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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.