© Written By Jimmy Sweeney
President of CareerJimmy and Author of the new,
"Amazing Resume Creator"
A free professional resume template may sound like a great bargain... but if it winds up costing you an interview at your dream job, it's not worth the price. Many career and job search websites offer free professional resume templates that you use as a tool to help yourself create your own resume. If that's how you use the template --- as a tool --- then that's great. A professional resume template can offer some solid advice on how to create a resume which reads and looks like a professionally created document. It's when users go beyond using the template as a tool and instead more or less copy it exactly that they begin to run into problems.
The drawback to a free professional resume template is that although it looks great, it doesn't reflect the unique and specific details of either you or the target job you are applying for. Consequently, the template must be altered and adapted to fit your needs before it gets sent to the target job. As long as the job seeker is aware of this need, then everything should be fine. But because the template often looks so good, so polished, so confident, the job seeker is often content to change the specific information around to fit his or her background and then let it go out the door.
Changes to Make to a Free Professional Resume Template
The information on a free professional resume template must be changed considerably before it can be effective at getting you the interview and the job because a resume is one of those document which grows stronger the more specific detail it contains. Not just any detail, though, the details which prove that the candidate is capable of doing exactly what the target job requires. Here's an analogy. Imagine the target company as a person who needs someone to come into their house and fix holes in the sheet rock, replace a broken door handle and build a redwood deck in the back yard. All those things fall in the category of Carpentry, but your chances of getting the job are much higher if you know exactly what the person needs and present specific successful examples of your wall-fixing, door-replacing and deck-building work.
The changes that you make to a free professional resume template are how you change the resume from the general to the specific. First, you do the research and questioning to find out exactly what the target company needs done in the target position. Then you look at your background and job history and education to find specific, successful examples of when you have done that for someone else. Before the process is finished, it can turn into quite a bit of work and time before you have a resume that is personalized and convincing enough to send to the target employer. But it is sure to be more successful than the free professional resume template ever could have been.
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