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Does a Resume Template Matter: The Truth From the Employer's Perspective

Does a resume template matter? You bet it does! Picture this: you're about to apply for a dream job and you've got all the right skills and experiences. But here's the catch—you're not the only one. Hundreds of others have the same set of skills, maybe even more. What sets you apart? Your resume.

Your resume is your ticket to landing that interview. It's the first impression you make on a potential employer. So, it's crucial to make it the best it can be. It's not just what you say, but how you say it. That's where a good resume template comes in handy.

A top-notch resume template can help you stand out from the crowd. It can highlight your skills and experiences in a clear and concise way. It can make your resume easy to read and understand. And most importantly, it can catch the attention of a hiring manager. So yes, a resume template does matter, and it can make a world of difference in your job search. Here's everything you need to know before you decide to use one, including:


Do Employers Care About Resume Format?

When it comes to landing your dream job, the importance of a well-crafted resume cannot be overstated. But does the format of your resume really matter to employers? Let's delve into this topic and uncover the truth.

The Subconscious Impact of a Professional Design

First impressions matter, and your resume is often the first glimpse employers get of you as a potential candidate. While the content of your resume is crucial, the format plays a significant role in creating a positive impression. A clean and professional design can convey a sense of professionalism and attention to detail, immediately capturing the employer's attention.

Enhancing Readability for an Efficient Hiring Process

Employers are often inundated with resumes, and they need to navigate through them quickly and efficiently. A well-structured resume format with clear headings, strong resume bullet points, and concise information can make it easier for employers to skim through your qualifications and identify relevant skills. By presenting your information in an organized manner, you can increase the chances of your resume getting noticed in a sea of applications.

Compatibility with Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)

Nowadays, many companies use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to manage and filter incoming resumes. These systems scan resumes for specific keywords and phrases to identify candidates who match the job requirements. Using an ATS resume template that is compatible with ATS can ensure that the system accurately reads and parses your information, increasing your chances of making it to the next round of the hiring process.

Want to learn more about ATS? Head to this ATS resume guide and find out how applicant tracking systems actually work.

Reflecting Your Personal Brand

Your resume is not just a document that lists your qualifications; it is an opportunity to showcase your personal brand. The format you choose can reflect your creativity, professionalism, or attention to detail, depending on the industry and position you are applying to. Tailoring your resume format to align with your personal brand can leave a lasting impression on employers who are looking for candidates who stand out from the crowd.

Adapting to Industry Standards

Different industries have different expectations when it comes to resume formats. For example, a creative field like graphic design may require a more visually appealing and unconventional resume, while a finance position might call for a more traditional and straightforward format.

Researching industry standards and adapting your resume format accordingly can demonstrate your understanding of the field and make you a more desirable candidate.

Time for an upgrade?

So, what does it all mean?

While the content of your resume should always take precedence, the format you choose can have a significant impact on how employers perceive you as a candidate.

A well-designed and easy-to-read resume can make a positive first impression, enhance readability, pass through applicant tracking systems, reflect your personal brand, and align with industry expectations. So, invest time in crafting a resume format that showcases your skills and qualifications effectively. After all, it could be the key to landing your dream job.


Do Employers Look Down on Resumes Using Pre-Made Templates?

When it comes to crafting the perfect resume, job seekers often find themselves faced with the question of whether or not to use a pre-made template. Some worry that employers may look down upon resumes that use templates, believing them to be generic or lacking in originality.

Let's shed some light on whether or not employers truly have a negative perception of resumes that use pre-made templates.

Are Pre-Made Templates a Turn-Off for Employers?

It's natural to wonder if using a pre-made template for your resume will make employers view your application in a less favorable light. After all, you want your resume to stand out from the competition and showcase your unique skills and qualifications. However, the reality is that employers are more concerned with the content and relevance of your resume than the specific template you choose to use.

Content is Key

Employers are primarily interested in the content of your resume. They want to see a clear and concise representation of your skills, experiences, and achievements. A well-written resume that effectively highlights your qualifications will always be more impressive than a visually appealing one that lacks substance.

Visual Appeal Matters, but...

While content is crucial, it doesn't mean that visual appeal is completely unimportant. A visually appealing resume can catch the eye and make a positive first impression. And little things, such as resume colors or white space, make a big difference. However, it's essential to strike the right balance between visual appeal and content. Using a pre-made template can provide a professional and polished look to your resume, but it's important to customize it to reflect your unique qualifications and experiences.

Customization is Crucial

To address any concerns you may have about using a pre-made template, it's vital to focus on customization. Take the time to personalize the template by adding your own information, modifying sections, and tailoring it to match the requirements of the job you're applying for. By doing so, you can make the template your own and ensure that it effectively showcases your qualifications.

