Be wary of resume templates | Noteworthy Resume & Career Services, LLC

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If you are using a software template to create your own resume, there are some serious drawbacks that you need to be aware of.

Here are some of the more serious ones:

1) type in text blocks is invisible to the applicant tracking systems (ATS) that most employers use today.

2) graphics are invisible to ATS.

3) take care in aligning columns and rows when you use the chart or table function to construct your document, otherwise text may not be properly aligned with headings (or flow in the correct order), creating gibberish rather than meaningful impact.

4) headers and footers are not read by ATS, so putting your name and contact information on the first page of the document—not in the header or footer—is critical.

5) although instructions for uploading resumes generally tell you that certain file types (e.g., .docx, .doc, .pdf, .rtf, etc.) are allowed, avoid using pdf format because that file type cannot be scanned for key words which are critical to your being found by recruiters using ATS.

6) if you want to create horizontal or vertical lines to separate text, use the borders formatting function, not the drawing function.

7) dividing text into columns can cause misalignment issues – better to use the tab feature to align text into columns.

8) watch colored backgrounds – using white or yellow type on black or red backgrounds is nearly impossible to read – few recruiters will waste time trying to decipher the text.

On the plus side: Color and lines are fine but should be used judiciously to emphasize important information like section headings.