Does your resume template need an upgrade?

Gone are the days of using a simple Microsoft Word document template for your resume. New modern resume templates look great and can give job searchers a competitive edge.

If you’ve never seen one, they are generally aesthetically pleasing and unique, and use colour, icons, images and creative ways of laying out text. Pre-designed templates that you can purchase, download and customize yourself can be found on Canva or Etsy.

There are few reasons to upgrade your resume to a modern template, including:

  • They can visually communicate your professional personality and make you stand out from a herd of basic black-and-white resumes.
  • According to, around 30 per cent of the resumes that land on a hiring manager’s desk now have modern templates, and these tend to float to the top of the consideration pile.
  • Plus, grabbing the resume reviewer’s attention might encourage them to spend more than the average of six seconds reviewing it. (Find more tips for getting resume screeners to take a longer look at your resume here.)

Interested in using a modern resume template? The first step is to determine the style that’s best for you. This depends on your personal brand, your industry and how big of a splash you want to make. For example, vibrant colours and images might be welcome in a creative industry, but a clean and simple style might be most appropriate in a traditional field.

Need to see examples to whet your appetite? Some creative and traditional styles that caught my eye are below.

Creative resume templates
These memorable resume templates use exciting colours and distinctive designs. These could be a good fit for someone working in a creative field such as photography, design, communications or advertising.

Traditional resume templates
These templates are a twist on the classic black-and-white resume, but still remaining reserved in nature. They would be a good fit for someone working in a more traditional field like law, accounting, engineering or finance.

Before purchasing a template:

  • Find out which types of documents are included in the template package. Look for a first and second page for a resume, as well as a cover letter and reference page.
  • Consider if you’d like to use icons in your resume, and if so, see if they’re also available to match the style of the template.
  • Make sure that you have the software and font(s) that are required to populate the template with your information.
  • Be mindful of how the colours in the design will appear when your resume is printed. A less colourful template might be appropriate if you’re planning to print your resumes at home and you don’t have a high-quality printer. Imperfect or streaky colours can ruin a positive first impression.
  • See if contact information for the designer is available in case you need to ask a question once you get started.

Finally, if you’re a graphic designer, consider designing your own modern resume to showcase your design skills to an employer right off the bat.

Is your resume in a modern format? Have you found that employers have been more engaged since you’ve started using it? Share in the comments.

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