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No B. S. Resume Advice: Templates?

In this short video, Jeff Altman,The Big Game Hunter attempts to discourage you from using resume templates.


I want to talk with you today about resume templates. 1st of all, there are millions of them all over the web. Frankly, don't use them. I'm going to make it that simple. Don't use them. Here's why.

1. You have to comply with their format. Yes, you can look for lots of different formats. You really want to take that time?

2. The issue is that the template or the format. The issue is the content that you are putting in. You may think is attractive and presents very nicely, but it may cause problems for the reader. All of us, whether a corporation or a recruiting firm, are using applicant tracking systems. We are looking to parse data. We are not manually rekeying things. We don't want to copy your resume and pasted into your system. Whether a corporate recruiter or an agency recruiter, all the software is designed to parse resumes into particular fields. A lot of the templates have embedded headers. That can cause a problem because a lot of applicant tracking systems have trouble reading embedded header. They have to manually rekeying your information. You are now officially a pain in the ass.

3. Some people aren't cognizant of how the resume fits into the template. Sometimes, I see resumes that are cut off midfield or midsentence because a person didn't pay attention the fact that the sentence that they were writing didn't fit into the field correctly for the template that they were using. As a result, the sentence scrolls out of view. As a result, you always have to take a look at it.

4. The real issue is about parsing and ensuring that your resume is parsable by all of us who receive it. For large companies, the issue becomes about government reporting. They may delete your resume if it doesn't parse.

If you're using the template, you may have problems that you will never be conscious of, but are impacted by. If you're sending it to a recruiting firm, you don't want to be a problem resume to them and frankly, most of the template so you can look that good.

It is fine to copy the look of the template, but don't actually use one.

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves life coaching, as well as executive job search coaching and business life coaching. He is the host of “Job Search Radio,” “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice.”

Are you interested in 1:1 coaching from me?  Email me at [email protected] and put the word, “Coaching” in the subject line.

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