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Selling Resume Templates: My Journey from Creating the First Template to 8,000+ Sales

Updated: Aug 2

Ever had a small idea that changed your life in ways you couldn't have imagined? Well, that's exactly what happened to me when I decided to create and sell my first resume template.


Yes, selling resume templates.


Sounds pretty simple, right?


But let me tell you, this simple idea turned out to be a game-changer. Not just for me but for thousands of people worldwide who have used my templates.


The funny thing is that in 2018 when I made that decision, I didn't even know that resume templates were a thing, let alone that you could build a profitable online business selling them.


So, how did I go from not knowing that resume templates even exist to:


supporting 8,000 people worldwide

helping hundreds of people land new jobs

meeting amazing entrepreneurs and coaches

getting my story featured on Starter Story

being quoted on Yahoo Finance

taking a 12-month sabbatical

quitting my 9-5 job


And doing it all in less than five years?!


This is the full story of how it all started and how you can sell resume templates too, including:


Ready? Let's get into chapter #1.

 

How I Decided to Sell Resume Templates


As someone with a background in recruitment and career coaching, I've always loved helping people find better, more aligned, more fulfilling jobs.


But, for years, I believed that the best and probably the only way to do it was working 1:1 with job seekers. Until I discovered digital products and resume templates that allowed me to scale my expertise into "create once, sell on repeat, scale your impact" products.


These three things have guided my decision:


#1: Combining HR and Career Coaching Experience


Having worked in HR and recruitment and reviewing over 20,000 job applications, I know firsthand how important a well-crafted resume is for getting noticed by potential employers.


And based on this experience and after working with 300+ clients on their resumes, knowing how to turn a weak or average resume into a remarkable one comes easily to me.


Yet, I wasn't aware of how many smart, ambitious people need a helping hand with it.


Until one of my coaching clients told me this:


"I know my job well. I just have no idea how to show it on a resume."


Now, to put this into perspective...


He was a successful director with 20+ years of experience in his field. He knew his job inside and out. He was an amazing leader, the go-to person for strategic questions, and the driving force of his business unit.


He was the epitome of an expert. But his resume didn't show it.


In fact, it told a different story.


And then it hit me:


If he needed help with his resume, everyone needed it.


And conversations I had with hundreds of coaching clients since confirmed this.


So, since that moment, I became obsessed with the idea and goal of helping people turn their real-life skills, experience, and expertise into professional, high-impact resumes that serve as the strongest personal branding tools on their job search journey.



#2: Discovering Digital Products


When I started exploring options to turn my HR and career coaching experience into resume support for job seekers, I was mainly focused on providing 1:1 services.


Resume writing, resume reviews, resume audit, you name it.


I believed that these individual services were the only way I could help.


But one fateful day in 2018, one Google search led to another. As it usually happens when you do research (read as: press 176593 links while scouring through the search results), I kept opening one tab after another.


Among 30+ open tabs on my laptop, one has led me to Etsy and search results of the term "resume template."

Selection of resume templates on Etsy.

Selection of resume templates on Etsy.


At that moment, saying that my mind was blown is an understatement.


Realizing that I can:

  • focus on products instead of services

  • share my resume writing experience in the form of a customizable digital tool

  • create these digital products once and sell them on repeat

  • support more people than I ever could with services

opened the world of possibilities to me.


At that moment, I decided to create my first resume template.


I had no design experience, no idea how resume templates are created and sold, or what it takes to launch and sell resume templates.


But I still did it.


Wondering how? We'll get to that in a second.



#3: Noticing a Need for Functional Resume Templates


After doing some research, I realized that resume templates were definitely in demand.


Many job seekers were looking for affordable and easy-to-use templates to help them create a polished and professional resume.


No wonder! Getting a resume template is a fast, affordable way to a polished document that can transform your career.


But, most resume templates available at the time were:

  • created by designers without hiring background

  • overly designed

  • complicated

  • hard to edit

Worst of all, as a recruiter, I knew most wouldn't work. Their focus was on the looks, not on the content. So they wouldn't serve their purpose: selling a candidate's work experience to the recruiter and hiring manager and securing an interview.


