All That You Should Know About Resume Templates and Formats

Every candidate tries to appear his best while going for an interview, mainly because he wants to make the best first impression on the interviewer. It is a very common practice and is surely justified. A job interview is a big opportunity in a person’s life and accordingly representing yourself contributes a lot. But what people often forget is that the job interview will only commence when they get a call for an interview! Many times, candidates don’t realize that it’s not their presentation skills or the dressing sense, but their resume that will lay the first impression on the interviewer. Interview calls are the next step after the hiring manager thoroughly analyzes the resume and select the same. So, how can one make sure that he gets a call for the interview?

If a person wants to apply for a job and wishes to make the best first impression, he must pay proper attention towards his resume template. A resume is something that sums up all the achievements, educational qualifications, and interests of an applicant. The first step to impress the hiring manager is to lay an ever-lasting impact with a well-drafted resume.

An important factor while designing or setting up your resume is to select the correct format for it. It is an essential step in the job hunt. It is vital to creating an up-to-date electronic resume. You can format your resume in four different ways. They are plain text, Word, HTML, and PDF. Let’s get into the details of each of the four formatting methods and analyze which one will is the best choice for you.

Here are some types of resume formats that a job seeker can choose from:

1.   Plain Text:

Since the Plain Text format includes simple plain ASCII text characters, it can be created using the standard keyboards. This type of formatting does not contain any special effects such as italics, bold or centering. This is a very simple format and is often the required format’ for posting the resume on a job board.

The drawbacks of using Plain Text  format in Resume are:

  • this type of formatting makes the resume boring and not at all visually appealing as there are no special effects.

The advantages of using Plain Text  format in Resume are:

  • The companies which do not accept emails with attachments, this type of resume can be sent as the part of the body of the email.
  • If the organization uses a database, this text makes it easier for them to place the resume in the database.
  • Creative effects can be used with the text only such as CAPS for headings, hyphens, equality signs, asterisks, and much

2.   Word Format:

Microsoft Word is the most popular medium for creating a resume and is the format in which an array of resumes are submitted to the companies. If you go through job advertisements, you must be well aware that some companies mention that they accept resumes in word format only.

The drawbacks of using Word format in Resume are:

  • Due to the risk of viruses, many companies do not accept emails with attachments. As a result, you cannot send the word format resume.
  • Issues of compatibility is also a widespread problem. The difference in versions can give rise to glitches in the formatting.
  • At times the attachment develops some issue and does not open when sent to the company.

The advantages of using Word  format in Resume are:

  • Most of the companies have made ‘MS Word’ the standard format for everything.
  • It is easier to open, print and forward a resume emailed in the word format.
  • The formatting is retained, and there is a 95% chance that the resume will be received as sent by the applicant.

3.   HTML:

Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML) is the coding language for online documents. You can very well send the resume in HTML format via an email and can even upload it to a website.

The drawbacks of using HTML  format in Resume are:

  • Browsers do not always support HTML documents.
  • A separate software application is required for the conversion of the text into HTML.
  • The file sent by an applicant can be ignored if it is taken as spam by the organization.

The advantages of using HTML  format in Resume are:

  • There is cent percent chance that the resume will retain its formatting and will be received as sent by the applicant.
  • The receiver does not have to download the document to view it as it can be opened in a browser.
  • Resumes of this format can be posted or uploaded to a website.

4.   PDF:

Portable Document Format (PDF) is the format used by many applicants to send their resumes. It is one of the most widely used types of resume formatting.

The drawbacks of using PDF  format in Resume are:

  • The receiver must have Adobe Acrobat Reader to open files in this format.
  • The software required for the conversion to PDF is sometimes not available to the applicant.

The advantages of using PDF  format in Resume are:

  • The risk of viruses that are attached to other types of formatting is eliminated in this type.
  • These can be viewed on both Macs and PCs.
  • Once saved, no changes can be made to the PDF.

Thus, these are the four types of formatting that can be used while setting up the resumes to send to the organizations/companies.

Conclusion: The two best options out of these four are the Word Format and the PDF Format. Out of these two types of formats, PDF is the highly recommended format. Why?

