Why Resume Templates Are Job Search Killers

There’s this wonderful illustration about nature I want to share in relation to the effectiveness of resume templates. Zebras have these great stripes that cause them to blend into their herds. It’s actually a lifesaving feature when being attacked by a predator. Related: The Worst Resume Advice I’ve EVER Heard I equate resume templates to a Zebra’s stripes—really great for camouflage and blending into a “herd” of other job seekers. Not so great for standing out from the pack.


Resume Templates Are Not A Fast Fix

Templates are designed to make life easy and quick. Isn’t that what we all want? A quick and easy way to get the job done. Or, in this case, find a job. The problem with that logic is that many of the things that really matter in life are neither quick nor easy. It takes time to cultivate relationships, to raise and nurture children, and to build a career. While job searching should never take as long as raising children (Lord, I hope not!), it does take time—as should the proper and effective development of your resume. Using a resume template—while appearing “quick and easy”—really just prolongs the job search process, dragging it out by many more months.

The Goal Of A Resume

If the ultimate goal of your resume is to show a potential employer how you’re the best fit for the position, part of that goal is demonstrating your distinctiveness as a candidate—articulating the benefits the employer would receive upon choosing you over another viable job seeker. Templates undermine your very ability to do that. Instead of creating opportunities to distinguish yourself among your peers, it instead aims to blend you into a crowd of other seemingly qualified individuals—thus making your efforts to stand out futile.

So, What’s The Solution?

Ditch the resume template and customize your resume instead. Here are a few tips to get you started:
  1. Include a specific job title or target job at the top of the resume.
  2. Create a career summary that isn’t mundane. As you write your career summary ask yourself this question: Can this statement apply to another job seeker? if so, nix the line or find a way to make it more specific to you.
  3. Focus on value and benefits. Write benefit-rich statements that show the employer the experience and expertise you bring to the table. In the working world the best predictor of future success is looking at past achievements.
  4. Answer questions. Ask yourself how much, how many, and how often. This will help you to quantify—or put a number to—almost anything on your resume.
It can be hard to write about ourselves, especially in an objective manner. So, if you run into roadblocks, don’t hesitate to ask a professional resume writer for help. Professional resume writers are experts at gathering information, interpreting data, assessing accomplishments, and articulating achievements to win interviews. Ready to give up that job search-killing resume template? Find out about our 99.6%+ interview-winning success rate and more here.

Related Posts

15 Tips For Sprucing Up Your Resume In 30 Minutes Or Less Top 10 Resume Trends For 2014 Top 10 Resume Tips   Photo Credit: Shutterstock

In this week's episode of "Well This Happened", we want to know what you would do if your co-worker took credit for the work you did...right in front of your colleagues AND boss!

We want YOU to be the career coach and tell us which one is the RIGHT answer!

Think you know? Vote below, and stay tuned for later this week when we announce the right answer (and why the other ones are wrong).

SHOW MORE Show less

If you saw our first video, you might have heard about the awkward situation one of our viewers, Cam submitted. He's been working at a job for awhile, but recently overheard a hiring manager making fun of a candidate with autism right after an interview-not only awkward, but VERY unprofessional!

SHOW MORE Show less

In this week's episode of "Well This Happened", we want to know what you would do if witnessed a hiring manager at your organization making fun of a candidate who they had just interviewed who had autism.

We want YOU to be the career coach and tell us which one is the RIGHT answer!

Think you know? Vote below, and stay tuned for later this week when we announce the right answer (and why the other ones are wrong).

SHOW MORE Show less

Starting a family is one of the biggest milestones in a person's life. It's in those first few months when a parent can really bond with their newborn and make lifelong memories. However, for some new dads, it can be difficult to juggle being a new parent while remaining dedicated to their career.

Fortunately, some companies have generous paternity leave policies that give new dads the ability to take time off of work to stay home with their child.

SHOW MORE Show less

There are LOTS of questions around resume dos and don'ts. There's so much advice out there that it can be overwhelming to try and figure out what's the correct answer.

During our weekly live Office Hours on YouTube, two of our coaches, Ariella Coombs and J.T. O'Donnell, answer questions live from viewers related to their job search, career success, on the job situations and more.

We complied a simple list of what we find to be the most common questions our coaches get about resumes. We hope you find this helpful.

Let's start with the basics...

SHOW MORE Show less

Back in March, we made the hard decision to change our private Facebook group of over 37 THOUSAND members to a fee-based only platform.

SHOW MORE Show less

In this week's episode of "Well This Happened", we want to know what you would do if a recruiter called you a day EARLY for your phone interview (and you were NOT PREPARED!)

We want YOU to be the career coach and tell us which one is the RIGHT answer!

Think you know? Vote below, and stay tuned for later this week when we announce the right answer (and why the other ones are wrong).

SHOW MORE Show less

If you caught our last video in our latest series, "Well This Happened..." you heard about the problem one of our viewers is having with their co-worker. To recap, they have a colleague that overshares a little too much, and they weren't sure how to go about addressing this. We had some great responses from our viewers on how they think our friend should handle this. Check out the answer below and let us know if you guessed right or not!

SHOW MORE Show less

Negotiating salary can be a scary, intimidating experience. However, if you go in prepared, it doesn't have to be that way - you can confidently negotiate for a salary you deserve. But how?

SHOW MORE Show less