Note: if you’re here just for the free resume downloads, scroll all the way to the bottom! If not…
I remember when I first had to create a resume.
I was applying for a part-time job at a supermarket. It was to rearrange shelves in the store. I was barely 18. I had never worked before. The recruiter told me, like it was the easiest thing in the world, to:
Just send me your resume by tomorrow, alright?
I nodded, as if it was alright. But it was NOT alright. I think I stared at my computer screen blankly for at least a full hour.
We’re here to tell you: don’t waste your time.
Whether you have the good problem of having too much experience to fit into 1-2 pages, or if you can’t even begin to think what you’ve been doing with your life until now, doing a resume from scratch is extremely overwhelming. It’s gonna take time, energy and a lot of pain.
That’s why you SHOULDN’T write a resume from scratch.
There are, of course, professional resume writing services out there. But as students and fresh graduates, we’re probably gonna try to do it by ourselves to save that extra cash. (You know, for marriage and stuff.) Add to that the fact that many experts recommend sending customised resumes for each job you apply for, and it makes a lot of sense for us to be able to write our own resumes.
But where do I start?
First, you need to know what a resume is.
A resume (or résumé, if you want to be fancy) comes from a French word, meaning “to summarise.”
And that, in a nutshell, is what a resume is! It’s simply a summary of your experience, achievements and skills presented to a potential employer who probably doesn’t know you at all.
Which is why it’s so, so important. You’ve heard the saying: first impressions matter. In fact, studies show that recruiters look at a resume for only SIX seconds before shortlisting you… or throwing it in the trash.
So you need a good, solid resume. One that will make the difference in those six seconds.
Step 1: Choose A Template That Suits You!
So what’s the tip we have, so that you don’t waste time like I did? It’s simple: use a template!
First, a warning. Templates are NOT like instant noodles, where you just add water and it’s ready to serve.
Templates are more like the recipe for an amazing Aglio Olio with Shrimp. It tells you how to start, but you have to cook it yourself – and you’ll end up with something that is uniquely yours.
This is super important to understand, so we’ll repeat it again. A template is a GUIDE. It’s just the beginning – there’s a lot of work left to do still.
So where do I get these free resume templates?
We’ve found 5 places for you to find and download resume templates – for free! Help a fellow student out and make sure to share this list around.
Yup, that Microsoft Word – the same one we’ve been using to type all those assignments. Turns out they have resume templates (and even cover letter, proposals and many other important documents)!
You can download one and immediately start editing it in Microsoft Word.
The best thing about Google Docs and all of the other services you get to use with your Gmail account is:
- Unlike Microsoft Office, it’s free! All you need is an internet connection.
- You can easily share them with your friends, and even edit the same document at the same time (a life-saver for group assignments).
If you like one of their resume templates, just click on it and Google will create a new document for you to edit! You can also save it as a Word Document to edit in Microsoft Word, or as a PDF.
Tip: Use Grammarly, another free tool you can download which checks spelling and grammar as you type. We’re using it right now!
These resumes might do the job (Get it?? We’re so hilarious.) for graduates applying to media or creative careers.
Adobe InDesign is the lesser-known species from the Adobe Creative Cloud Suite which includes Photoshop, Illustrator and After Effects. InDesign helps you to produce beautiful documents, ready to be published for printing or online.
There are 5 free templates here for download: Colorblock, Bold, Modern, Bordered and Basic.
However, you do need Adobe InDesign to edit the templates. You can get a trial version for free (look for InDesign!), or subscribe to a plan. Alternatively, find a designer friend – chances are that he already has InDesign on his/her computer.
Here is another option. Check out free online resume builders!
These websites not only give you resume templates, but also guide you through the process of creating a resume step-by-step. Once you sign up, you get to choose a template and fill in your personal details like this:
However, take note: this is probably our least favourite option. Unless you pay some money, you will NOT be able to download the resume you’ve created. Instead, you’ll be given an online link which you can share with potential employers.
While having an online resume might be convenient for some, do take note that many employers would still prefer hard copies or e-mail attachments. There is also limited flexibility for you to edit the template compared to the others we’ve listed here.
Feel free to experiment with these builders, but be aware of the limitations! Also be cautious when giving your data to online websites.
Yes, you read that right – there’s 412 templates here to choose from.
Not just that, Hloom.com provides resume advice for different stages in your career and/or industries. You can choose from the Top 10 Best Resume Templates, Basic and Simple, Clean, Portfolio and even Infographic resume templates! All of these templates can be downloaded and edited in Microsoft Word, so you have complete freedom.
What’s more, this website also offers free templates for cover letters which match the resume templates available.
They’re not paying us to say this, but we think it would be worth your time to take a look at this valuable resource – not just for the free and beautiful templates, but also the great advice and explanations given.
To sum it up, here is the list of places you can make your resume for free.
- Microsoft Word Free Resume Templates
- Google Docs Free Resume Templates
- Adobe InDesign Free Resume Templates
- Free Online Resume Builders (eg: Resume.com)
- 412 Free Professional Resume Templates (Hloom.com)
As we keep saying, having a good resume template is only the first step. Next, you have to fill it up and make it your own.
Remember that you have only 6 seconds to impress. For a start, The Interview Guys have a comprehensive guide called How To Make A Resume 101 you can check out. You will also probably be sending your resume by e-mail, so it’s worth making sure you DON’T make any of these 9 e-mail nightmares we recieve here at Skolafund. All the best!
Oh and for the record, I did manage to get hired to stack shelves at that supermarket.
The Skolafund Blog is filled with inspiring stories, great tips and life hacksh for students, fresh graduates and working professionals. Our next posts include a guide to writing the perfect e-mail. To make sure you don’t miss out, sign up to our newsletter here. Do it now.
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