How to Choose a Resume Template + 10 Best ATS-friendly Resume Templates

Updated: Oct 8, 2021

In a competitive job market, having a good resume can make all the difference in landing that perfect job.


A well-written, professionally designed resume is vital in making sure you stand out from the masses. It’s an opportunity to create a great first impression on the recruiters and hiring managers who will review your application, so it's worth taking the time to make sure your resume is at its best - both in content and design.


Besides being well-written and visually appealing, it's also essential to have a functional resume that can be read by an applicant tracking system (ATS) - software that companies use to process, scan, and store job applications.


This article features ten templates that are aligned with resume formatting best practices and optimized for applicant tracking systems (ATS) -- all to complement your professional goals.


Read on to learn:

Or jump straight to our selection of the ten best ATS friendly resume templates! ➝


Learn more about applicant tracking systems (ATS) in the complete ATS guide.



 


What is a resume template?


A resume template is a pre-designed document that you can use to create a personalized resume.


A professionally designed template provides the structure for you to organize your content effectively – without worrying about design elements, such as layout, fonts, colors and spacing.


A professionally designed template provides the structure for you to organize your content effectively – without worrying about design elements, such as layout, fonts, colors and spacing.

It includes placeholders for resume content like your name, contact information, work experience, education, skills, and other information a recruiter or hiring manager will need to assess your skills and qualifications.


The best templates are usually created by designers or hiring professionals with years of experience in the field. Based on their background, they know how to apply all the resume principles and design trends, such as suitable fonts, colors, spacing and layout, to create a resume that grabs the attention of a recruiter or hiring manager.


Having this pre-formatted document makes it much easier for you to create a resume that looks polished and stands out from the rest.





 


How can a professional resume design help in a job search?


Everyone can use a bit of competitive edge when job searching -- and a resume template is one of the main tools that can help you get ahead of the competition.


Professional templates are designed to make resume writing easy for you while also presenting your qualifications in the best possible way, which is key when applying for jobs.


A resume template can help your job search by:

  • setting you apart from other job seekers at first glance

  • allowing you to present your work experience, qualifications and skills in the best possible way

  • making resume writing easy for you

  • ensuring your resume is ATS compliant

With a professional resume design, you can be sure that your qualifications will be presented in an appealing and easily readable format, which makes all the difference in a job search.


Since having a professionally designed resume gives your content an instant boost, a resume template can level up your job application, setting you apart from others in the hiring process and helping you get a job offer faster.



 


What are the benefits of resume templates?


Besides the favorable impact on your overall job search, using a premade template has two additional undeniable benefits - it helps save both time and money.



A resume template saves time.


A resume template is a pre-formatted document with all design details and content placeholders already set up and ready for you to fill in with relevant information.


This means that you can skip time-consuming tasks such as designing and formatting while presenting your qualifications in an organized, professional way.


With a template, you will save hours by not having to create a resume from scratch and doing all the guesswork on the style, fonts, or colors that will work best for you.


As such, resume templates are particularly useful for job seekers who may not have the time or skills needed to create a professionally looking document for their job application.


On top of that, using a resume template and not overthinking a resume design frees up time to spend on other aspects of your job search, like applying for jobs, practicing interview skills and networking.



A resume template saves money.


Hiring a resume writer or designer can be expensive.


On the other hand, a resume template is a one-time purchase that eliminates the need for costly design services and saves you money in the long run.


Resume templates are time-saving solutions that won't break the bank. With a pre-designed resume template, you get a designing service at a fraction of a cost.


In most cases, these templates are available as downloadable documents.


As such, you can re-use one template for multiple job applications without spending money on a new one every time you see an interesting job posting.


Also, investing in a template can pay out tenfold if it helps you land your dream job.


Considering a professional resume template can help you land a new, higher-paying job faster, not only it's saving you money, but it's also helping you make more money in the long run.



 


How to choose the best template?


There are many factors to consider when choosing a resume template.


Templates vary in style and format, so it's important to find the one that best matches your needs before you begin editing it.


Some important considerations include:

  • your job search situation

  • target jobs or industry

  • the necessity of an ATS optimization


Your job search situation


Whether you're looking for an entry-level job or a career change, before selecting a resume template, make sure to understand which resume format may work best in your job search situation.


