’t need to be “creative” to prepare your own resume and, what’s more, you don’t need to be intimidated by the thought of having to create one or to spend significant (yet scarce) dollars to get one. There’s plenty of help out there… and much of it’s free.


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