We get it: No one likes writing resumes. Trying to recall everything you’ve done in your past jobs, tailoring it to each job you apply to, and ugh, making it stand out from every other candidate you’re competing against? It’s stressful—especially if you hate writing.
But we want to help! Which is why we’ve created our very own free resume template that’ll cut out some of the challenges of this daunting task. Plus, it’s way prettier than your average black-and-white application (and might get you bonus points if you’re not a designer). Just click File > Download as > whatever file type you’d like to get started.
A few things to keep in mind as you create your resume:
1. Your Header
Make sure your contact information is clear so the hiring manager knows how to reach you. This means making your name big and bold and including a professional email address.
2. Your Order
The way your resume’s organized (a.k.a., which sections come first) really depends on who you are and where you want to go, so it may look different than your friends.
For more on what that means, read this.
3. Your Resume Summary
If you’re not sure if you need this section (or how to write one), ask yourself, “Is my career path clear from just my experiences, or do I need to explain myself further?”—then, read this.
4. Your Experience
Active verb use is key in every bullet you write. And great news for you, we know 185 you can use (free of charge, of course).
And, speaking of bullets, writing ones that hiring managers love includes leading with what’s most important, adding context, and explaining the impact you made.
Oh, and I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but use numbers as much as possible. Yes, even if you’re not in a “numbers” role. Career expert Lily Zhang explains how to do that here.
5. Your Skills Section
Yes, you should include a skills section because it’s an easy way for the hiring manager to see your value.
If you’re not sure what to include, start with hard skills—Excel, HTML, Photoshop, the works. However, just because you opened Photoshop once doesn’t mean it’s necessarily a skill you’re proficient at. When in doubt if you could teach someone else to do it, leave it off.
You can also read this for a more detailed account on this section.
6. Your Education Section
When listing your education, put the most impressive information first (like an advanced degree or honors) and ditch dates (unless you’re a new grad).
Once you’re done, use this five-minute checklist to make sure you covered all your bases—hint, hint, run spell check.
And that’s it! I’ve just turned your most dreaded task into something that’s not so painful after all.