So, I decided to create the opposite:

  • functional resume templates that put content in the spotlight

  • templates built in line with resume best practices

  • minimalist, neat, and professional design

  • easy-to-edit documents with an editing manual included to make them as user-friendly as possible


Next step? Product creation.


 

How I Created My First Resume Template


Even though I had plenty of experience reviewing job applications and resumes for a living, I was new to creating resume templates as digital products. But I was determined to make it happen.


Here's how I created my first template:


Step #1: Researching and Analyzing Existing Templates


Before creating my resume templates, I took a deep dive into the templates that were already out there. I analyzed what worked and what didn't, paying attention to the design elements, the organization of information, and the overall aesthetic.


By doing this, I got a sense of what was popular in the market and what I could improve upon.



Step #2: Identifying Market Gap


After analyzing existing templates, I identified a gap in the market.


Most of the templates had a fundamental flaw: they were designed by graphic designers with no background in hiring and recruitment. So, their focus was on the design, not functionality, resulting in pretty but often too complicated resume templates that wouldn't cut it for most jobs.


Plus, the design was distracting from what actually matters since they didn't have enough space for the content, which should be the essence of any resume.


Also, I noticed that most resume templates were:


designed in complicated software like InDesign,

hard to edit because of specific design elements,

difficult to read as they looked like infographics,

filled with meaningless "lorem ipsum" content


I saw an opportunity to create functional resume templates that were modern, visually appealing, easy to use, and effective.



Step #3: Putting My HR Experience Into Practice


As someone with HR experience, I knew what employers seek in a resume. I used this knowledge to create a neat and professional template that put content in the spotlight instead of distracting from it.


By doing this, I was able to create a template that was both visually appealing and functional.



Step #4: Identifying Key Components and Upgrading Content


Once I had identified the market gap and put my HR experience into practice, I began determining the key components and design elements I wanted to include in my templates.


I focused on the most crucial information, such as work experience, education, and skills, and ensured they were easy to read and visually appealing.


Also, back then, resume templates were often filled with meaningless "lorem ipsum" content that didn't offer any real value.


That's why I took a different approach and decided to elevate the quality of my templates by incorporating practical resume writing tips.


My goal was twofold: not only did I want to provide visually appealing designs, but I also aimed to guide my customers in crafting resumes that not only looked good but also sounded exceptional. (As a recruiter, I knew the latter was even more important.)


By infusing the templates with valuable advice, I ensured my customers could create resumes that truly stood out. And it worked! I now get amazing reviews daily from thousands of professionals who:


got compliments from recruiters and career coaches,

landed multiple interviews,

got amazing job offers for dream jobs at top companies,

got more attention from employers than ever before,

had their quickest job search ever in record time.


Using ByRecruiters resume templates, my customers have achieved it all!



Step #5: Using Free Tools to Create a Professional Template


Finally, I used free tools like Microsoft Word and Apple Pages to create professional and visually appealing templates that are easy to use and edit.


Using these tools allowed me to create templates that looked professional and neat while being simple to use.



Plus, my customers didn't need fancy software or advanced design and technical skills to customize the templates, which improved their experience and simplified the whole process.


By researching and analyzing existing templates, identifying a market gap, and putting my HR experience into practice, I could create resume templates that stood out in the market.


Next step? Launching the shop.


 

How I Launched My Shop and Sold My First Template


If you think starting a digital product shop is difficult, raise your hand.


Well, let me tell you, I used to think the same way. The idea of starting my own online shop and actually selling something seemed like an impossible mission.


But guess what? I took the plunge, faced the challenges head-on, and discovered that it's not as complicated as it seems.


From navigating the ins and outs of the platform to creating irresistible product listings, let me walk you through my journey of launching my Etsy shop and selling my very first template.



Step #1: Weighing Options


Before starting my shop, I had to consider which platform would best fit my needs.


I researched different options and decided to launch my shop on Etsy.


Etsy is a popular online marketplace specializing in handmade, vintage, and unique items. They also allow the selling of digital products, which was the key factor in my decision.


