For An Eye-Catching Resume, Tweak a Template

You are on the prowl for a new job, and desperately want your resume to catch the attention of the hiring manager at your dream company. However, you are sure that manager is receiving dozens, if not many more, resumes each day for that one open position. How can you make sure your resume draws the manager’s attention long enough to put you on the short list and then the interview list? The answer for many of us is to use a resume template with some minor tweaks to make it unique.

The appeal of your resume can work wonders for appealing to hiring managers, even if your job experience and other qualifications are about the same as the competition. When a hiring manager is sifting through piles of resumes tall enough to fill a small trailer, the resumes that stand out the most are quite often the ones most likely to be short-listed to the interview pile.

If you are not design-minded, you will want to start with a good, attractive template for your resume. As you are filling in the details in the template, pay attention to the items that you think should be highlighted, the skills or experiences that make you the best candidate for the position. You will want to tweak the layout of the template to ensure that these skills and experiences are as close to the top of your resume as you can, since managers often just skim the first few lines of a resume to see if the candidate is a good match.

Once you have your resume fleshed out, print it and take a close look at it. How does it look on paper? Are there sections that should be more prominent, or parts that should be less prominent? You can adjust how prominent something looks by adjusting the font size or using bold or italics. Make sure, though, that you are consistent with your font sizes, bold, and italics—if you make your job headings bold, make sure all of them are that way.

Just because you are using a template does not mean you have to leave it laid out and designed the way you downloaded it. It is, after all, your resume, and you do want to make it professional while also being unique amidst the veritable flood of resumes being considered for the position you want. Make sure the design and layout catches your eye, and if it does not…adjust the fonts, sizes, and other formatting aspects until it does.

Through the careful use of resume templates, and the courage to tweak those templates to make them “your own,” you can have a resume that draws attention to itself and highlights your qualifications for the job. This is the “first impression” you are making with that employer; so make it a good one. Draw attention to yourself in a good way, with your professional experience and attention to detail. This will help assure you of landing the interview, and then landing the job.

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