We get it: No one sits around dreaming about when they'll get a chance to write their next resume. But a lot of us do daydream about a new job we wish we could land. And for that you need a resume…
Still though, staring at a blank page and trying to recall everything you’ve done in your past jobs, tailoring it to each job you apply to, and ugh, making it stand out from every other candidate you’re competing against? It’s stressful.
But we want to help! Which is why we’ve created our very own free resume template that’ll give you a road map (and shortcut!) for writing your own resume. Plus, it’s formatted in a way that applicant tracking systems (ATSs)—the software that most companies use to scan and organize candidate resumes—can easily parse.
Just click “File” > “Download as” > whatever file type you’d like (though we suggest .docx) or click “File” > “Make a copy” to get started.
How to fill in our resume template
1. Add all your relevant contact info.
Make sure your contact information is clear so the hiring manager knows how to reach you. This means making your name big and bold and including a professional email address as well as your LinkedIn profile URL and/or a personal website.
2. Copy and paste to swap the order of the sections if needed.
The way your resume is organized (a.k.a., which sections come first) really depends on who you are and where you want to go, so yours may look different than your friends’.
3. Decide if you need a resume summary.
If you’re not sure if you need this section (or how to write a resume summary), ask yourself, “Is my career path clear from just my experiences, or do I need to explain myself further?” If it’s the former, go ahead and delete this section of the template. If it’s the latter, here are some resume summary examples to inspire you.
4. Write strong, achievement-oriented bullet points under each experience.
The real meat of your resume is in your bullet points. So spend time on them. This means:
- Focus on your achievements, not just your responsibilities. Hiring managers love bullet points that lead with what’s most important, add context, and explain the impact you made.
- Use strong, active verbs. Here are 185+ action verbs to get you started. Use numbers as much as possible to quantify the scale of your past responsibilities and achievements. Yes, even if you’re not in a “numbers” role.
- Tailor your bullet points for every job application. Focus on the past achievements that are most relevant to this job opening and use keywords from the job description.
5. Write a skills section that shows you’re qualified.
First, yes, you should definitely include a skills section: It’s an easy way for the hiring manager to see your value.
If you’re not sure what to include, start with the hard skills mentioned in the job description. However, make sure you’re sticking to skills you’re confident in—just because you opened Photoshop once doesn’t mean it’s something you’re proficient at. When in doubt, if you couldn’t teach someone else to do it, leave it off.
6. Put your most recent and relevant education first.
When listing your education, put the most impressive information first (like an advanced degree or honors) and ditch dates (unless you’re a new grad). If you’ve taken any online classes or received any certifications that are relevant to the job you’re applying to, be sure to include them as well.
Once you’re done, use this five-minute resume checklist to make sure you covered all your bases (Hint, hint: Run spell check.)
And that’s it! I’ve just turned your most dreaded task into something that’s not so painful after all.