If you are a frequent user of Microsoft Word, then you must have noticed some wavy lines under the misspelled words or grammatical errors. However, at times, these are not errors really but the words you want to include. Sometimes, even the names of the companies are marked as errors. Using the PDF format eliminates the occurrence of these curly lines.

Another significant difference is that the Word files can appear differently on Macs and PCs, while the formatting stays the same when PDF is used on both Macs and PCs.

These are some significant points which dominate all other formatting types.

It is to be noted that PDF formatting must be used until and unless no other types are explicitly mentioned by the company.

The next important thing while drafting a resume is to select the perfect template for it. A perfect resume format and template when combined with your skills and achievements, make an impressive resume. This will ultimately lay a high impact on the hiring organization.

Let’s talk about resume templates? What are these templates and why do they templates exist in the first place?

It takes hours to come up with the perfect template for the resumes. A lot of time that can very well be utilized doing other important stuff often gets wasted upon correcting the margins of the resume. The internet is flooded with thousands of templates to choose from. These are designed just to save your time. You can scroll through different types of templates and select the one that suits your requirements. If these templates are smartly used, they can make you outshine. The advantages of using online templates, however, dominate the disadvantages.

Here are some types of resume templates that a job seeker can choose from:

1.   Traditional:

If the candidate is applying for a traditional or corporate job, this template is perfect for them. It is very straightforward and clear. There is no use of color, making it extremely sober. The simplicity of this template gives the resume a highly professional look. It is formatted in a block style making your resume virtually appealing and easy to read. This template helps the applicants to highlight their strengths. The content of a traditional resume template is well-organized. Many other types of templates depend on this very style of arranging the content. The font is usually Times New Roman.

2.   Modern:

Though in the Moden template also the content is displayed traditionally, yet it puts a spin to the traditional template. The Modern template uses colors and also some interesting graphics to make the resume visually appealing. It differs from the traditional template with the fact that a Modern resume prioritizes content according to the trend. For instance, the font used in the traditional resumes has become pretty outdated, and thus, the modern resume templates use any of these two font styles: Georgia or Helvetica Neue. Georgia must be your first choice as it was designed to make reading easy.

3.   Creative:

Another type of resume templates is the creative template. This is a method to highlight the creative aspect of the applicant’s personality for jobs that require creativity. If the applicant wishes to apply to the jobs like advertising, marketing, web designing, graphic designing, visual arts, acting, fashion or an innovative company, having a creative resume can be very beneficial. Colors in this type of templates can be used in playful ways, but one should be careful enough not to overdo. The resume should be visibly attractive and content easy to read. Symbols or graphics can be used to make the resume more appealing. The designs of the resume must be unique to show that creative aspect of your personality. Make sure you go through the guidelines of how the company is expecting the resumes to be. If they want a simple and sober traditional resume, your vibrant resume might reduce your chances of getting the job.

4.   The Ugly Ones:

While selecting the perfect template, make sure you avoid the ugly resume templates. These are the templates that use extremely casual fonts and writing style, like the comic sans font. These kinds of templates do not have much white space and make the resume look messy and unprofessional.

So, these were the various types of resume templates available online. But how do you choose the perfect template? Here are some guidelines to help you select the best templates.

Yes, we agree that both the perfect format and template are necessary for a resume, but what we must not overlook is the importance of content in the resume. No matter how perfect your template is, the content will still be the primary reason to get an interview call. Thus, make sure you nail the content of the resume.

Secondly, the template for the resume must be moderately designed. Excessive designing in the resume can do more harm than good. As a rule, the resume of the applicant must be practical and professional.

These were some tips to select the perfect template and the dos and don’ts while drafting a resume. Whichever template you choose, make sure it defines your achievements, skills, and qualifications.

Over the above, one aspect that you should always keep in mind, regardless of what anyone suggests, is solely your audience. Remember, that the recruiting committee or hiring managers are humans. Thus, always analyze your resume and customize your resume accordingly.  For example, in some (read: youth-oriented) industries such as IT and Digital Marketing or Advertising, going blunt and colorful can help you by creating a positive impact. While in a hospitality industry, going blunt might not go in your favor.

This was all about the templates and the formatting or your resume. Hope this article helped you design the perfect resume. Good luck to all the job hunters.