A resume format determines how your information is organized.


Even though most job seekers create and submit a chronological resume, there are two other formats to choose from - a functional and hybrid format. Before you start selecting your design, make sure to know which resume format you need.


Read the complete guide on how to choose the right resume format depending on your work history, experience and education.



Target jobs or industry


The type of job and industry you are applying for determines the most suitable resume style.


For example, if you're looking for a more creative position in the graphic design industry, it might be worth using a modern resume template with bold colors. However, if you're looking for an office role in a conservative industry, such as finance or banking, you would benefit from a simpler, more classic and traditional resume template.



ATS optimization


These days, many companies use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to process online job applications. This means that you need an ATS-friendly resume optimized for this software.


To learn how to find out if a company may use an ATS to process your application, read the complete guide on applicant tracking systems.


However, if you are sending your resume via email or bringing it to a networking event or job fair, you can opt for a non-optimized, visually-enhanced resume template - if it suits your target industry.


To sum up: A professionally designed resume can make all the difference in landing that perfect job, but it's important to choose one that best matches your needs first!



 


How are resume templates optimized for ATS?


Considering that most companies nowadays use applicant tracking systems to process job applications, the best templates are the ones designed to be compatible with applicant tracking systems (ATS).


ATS-friendly resume templates consist only of formatting elements that can be read by software.


Tables, photos, charts and text boxes are all design elements an ATS may not see. Taking this into consideration, ATS-compliant resume templates typically have a clean layout with minimal graphics.

They also use fonts that are compatible with the systems in general.


ATS can read only default fonts, so it's best to opt for a resume design that doesn't use any unique or fancy fonts.


Finally, knowing that your resume will eventually get to recruiters and hiring managers, they make all the information easily readable and digestible for human readers too, making sure that there is enough white space in the document to make it easy on the eye.



 


Best ATS Resume Templates


Take a look at the templates below and find the best ATS resume template for your needs.


All templates are designed for Word (.docx) and Pages (.pages), and come in two sizes - US letter and A4. Besides a one-, two- and three-page resume, each file includes a matching ATS-compliant cover letter and reference list template.


Fill the templates in with your personal information, add relevant keywords from the job ad and create a winning job application today!



Minimalist ATS Resume Template



A minimalist resume highlights content.


Its main features are an easy-to-read layout and a clean design. Thanks to classic typography and strategic use of white space, this resume design looks professional and sophisticated. Plus, this clean resume format offers the highest level of compatibility with applicant tracking systems.


Resume template Marcus is perfect for experienced professionals applying for corporate jobs in conservative industries, such as finance, banking or audit.





Clean and Professional ATS Resume Template



A clean and professional resume template Olivera is another great option for those who want to put their experience in the spotlight.


With a clean layout, classic fonts and minimalist aesthetics, this ATS resume design is created with corporate professionals in mind to help them stand out in a professional way.



Corporate ATS Resume Template



For anyone looking for a classic resume with a modern twist, resume template Alex is a perfect choice.


This ATS-friendly resume template presents a clean and modern layout designed specifically for corporate professionals.


This is a perfect resume if you are looking for a professional, yet modern look that will surely get noticed by recruiters.




Simplistic ATS Resume Template



Keep things simple with ATS-friendly resume template Harper.


Clean design, easy-to-read layout and typography - these are the perfect features for any professional looking to get noticed in their industry.


This ATS resume is a great option if you want to keep your resume clean while putting in spotlight work history, education and relevant skills.




Stylish ATS Resume Template



Even an ATS resume can look stylish.


If you want to stand out with a resume that is not just functional, but looks great too, then ATS-friendly resume design Florence might be perfect for your needs!


This sleek and stylish design will help any professional get noticed in their industry thanks to its clean layout and modern aesthetics.




Modern ATS Resume Template



Resume template Cooper is an ATS friendly template with a clean and minimalist, yet modern style.


It uses a clean layout, professional graphic elements, neutral colors, and easy-to-read fonts to make it appear sleek and visually attractive, but not too over the top.


This ATS resume design is perfect for corporate professionals with experience in creative fields, such as marketing or advertising, looking to show off their qualifications without sacrificing design appeal.




Classic ATS Resume Template