Getting the most out of free resume examples

Getting the most out of free resume examples

Free resume examples can provide you with a general idea of how to best go about creating (or updating) your own resume. Be careful however, there are a few traps you should avoid when using sample resumes – read on to make sure you do not fall victim…
The most likely reasons you are looking for free resume examples are the following;

  • To alleviate the “fear of the blank page”. When you finally sit down at the computer about to start creating your own resume it is natural to feel overwhelmed at the prospect. Where do you start?
  • What should you say?
  • What should you not say?
  • How should you format the resume? and a whole host of other questions suddenly pops into your head.

Where to start is the most common dilemma facing anyone who sits down to write his/her resume – this is uncertainty is made much worse if you have not had to write many resumes and the task may feel daunting.
By reviewing free resume examples, you can determine an overall style and get some ideas about how to present your individual work history and selling points.

Remember that the resume is a selling tool. It is used to sell you to a prospective employer so that he or she will call you in for an interview. If you are uncomfortable with the writing process, the idea that your primary method of obtaining that interview is through writing may intimidate you. This is where sample resumes can help.

Where to find free resume examples

Naturally this site is not the only place where you can get free sample resumes. There are a number of resources available – the most accessible is probably the Internet – you could also go to an employment agency or turn to a number of books available from most libraries.

I know how confusing and frustrating it can be to “run around” from one source to another. Just stay with me and I will provide you with a good selection of free resume examples right here on this site.

When using free sample resumes (from other sources) always make sure that you find a quality resume. It will not do you any good to follow the direction of a poorly worded or poorly formatted resume. So what should you look for in a sample resume, and in particular, free resume examples?

What’s in a good sample resume?

A professional resume sample will provide you with a good overview of what to do in a resume.

  • It should open with a profile or summary of the candidate, even if the person is entry-level. Seasoned professionals will obviously have a longer introduction, but even an entry-level candidate should include one or two lines describing what he or she can offer an employer.
  • The format of the resume should be clean. This means that there should be enough white space to make the resume readable, but not so much that it appears the candidate has nothing to offer.
    • It also means that use of enhancements, such as ALL CAPS, bold, italics, and underlining are kept to a minimum.
    • The same font should be used throughout the resume, with the exception of the header.
    • The name and contact information may be in a different font, but it should be visually complimentary (for example, using all serif fonts or all sans serif fonts).
    • Finally, the type should be within a 10 to 12-point font, except for headers.
  • The writing style must be crisp and clear and should avoid jargon and unknown acronyms.
  • Resume writing falls somewhere between business writing and advertising, as such the resume should be written in an almost telegraphic style. The use of the articles “a, an, and, the” should be avoided to save space.
  • You should use active voice rather than passive voice throughout – in other words rather say “performed administrative duties” than “administrative duties were performed”
  • Bullet points should begin with action verbs. When describing present or past work experience, always begin your bullets with an action verb. Demonstrate the results followed by the methods. A good professional resume sample will demonstrate this.
  • The free resume examples should focus on achievements and accomplishments rather than duties or responsibilities. When hiring, managers want to know what a candidate CAN and HAS done, not what a candidate is supposed to have done. Job descriptions do not demonstrate capabilities.

What to avoid

A good sample resume, whether free or not, can be tempting to copy. This is a dangerous route for a number of reasons. Copying a resume verbatim ensures that the resume will not only be in your “voice”, but also ensures that your particular background will not be adequately presented. Remember, each resume is a unique document that outlines a particular person’s strengths and background. This simply cannot be copied.

Other dangers are more basic. When copying an electronic resume, in particular, you may forget to change key elements, such as company names, dates, and other important information.

The best way to take advantage of free resume examples is to browse a number of them. Identify which one’s appeal to you and find out why? Get an overall feeling of the type of sample resume you like, then use it as a guide to develop your own.