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Free Resume Template: Beware!
Downloading a free resume template can be so alluring. No work to do! You just download it, fill in the blanks, and get the job of your dreams!
If you buy that, I've got lots of other things I'd like to sell you.
That's a pipe dream. Listen, folks. All you get with a template is a structure that you have to fill in.
Granted, coming up with the structure can be a challenge for some people, but that's not the real head-buster. The real challenge is filling in the blanks.
There's also a not so trivial set of risks involved with using a free resume template. One of the biggest risks is that there's an extreme temptation to make minimal changes. That leaves you with a "me too" resume. Nothing hurts your chances like being like everybody else.
For that reason alone, I suggest you be very wary of resume templates. Temptation can be hard to resist. If that weren't so, it wouldn't be tempting!
Now, just because free resume templates (or ones you buy) MIGHT be risky, doesn't mean they aren't good tools. I think they are. In fact, there are some great packages of templates you can buy for less than the cost of a family dinner and movie night these days (I dropped over $75 on my last one). If that cost saves you a single day of delay in getting your new job, it more than paid for itself.
For that very reason, I'm always looking for the best-of-the-best resume template packages on the market. You can find some relatively cheap ones online, and their quality isn't bad.
By far, though, I believe the best strategy is to start with a very basic skeleton, and then essentially "grow your own" personalized resume template. What you'll end up with is something that's more you than a free resume template you download from somewhere. That subtle difference may be just enough to set you apart. And that's the name of the game.
In general, I'd say free resume templates, or purchased ones, are a fine place to start. But even if you buy a great product that gives fantastic advice about how to fill in a template, don't put your brain on a shelf.
When you're done filling it out, assess it for uniqueness, or at least for differentiation. Always change it at least a little bit.
A free resume template is a tool. Use it wisely, and carefully, and it should be a great help.
(c) Copyright 2005 by Roy Miller
An article by Roy Miller, creator of http://www.Job-Search-Guidepost.com. He recently developed a simple, powerful, job-winning resume template package. You can get your FREE copy here: free resume template. And if you liked this article, be sure to sign up for Roy's free weekly newsletter.
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