Final verdict: Employers do not generally look down on resumes that use pre-made templates. In fact, in most cases, they don't even know if you used a pre-made template or not, especially the resume they receive is fully customized.

What matters most is the content of your resume and how well it aligns with the requirements of the job. While using a template can be a time-saving and visually appealing option, it's crucial to customize it to reflect your unique qualifications. By striking the right balance between visual appeal and content, your resume will make a positive impression on employers and increase your chances of securing that desired job interview.


Does it Matter if You Use a Resume Template?

When it comes to creating a resume, one of the first decisions you'll need to make is whether to use a template or start from scratch. It's a common dilemma faced by job seekers, and opinions on the matter can be quite divided.

And the main question remains: does it really matter if you use a resume template?

It's quite simple. From employers' perspective, resume templates don't make a difference—if used well, meaning you personalised them and tailored them to the industry you're applying for.

So, the decision of whether or not to use a resume template ultimately depends on your personal preference and circumstances.

Templates can be a valuable tool for saving time, ensuring consistency, and providing a professional look. However, it's essential to balance the benefits with the need to customize your resume and stand out from the competition. Consider your industry, job level, and the specific job you're applying for when making this decision. After all, the most important aspect of your resume is its content and how well it showcases your qualifications and experiences.


Does the resume template you choose matter?

Now, if you decided to use a resume template, the next question is: Are all resume templates created equal? Or, in other words—does the resume template you choose really matter?

Short answer: yes, it does. Let's see the long(er) answer.

The Visual Impact of Resume Templates

First impressions are crucial, and the same goes for your resume. A well-designed resume template can instantly catch the attention of hiring managers, making them more likely to spend time reviewing your qualifications. A visually appealing resume layout, appropriate font choices, and clear section headings can create a positive first impression and enhance the overall readability of your resume. But, here's the crucial part:

A pretty resume template is not always a good resume template. Let me explain—

Most resume templates out there are created by graphic designers without the first-hand experience in hiring. While they focus on aesthetics, functionality and strategic elements take a back seat. And if you choose a pretty resume that isn't functional or strategic, you'll actually hurt your chances of landing a job.

Organizational Structure and Readability

A professional resume template provides a structured framework that allows you to organize your information effectively.

With predefined sections for your contact details, professional work experience, education, and skills, a template ensures that you include all the necessary information in a clear and organized manner.

This enhances the readability of your resume, making it easier for recruiters to navigate and extract the key details they need.

Now, all of that applies to resume templates designed with strategy and functionality in mind. If a resume template looks more like a pretty infographic or a photo with an overly creative or confusing layout, steer away from it, as your resume template will actually work against you.

Customization and Personalization

While resume templates provide a ready-to-use framework, best resume templates also offer flexibility for customization. They allow you to personalize them by modifying fonts, colors, and section headings to align with your personal brand or industry expectations. This allows you to create a unique resume that reflects your individuality while still adhering to professional standards. If the resume template you're interested in has limiting customization options, it's not the best choice. A one-size-fits-all approach rarely does justice to diverse skills and experiences.

Having said that, it's obvious—the choice of a resume template does matter. A well-designed template can have a significant impact on how your resume is perceived by hiring managers and recruiters. It enhances the visual appeal, improves readability, and provides a strategic, structured framework for presenting your qualifications. So, when crafting your resume, consider investing in a professionally designed template to make a positive impression and increase your chances of landing that dream job.

Ideal solution: Choose a resume template created by recruiters or hiring professionals. The good news? You're just one click away from it. Head here and explore our resume template shop.



While the content of your resume is the most critical factor in your resume's success, don't underestimate the importance of a well-designed template. And the choice of a resume template does matter. Your resume is your first impression on potential employers, and a well-designed template can make a significant impact. For example:

  • By using a professionally designed resume template, you can showcase your skills and qualifications in a visually appealing and organized manner.

  • A well-structured resume template helps you highlight the most important information, making it easier for hiring managers to quickly identify your strengths.

  • It also ensures that your resume is easy to read and navigate, which is crucial when recruiters spend only a few seconds scanning each resume.

  • Plus, using a resume template saves you time and effort in formatting your resume from scratch. With pre-designed sections and formatting options, you can focus on adding your own content and tailoring it to the specific job you're applying for.

But, not all resume templates are created equal. It's essential to choose a resume template that aligns with your industry and personal style. Make sure the template you select is strategic, professional and fully customizable.


What's Next?

Ana Colak Fustin, founder of ByRecruiters. Headshot of smiling business woman.

Ana Colak-Fustin Ana is a former recruiter, HR consultant, and founder of Her career advice and job search tools have been featured in Yahoo Finance, The Muse, Jobscan, A Better HR Business, Starter Story, and other global media. Since 2018, over 8,000 professionals worldwide have used her resume templates to land new jobs. She's on a mission to help 80,000 more.

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