If you’re a very creative person and have some experience in graphic design, then you might not need to use a CV template. But most people don’t have the skills or the experience to know how to create a CV layout without using other examples as guidance.
We can all find examples of CVs online (see for example, CVtemplatemaster.com), but that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to use that design for ourselves. However, there are certain websites that create professional CV templates which are free to download. Does that mean you should use a CV template?
To help you decide, here are the pros and cons of using a CV template…
Saves a lot of time
Writing a CV can be a very stressful and time consuming process. You could be spending that valuable time writing a great CV, but instead you’re probably sweating and deliberating over your laptop on which sections to include.
Some CV templates are role specific
You may come across a CV template which has been designed with a specific job or industry in mind. The sections which will have been created will also be tailored to your needs, and could provide you with a much better angle with which to approach your application.
All the sections are there
When creating your own CV template there’s always a chance that you might miss out an important section. This could be a disaster if you send out your details to an employer and not realise.
A CV template will have all the sections covered so you don’t make any mistakes. From having the right contact details to the core skills section – a professional CV template will have your back.
They look great
“Professionalism covers both appearances and behaviour, and appearances start with the CV. This should be beautifully presented and printed on high quality paper without any errors (just as you’d expect your lawyers’ letters and documents to be).”
Although beauty is in the eye of the beholder, you stand a far better chance of having a great looking CV if you choose a template from a reputable company. You won’t like every CV template you come across, but that doesn’t matter. It’s your choice if you want to use a template, amend it to suit your needs, use it for inspiration, or not at all.
One thing to always consider when writing your CV is how good you can make yours look without any help. There are CV templates out there that look professional, modern, fresh, creative, and impressive. If you choose the right one, you could make a huge difference to your overall application, and your chances of getting an interview.
They are often designed for ATS software
Lots of free CV templates are designed to work with ATS software which is applicant software used by (typically) larger firms. Design your CV yourself without knowledge of these systems and you may find yourself rejected for interviews simply because the ATS software cannot read your information.
Might make things worse
Not every CV template you come across is the right one for you. There are some websites out there that fail to create quality templates, and placing your trust in them could be a big mistake.
Always check the website before you download a template to see if they seem reputable. Read testimonials and reviews of the templates, and look at the amount of CV templates they have on offer. Also, how professional does the website look and is there a lot of content on there?
You can usually spot a professional website from the others, so take care when choosing a CV template. Making a poor choice could mean your chances are lowered, and you may have been better off doing it yourself.
All the hard work is done
Don’t be tempted into thinking that choosing a CV template means the hard work has been done for you. Although you’ve saved a lot of time by picking a CV template, it doesn’t mean to say you can simply enter your details onto it with little focus.
A CV should always be tailored to the role and contain the right hard and soft skills. The employer may be impressed with the look of your CV, but if you don’t tick all the right boxes it will ultimately fail in getting you an interview.
Views from Quora:
Answered Aug 6, 2014
In general – avoid templates for cvs. A cv must be specifically you – i.e. show who you are. You are an individual and not a template… However – it is probably a good idea to choose a ‘standard’ layout for all your cv’s as this makes it easier for you to work on them.
Answered Mar 14, 2017
…Resume template will gain the attention of the recruiters that are doing the selection for your dream job. Make a good use of these templates, in order to improve the writing, layout or appearance of your CV.