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Making best use of free resume template

You have your referee letters, academic transcripts and certificates ready. Possibly, passport photographs too. If you are a Kenyan job seeker, all the documents that ensure you comply with chapter six of the Kenyan Constitution 2010 are at hand. All that remains is writing that CV that you reckon will land your dream job. Like many of us, seeking a guide on how to write a job winning resume, is the first step. Therefore, you perform an online search for free resume templates. Only for the search results to turn up a gazillion options. What to do? How do you decide which free resume template is a fit for the vacancy you are interested in?

styling is an integral part of a great professional resume, but it shouldn't become the focus

The question remains: How much is too much styling in a professional resume? As a rule, stick to round-bodied fonts. Minimize font styles and types to two complimentary ones at most. Stick to two colors at most.

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The Free resume Template State of Mind

First, think of this process as applying makeup to your professional resume. With the right pick of a CV template to guide you, nothing about a job candidate’s credentials fundamentally changes. However, when the  skills, competencies and experiences of the applicant are well presented, it opens windows where even doors are closed.

At the core of the commandments of great resume writing, is an equivocal call for a DIY approach as the best option. This means that when writing your resume, you should not copy paste sections or even phrases of the free template. Even if you feel that the free resume template best describes you. I implore you to agonize over every word. The job applicant who eventually becomes successful revises even those phrases in the free resume template that they deem perfectly crafted.

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Know Your “Opponent”

Any applicant who wishes to have a resume that’ll enable attainment of their career goals must ensure that the final product is particular. A great resume is distinct in such nuances such as the experience of the prospective employee.  The question of which parts of a resume need to be highlighted depends on the nature of the position advertised. Therefore, a keen applicant is one who considers and elucidate the peculiarities of each position. As a rule of thumb, this process begins by the applicant undertaking a proper background search of the organization that they are interested in.

The popular meme: "Please don't use comic sans-we are a Fortune 500 company, not a lemonade stand." exemplifies the need for a proper company background check before chosing a free resume template to guide your resume writing.

Image | Courtesy

To do that successfully, the applicant must place themselves in the shoes of whoever runs the organization and guesstimate the image that they wished to portray to the world with their brand image. They should consider such things as the colors used in the organization’s branding and their meanings.

Streetwise Tip: Avoid jobs whose application details are ambiguous, scanty or liable to misinterpretation. Not all organizations are genuine in their call for applicants. Some even go as far as advertising for jobs just to fulfill some procedural obligations. But that’s a story for another day. I invite you to learn more from my job hunting experience.

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Know The Prize

After the applicant has felt out the culture of the organization they desire to join as described above, the next step involves understanding the peculiarities of the position on offer. Take for instance that in research/academic jobs, the caliber and expertise of referees may carry a lot more weight than usual.

Therefore, sending one version of professional resume to different employers and/or in application for different jobs, is a no-no. Thus, the applicant that is most likely to be successful is the one who will fashion their CV to target the different job vacancies/employers by highlighting salient attributes that are of value to the position on offer.

Conclusion

Free resume templates are at best mere suggestions, not even guides to success. Success in your job application involves minding the simple things. For example, does the organization offering the vacancy of interest to you use UK or USA English on their website? Moreover, the secret to a professional CV lies in tying the loose ends: Do not have unexplained periods/gaps; ensure you have all your documentation; finally, look the part.

Also note that some job offers might carry specific instructions on how applicants should format their resumes. That may include: recommendations on font type, spacing and even character size. Nonetheless, where the finances of prospective employee allow even greater outcomes can be achieved by engaging professional resume writers and head hunters. Even then, the applicant still has to be proactively involved in the process.

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