Plus, they already had huge traffic and customer base back then, which meant that my target audience will be there, making it easier to reach a larger number of potential customers.


Overall, after careful consideration and research, I found that Etsy offered the perfect combination of a thriving marketplace, community support, trustworthiness, and useful selling tools that aligned with my goals as an online seller.


So, launching my shop on Etsy felt like the absolute best choice to start my entrepreneurial journey.



Step #2: Launching a Shop on Etsy


Launching a shop on Etsy is a straightforward process. I signed up for an account and followed the instructions to create my shop.


I added my shop name, logo, and description. I also set up my payment and shipping options.


Once my shop was set up, I was ready to start publishing my products.


First banner on Etsy of resume template shop ResumesByRecruiters.

First banner and logo on Etsy, January 2019


Step #3: Publishing Products


Creating and publishing my products was the most time-consuming part of the process.


I spent over six weeks designing and perfecting the first collection of my resume templates.


Once they were ready, I uploaded them to my shop. I made sure to include clear descriptions and high-quality images of each template. I also priced them competitively to attract potential buyers. Once everything was set, I hit "Publish"on my first set of 20 templates.



Step #4: Selling My First Resume Template


After publishing my products, I waited patiently for my first sale while continuing to improve product SEO and creating new designs.


It took four weeks, but I'll never forget that moment.


I was at the airport, heading to Baku, Azerbaijan, when I got a notification: my first sale on Etsy! I was beyond excited, feeling a mix of validation and motivation. It gave me the confidence to continue.

My thinking was: If I can sell one product, I can sell ten. If I can sell ten, I can sell a hundred. And if I can sell a hundred, the potential is limitless.


My thinking was: If I can sell one product, I can sell ten. If I can sell ten, I can sell a hundred. And if I can sell a hundred, the potential is limitless.

And this belief has kept me motivated ever since.

Three charts showing sales stats of a bestselling resume template on Etsy.

Stats from 2020 on one of the bestselling items that sold over 1,900 times


It has kept me going even when the sales were slow and when I didn't see those sales notifications on a regular basis. But it has definitely paid off.


 

Where Is My Resume Template Business Today


It's been a while since I created and sold my first resume template, and my business has come a long way since 2018.


Here is where my resume template business stands today:


Supported over 8,000 job seekers


Since 2018, over 8,000 people have used my resume templates to land interviews and jobs worldwide. And I regularly receive their messages and feedback, which is by far the most rewarding part of my job.


Etsy banner of a resume template shop. ByRecruiters shop logo and banner with text "You're amazing, it's time your resume shows it."

Expanding my product line


Initially, I started with just a few basic resume templates, but as my business grew, I decided to expand my product line. Today, I offer various templates tailored to different industries, job levels, and personal preferences. My product line has something for everyone, from basic and minimalistic designs to creative and eye-catching templates.


Partnering with other businesses


I have partnered with career coaches, resume writers, and job search websites to offer my templates as part of their services, including Jobscan, Synapse Consulting, and various colleges across the US.


Free ByRecruiters resume templates on Jobscan.

I didn't even dream of getting such opportunities when I first started.


This has increased my sales and helped me establish my brand as a trusted and reliable source for resume templates.


Supporting other digital product creators and resume sellers


Since 2020, I've had the chance to team up with digital product creators, career coaches, and resume writers who were looking to amp up their offers with resume templates.


It's been a real eye-opener for me, seeing how much I enjoy sharing my journey and all the valuable lessons I've learned in the past five years. Working side by side with them, whether it's creating products for them or providing close support as they dive into the world of online shops, has been incredibly inspiring.


Let me tell you, partnering with other business owners in the field has been the most rewarding experience, and I'm super driven to do more of it. (Intrigued? Stay tuned for new ways to work with me.)


 

How You Can Start Selling Resume Templates


Now, onto you. If you've made it this far, your main question must be how you can start selling resume templates, right?


