© Written By Jimmy Sweeney
President of CareerJimmy and Author of the new,
"Amazing Resume Creator"
For the desperate job seeker, a free Microsoft resume template might seem like the answer. That job seeker might believe that this free Microsoft resume template would let him or her quickly and easily make some changes to the text, alter it to reflect his or her background and then have a resume ready to send out into the job market. This belief would be accurate except for one small, important detail: That resume may not be as effective as the job seeker would need it to be to get the target job.
What users of a free Microsoft resume template may not be aware of is how much more powerful a resume might be when it is tailored specifically by the writer to match individual candidates to individual openings. Broad, generic resumes like those commonly written up ad posted on the web as free Microsoft resume templates don't fit that bill because they aren't individualized enough. Resumes successfully employed by other job seekers and turned into templates don't work either because they don't reflect the realities of other applicants and potential employers. If you are a job seeker, the best bet of all is to spend a little bit of time and energy learning how to write a truly effective resume for yourself and then simply write it.
Shortfalls of the Free Microsoft Resume Templates
To see why the free Microsoft resume template might not work, imagine that the potential employer is a guy named Bob with a lot of home improvement jobs that need to be done in his house, including fixing a door, repairing a hole in sheet rock, and building a set of shelves. Think to yourself about how effective it would be to find a free Microsoft resume template online that was written by a plumber, then change it to describe your carpentry experience. Then compare that effectiveness to the process of researching the Bob, talking to his neighbors and friends and learning the exact nature of all the projects that he needs accomplished, then writing up a fresh resume for yourself in which you describe your fantastic accomplishments in the door-fixing, hole-repairing and shelf-building assignments you've had in your career.
That kind of specialized, targeted resume is the kind that gets the jobs and that is exactly the kind of resume that the free Microsoft resume templates you see out on the Internet do not help you write. There is no harm in looking at these templates, adopting some formatting and spacing and font ideas from them, even copying some terms and descriptions that strike you as particularly powerful. But the words and ideas that you put down on your own resume should derive directly from your understanding of the target opening's needs and your own demonstrated success meeting those needs in your career so far.
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