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While the Internet has made some major changes to the way many of us look for work How To Deal With Your Job Search In The Internet Age How To Deal With Your Job Search In The Internet Age A job that might have been obscure is now a single Craigslist posting away from tens or hundreds of applications. To stand out you’ll need to refine your tactics – both old and new. Read More , a good resume is still of crucial importance. It may well be the only exposure an employer has to your skills and abilities, so you should be sure that it’s a document that can convince a hiring manager How To Write A Resume With The Help Of 8 Ivy School Guides How To Write A Resume With The Help Of 8 Ivy School Guides Trying to build the perfect resume? Check out these free resume tips from some of the best schools that make up the Ivy League. Read More that you’re capable of filling the position.

The best way to do that is to create a resume that specifically targets the needs of a particular job posting — but rewriting it from scratch can be a time-consuming process. Instead, use this guide to create a template that can act as a foundation for any job you might want to apply for. With a strong template in place, all that’s left is to add in the specifics when it’s time to send it off to a prospective employer.

Setting Up the Document

First things first, open up a blank document in Word. Then, navigate to the Page Layout tab, click on Margins and select Narrow. This will allow us to use more of the page, which is very important for a resume. You’re looking to give whoever’s reading it as much information about you as possible, but ideally you should be able to fit all of it onto one page.

margins

Now, add in your contact information A Quick Guide to Importing & Exporting Email Contacts A Quick Guide to Importing & Exporting Email Contacts Would losing your email contacts be a nightmare? Better back them up! We'll show you how for Outlook, Gmail, and Thunderbird. The contacts backup process should be similar for other clients. Read More at the top of the page. The specifics will vary depending on the country you live in and the field you work in, but generally anyone reading your resume will be looking to see your full name, an email address, a contact telephone number, and your physical address.

Don’t worry about making this information look attractive for the time being — we’ll style the document as a whole later on. One thing that’s important to remember is that your personal information should be in the body of the document, rather than included as a header. Screening software can sometimes ignore text that isn’t formatted that way, which might result in your resume going unread by an actual human.

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Next, insert a section break, by navigating to Page Setup in the Layout tab and using the Breaks dropdown menu. The Continuous break works best here, as we’re looking to divide the document into sections that sit on the same page. These breaks will make it easier to edit individual parts of the resume later on.

breaks

The particular sections you include may well vary depending on the types of jobs you’re applying to, but a standard selection would be to start with a short paragraph about yourself, then feature distinct sections covering your work experience, education, and finally any miscellany. Make sure each section is clearly and appropriately titled.

You will probably be able to fill out your education section fully, but for the other sections, only include the most important information The Do's and Don'ts Of Making A Strong Résumé The Do's and Don'ts Of Making A Strong Résumé Before you can even sit in front of the hiring manager's desk for an interview, you need to develop an impressive résumé Read More . You only need to put down the credentials that are likely to be used on every single application — skills and experience related to particular jobs, not to mention your opening paragraph, should be crafted to fit a particular job description. This is a template, not the finished resume.

Styling the Document

Now, it’s time to make your resume look visually appealing Restyle Your Resume For Instant Results On The Job Market Restyle Your Resume For Instant Results On The Job Market Today, I'm not going to share with you the golden secret to resumés that will guarantee you the job. That would be stupid. However, I can guarantee that your resume will be ahead of a... Read More . In this case, that means producing a document that’s legible above all else. The information should be enough to grab the attention of whoever is reading it, so your color and design choices should be relatively subdued by comparison.

Start by choosing an appropriate typeface 5 Sites To Download Cool Fonts For Free 5 Sites To Download Cool Fonts For Free The Internet is awash with font sites, some excellent, some OK, and a lot mediocre. Here are five picks which are definitely worth a bookmark for your creative needs. Read More . You should use the same one throughout the resume to keep things consistent, unless you want to use a complementary font to distinguish your contact information from the other sections. Choosing a sans serif typeface will make your writing easily legible and prevent it from being incompatible with an automated screening program — Helvetica, Calibri, and Trebuchet MS are all good options.

Next, it’s time to address your contact information. Your name should be on its own line at the top of the page, and the text should be the largest that you use, with your contact information being placed just underneath in a much smaller size. Beyond that, you’re free to arrange things as you please, keeping in mind that the purpose of this document is functional above all else.

contactinfo

Go through the various section titles and make them stand out. Making the font bold or a slightly larger size works, as does italicizing it — it’s a personal choice. However, each section’s title should be formatted in exactly the same way.

Finally, it’s time to fine-tune the content of each section. Approach this from the perspective of someone who’s job is to look at hundreds of resumes; what information are you going to be looking for, and what’s the best way of presenting it? Use bold fonts and bullet points judiciously so that your resume is easy to digest.

formatting

When everything is set up as you like it, it’s time to save this document as a template for future usage Top 5 Sites To Download Microsoft Word Templates Top 5 Sites To Download Microsoft Word Templates Read More . Click on the Office icon, then choose Save As and select Word Template.

Using Your Template

With your template up and running, it should be a snap to put together your application the next time you see a job listing that’s relevant to your skillset. When that happens, simply open the file up and start adding in extra information about skills, qualifications and experience that make you a good fit for that particular role.

Once you’re happy with the results, save a copy as a normal Word document for future use. Name the file something that makes sense, perhaps labelling it with either the name of the company that you’re applying to or the type of job it pertains to. If you apply to a similar job in the future, you’ll be able to tweak this new version of your resume rather than starting from scratch. If you’re in a field that requires you to send out a lot of resumes on a regular basis 5 Sites To Find Your Next Dream Job In A Tech StartUp 5 Sites To Find Your Next Dream Job In A Tech StartUp Like the idea of working for a startup? The salary will be lower and the perks not as flashy, but then you're part of building something. Find jobs at startups with these five sites. Read More , consider taking the time to build a folder structure to keep things organized.

organization

However, this shouldn’t be the file that you send along to the hiring manager How To Negotiate A Higher Salary At A Job Interview How To Negotiate A Higher Salary At A Job Interview Get paid what you're worth! Read More , for two very important reasons. The first is file format — there’s a lot of debate as to whether a PDF or a Word document is more appropriate. Obviously, if you’re given specific instructions, then you should follow them. Otherwise, a PDF is perhaps the best option, as it’s sure to keep your formatting intact and it can be opened in everything from a web browser to Word itself.

Secondly, you should think about the title of your document. Remember that whoever is sorting through these applications is going to have plenty more than yours, and so a file titled ‘resume’ is only going to cause them hassle. Make sure your full name is in the file name to make things easier for them, and double-check any specific instructions on naming conventions before you submit.

Do you have a tip for making your resume stand out from the crowd Land A Job With A Résumé That Stands Out In The Crowd With Sumry Land A Job With A Résumé That Stands Out In The Crowd With Sumry Building a résumé is time-consuming. Sumry offers you an easy way to do something that stands out. But is it really better than a traditional résumé? Let's find out. Read More ? Or a novel way to get the most out of a Word template? Let us know about it in the comments section below!

Image Credits: Resume letters via Shutterstock

  1. Peter
    January 26, 2016 at 7:15 pm

    And, you can use the site giveresume.com. You can easily and quickly make a competent resume. You can also send or save.

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