If you type “free resume templates” in google, there could be over 90k results return.

However how many of these templates are tested to be effective in getting you job interviews? Moreover, we all have different career strengths and situations, how to choose a resume format that best fit my current situation and highlights my best potentials to recruiters?

Here are some tips on how to tell if the resume format is right for you:

1.The design complies with recruiters’ user experience

Numerous researches have shown that recruiters only spend 6- 10 seconds on average on a resume.  And in that 6-second attention span, people read from top to bottom and left to right. If the headline catches the readers’ attention, they will read further.

So when comparing resume templates, look for clean design and clear sessions. Moreover, a good resume should be top heavy, and make rooms for you to fill the top half of the page with relevant keywords and skills. Don’t waste the area just for putting contact info like detailed address (no one cares!), meaningless graphic and icons. Make sure your name and one-line statement are here.

Avoid resume format that contains tables, fancy fonts, and distracting icons. These formats usually do not work well with job boards and Application Tracking Systems (ATS).

Your resume should be presented in a professional manner; don’t make it like a supermarket flyers which would stand you out the wrong way.

Related image

Source: Businessinsider.com

2. It fits your current career situation

Are you a recent graduate without many work exposures? Then a resume format that highlights the timeline and a long list of work history is not the best for you. Instead, choose a template with sessions that allow you to showcase your extra-curriculum activities, gigs, projects, internship and volunteering.

Let take a take at the below 2 examples. Let’s say you are making a career change to another field. Which one of the below templates is better in highlighting your transferrable skills and downplaying your work history in another field?

free resume templatesfree resume templates 2

(these beautiful templates can be downloaded here)

The one on the right would be a great choice, because it has a dominant session in the middle in highlighting key strengths, skills and experiences.

The format on the left would be perfect for those who have accumulated several years of experience in the same field, probably a specialist, and looking for their next progression.

3.Readability always goes first.

Afterall the meat of a resume is in the text. Insert as many KEYWORDS as possible into your resume to get a higher chance for job interview opportunity. Avoid resume design formats with darker layers or patterns underneath. Also, make sure the font style and font colour are legible. It is a common mistake that design students make – aesthetic is important, but never compensate it with readability!

If you have trouble picking the right colours for your resume, try matching the colour scheme or even font style with the company you are applying for. It shows that you’ve done your research and who don’t want to read something familiar?


Some people are okay with just getting any job they can get. So they go for quantity and use the same (lousy) resume to spam every recruiter listed on job boards.

But if you are serious and are target-oriented in your job search, you should set the bar higher.

Don’t risk your chance of getting your dream job with these freebies online.

Go for quality resumes that are tested to get your results. And learn how to craft an impressive resume the right way.


Interested in learning how to make a clean, professional resume in 2 hours?

Check out the Resume Self-Starter Kit!