There are three main ways to get started, sorted from the slowest to the quickest one:

  1. Creating resume templates from scratch

  2. Getting an extended commercial license to resell templates

  3. Getting Resume Shop Starter Kit


Option A. Create Resume Templates From Scratch


The most obvious way to start selling resume templates is to create them from scratch. This means that you should:


  • analyze the market,

  • ideate the designs that set you apart from others,

  • prepare copy,

  • design a layout,

  • select fonts,

  • pick colors,

  • choose and arrange graphic elements,

  • craft supporting materials such as editing manuals,

  • prepare product photos,

  • write product descriptions...


Basically, everything from the initial idea to launching your product.


When designing your templates, consider what both employers and job seekers are looking for, such as clear organization, eye-catching design, and easy user experience. Think about what sets your templates apart from others on the market, whether it's a unique design or a focus on a specific industry.


Once you have created your templates, you can sell them on your website or platforms like Etsy.


Wondering how long it might take? It took me six weeks to create my first resume template.


And I believe anywhere from 4 to 8 weeks is a realistic benchmark to get your first digital product out there.



Option B. Get an Extended Commercial License to Resell Templates


Want to speed up the process? A much simpler and quicker way to start selling resume templates is to get an extended commercial license that allows you to resell templates.


Purchase the license along with the template you'd like to resell and:

  • Unlock new revenue streams by reselling our resume template(s)

  • Expand your market reach

  • Attract, serve and support more clients by offering bestselling, top-rated products

  • Add credibility and versatility to your business


Printed commercial license to sell resume template laying on beige desk. White pen on the papers.

When you get a commercially licensed resume template, you can skip the tedious process of product creation and jump straight into promotion and sales.


(Note: Before purchasing any commercial license, make sure to review the terms and conditions.)



Option C. Get the Resume Shop Starter Kit


Want to launch your resume shop in less than a week? Of course, in the easiest way possible, without the hassle of ideating, creating, designing, and testing all the products from scratch? Well, you're in luck!


After designing hundreds of resume templates, helping thousands of customers, and supporting HR professionals and career coaches launching their resume shops, I've created a toolkit I wish I had when I was starting out: Resume Shop Starter Kit.


Packed with my bestselling and top-rated resume templates, tried-and-tested tips, and must-have tools for product promotion, I'm giving you ALL of it.


(Dare I say that this is a one-of-a-kind offer you won't find anywhere else? Since I'm giving you my bestselling inventory to resell, I'd say yes! But also, I Googled it and couldn't find anything like it.)


Get a collection of ready-to-sell resume templates that my customers praise, brand them as yours, and launch your resume shop in 5 days.

Multi device mockup of resume shop starter kit.

It covers literally everything you need to launch your shop, including:

  • 10 bestselling, top-rated, done-for-you resume templates

  • customizable supporting materials for an amazing customer experience

  • effective product descriptions that convert lurkers into buyers

  • eye-catching product photos

  • customizable launch promo social media templates

  • step-by-step launch checklist

  • tutorials on how to make more products out of the ten templates you've got

With the Resume Shop Starter Kit, your resume shop will be up and running in five days from now.

Once you have purchased the toolkit, you can sell them on various platforms (excluding Etsy), attract and support more clients, and earn passive income.



Key Takeaways


As simple as it may seem, deciding to create and sell resume templates has been a life-changing decision for me.


After I learned that I can pack my recruitment and career coaching experience into customizable digital products, I was determined to create and sell professional, highly functional resume templates. From ideating and creating the templates to launching my shop on Etsy, I did everything by myself and have supported over 8,000 job seekers with my templates since 2018.


There are three ways how you can start selling resume templates:

  1. Create your set of resume templates from scratch

  2. Get a commercial license for a resume template and start reselling it

  3. Launch your resume shop and first collection of 10 resume templates with the Resume Shop Starter Kit

Whichever option you choose, trust me, it will be worth it.


 

What's Next?

  • Learn more about the Resume Shop Starter Kit, a comprehensive toolkit that helps you launch your resume shop in 5 days.

  • Bookmark this article to have it at hand whenever you need some motivation.

  • Know someone in the online space who wants to start an online business? (Bonus points if they're in HR, career coaching, or resume writing field.) Share this article with them.


Portrait of a smiling business women with a cup of coffee. Circle-shaped headshot.

Ana Colak-Fustin


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

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