Do you need a resume to apply for a new job but need help figuring out where to start? Keep reading – this post has everything you need to know, including where to find free resume templates.
Writing a resume is one of the most frustrating aspects of searching for a new job. And if you're short on cash, purchasing a resume template is simply out of the question.
If you're ready to impress hiring managers but lack the funds to purchase a professional template, here are eight places to find free resume templates online.
What Is a Resume?
A resume is a short (usually 1-2 pages) summary of your professional skills, work experience, and achievements. This document helps recruiters, human resources, and hiring managers find the best candidate for the job they are trying to fill.
While there are different resume formats, the most common elements on a resume are contact info, a professional summary, a work history, a skills list, education, and accomplishments.
The goal of your resume is to convince recruiters you're the most qualified applicant, landing you a job interview. While you can create a resume from scratch, using a template will save you time. It helps ensure your resume is formatted correctly and you're not missing any critical details.
Having reviewed my fair share of resumes, job seekers often forget crucial information like their phone number or email address, which means they'll never get a callback, no matter how qualified. Using a resume template helps solve this issue.
Why Is Your Resume Template Important?
When you submit a resume online, it is initially scanned by ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems). This software scans your resume for keywords and phrases in the job description. ATS also has some limitations, such as being unable to read and interpret specific fonts, colors, and design elements.
This is why using an ATS-friendly resume template and the right keywords are crucial to landing an interview.
The resumes that best match the job description make it past ATS and into the hands of a hiring manager. Resumes that do not contain the right keywords never make it to a real person.
According to Jobscan, 99% of Fortune 500 Companies use ATS, so if you're not using an ATS-friendly resume template and the wrong keywords, you'll likely have difficulty landing a job interview.
Places To Find Free Resume Templates Online
Now that you understand what a resume is and why using an ATS-compliant template is essential, let's discuss where to find free templates online.
From my research, there are a lot of companies that advertise free resume templates, but when you go to download your document, they charge a fee.
While selling premium resume templates is fine, many companies only tell you about the charges once you've added all your details to the template and are ready to download the document.
Don't worry; the resume resources below are 100% free for job seekers.
1. Google Docs Resume Templates
To access Google's free resume templates, you'll need to have a Google account (which is free). Once logged into your account, go to Google Docs and choose a template. Google has five free editable resume templates with different colors and fonts. There is one template with two columns, which I don't recommend because it's unsuitable for getting past ATS.
According to Easy Resume, the most ATS-friendly fonts are Times New Roman, Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, Calibri, Georgia, Cambria, Gill Sans, and Garamond. When you're modifying your resume, you'll want to choose a font that is crisp, clear, and easy to read – no scripts or ultra-thin fonts.
A few pops of color on your resume can help it stand out from other applicants, but you'll want to use it sparingly. It's best to avoid bright colors as they can be difficult to read and a turn-off to employers. Black, blue, and red are safe bets when picking a color for your resume.
You can choose from six free resume templates on Indeed (Clean, Minimalist, Simple, Creative, Executive, and Modern). Of these, the most ATS-friendly are the Minimalist and Executive resume templates.
Instead of being a template you can completely modify, Indeed uses a resume builder, so you're limited in fonts, colors, and career sections. In terms of ease, it's very user-friendly, but because your options are limited, it gives you a more cookie-cutter resume, making it difficult to stand out from other job seekers.
JobHero has six free resume templates you can download using Microsoft Word or Pages if you have a Mac computer. Of the six templates, the Deluxe, the Distinguished, and the Professional are the most ATS-compliant.
With these templates, you'll get tips for writing your resume, which can be extremely helpful if you need help deciding what to include. You can also change the fonts and colors and modify them as needed.
The downside with these templates is if you're using a Mac, the formatting shifts slightly, so you'll need to adjust the spacing.
Jobscan offers many free resume templates in varying formats based on your career level (entry-level position, mid-career, management, and senior-level professionals). While these templates don't have a lot of frills, they are ATS-friendly and compatible with Microsoft Word.
You must supply your name and email address to download their free resume templates.
Each resume template includes tips for filling in each section to showcase your best skills and attributes.
Canva is a free design tool offering thousands of one-page resume and CV templates, including Simple, Professional, Creative, and Modern. With Canva, you'll select the template and fill in the experience, qualifications, education, certifications, and skill sections.
Canva will offer many design options, including hundreds of colors, fonts, and design elements. Once you've added all the necessary information, you can download your resume as a PDF.
Novoresume is a resume builder with eight free resume templates, including Creative, Basic, Modern, Executive, Simple, Functional, Student, and Professional resume templates. Register for an account and verify your email address to create your resume. From there, you'll fill in your job title, resume summary, work experience, skills, education, and other professional achievements and attributes.
The Novoresume builder lets you change your resume layout, fonts, colors, and themes. Once you're finished filling in the information, click the download button and save your resume as a PDF to your computer.
7. Heather Austin
Heather Austin is a former College Professor turned Career Coach who helps job seekers find and land their dream jobs. Heather offers a wealth of career advice and strategies on her blog and YouTube channel and a free professional resume template and sample.
This basic resume template is Applicant Tracking System compliant and fully customizable. To get the template, you must sign up with your email address, and the template goes directly to your inbox. The template comes in a Word Doc but can be edited in Pages if you have a Mac. If you need a one-page resume template, you can delete the sections that do not apply to your situation.
This excellent resume template will work for various career levels and occupations.
8. Enhancv Resume Builder
Enhancv is a resume and cover letter builder that is free for seven days. With your free trial, you get two resume and cover letter templates, a maximum of 15 resume sections, and access to all their design tools.
The neat thing about this resume builder is you can start from scratch, upload an existing resume, or pick resumes from popular career categories like Software Engineer, Human Resources, Nursing, and more. This resume builder is extremely user-friendly, offering many different wording suggestions and design options.
The one downside of using the free option is your resume will have its branding at the bottom. You'll need to upgrade to a paid version to remove the branding, starting at $24.99 monthly.
Choosing a Free Resume Template
When choosing a free resume template, you'll want to pick a simple one that is well-formatted and easy to read and scan. After all, you only have seconds to grab attention and show hiring managers you're the best candidate for the job!
Avoid free resume templates with too many design elements, such as icons, headshots, and multiple columns, as Applicant Tracking Systems cannot read these elements. Unless an employer states they want you to submit your resume in a Word or text Doc, you should save your resume as a PDF so your formatting is locked into place.
Regardless of which free resume template you use, remember to include action verbs, quantifiable stats, keywords, a link to your LinkedIn profile, and soft skills and hard skills relevant to the potential job. Also, use bullet points and a lot of white space so your resume is easy to scan.
Remember, your resume is a highlight reel of your relevant skills, education, and experience, not a list of every task you did at your previous position. Modify your resume for each listing, and add keywords from the job posting to increase your chances of landing a job interview!
Holly Reisem Hanna is a former nurse who decided to start a blog to make money from home while caring for her daughter. Since its inception in 2009, The Work at Home Woman has helped millions of readers find legitimate work-at-home jobs and business ideas. Under Holly's guidance, The Work at Home Woman was named one of the best websites for your career by Forbes two years in a row. Holly lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband and daughter and enjoys reading, traveling, and yoga.