Resume Templates - Free Samples and Examples 2017 - Online Resume Builders

There are a lot of factors that go into creating a great resume. From the action verbs that you choose to achievements you mention, a great resume has to have all your best information with excellent word choice if you want it to be selected for further review.

But before the hiring manager reads even a single word on your resume, they are first going to be looking at the quality of your resume template, and that’s where so many job seekers make mistakes.

You can write all of the best words, and have some of the most amazing quality achievements, but in the half second that it takes them to read the first word of your resume, they have already formed an opinion about the quality of your resume template. If yours is lacking, then the rest of your resume may not matter.

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What is the Best Resume Template?

There are many great resume templates available. At Online Resume Builders, we provide resume templates crafted by hiring managers and experts in design, as well as an easy to use builder that can ensure your resume looks its absolute best.

There are also bad resume templates, and any conversation about resume templates starts with that a discussion of what you don’t want. You do not want a template that is:

Widely and Freely Available

Templates that come from Microsoft Word that almost literally every job seeker has used in their life have simply lost all impact. Most are simply unprofessional, and while there are one or two templates that are fine from a design standpoint, they also allow for almost no customization and are used millions of times each year.

Poorly Formatted

It is the resume template design that matters most, and each design needs to have formatting that draws the eye to the most important information on the resume. Many resume templates have formatting problems.

Make it Difficult to Read

They may be too “busy,” or they may not have an indentation that makes it easy to read the words, or they use an odd font, or font size. It may not have clear delineations between each section. Poor formatting can create a less impactful resume template.

Lacking Features You Need

While this is more subjective, you want to make sure that your resume is speaking for you the way you need it to speak for you. If you don’t have a strong work history, conventional resumes are acceptable. But there are now resumes with graphics, resumes with graphs, and more that are not flashy distracting like the resumes of old, but instead can highlight you in the best possible way.

Nothing Distracting

Features can be a great thing on a resume, but you don’t want your features to be too distracting. In the past, graphics or designs on a resume were far too distracting, and often took away from the quality of your information. But times have changed. You’ll want to figure out if you need anything special on your resume and, if you do, whether the design you’ve chosen is one that is not distracting.

It’s important to keep these in mind when you are selecting the best resume template, as you will want a template that has some type of “wow” factor but doesn’t distract from your information. The best resume templates are those that are:

  • Highly Professional
  • Clean Design
  • Excellent Format
  • Draw the Eye to the Right Places
  • Not Distracting

You want your resume template to be impressive, and yet you also want your resume template to be something that the hiring manager does not focus on, because if they’re too distracted by your template than they are unlikely to be reading your information.

Types of Resume Templates for Different Types of Careers

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to resume templates, because different jobs require different types of designs. There are different templates that are likely to match the different categories of jobs you apply for. Office resume templates or executive resume templates may look very different than, for example, a resume template for a first job.

You’ll want to envision not only what the resumes of others look like, but what the hiring manager genuinely wants to see. By putting yourself in their shoes, and learning more about what hiring managers in that industry like to see from their candidates, you’ll have a better idea of what type of resume template you should choose.

kinds of resumes

Chronological Resume Template

The vast majority of the resume templates that you will see are going to be chronological resume templates. These days, professional resume templates tend to be either chronological or combination. Chronological resume templates have the following order:

  • Contact Info
  • Objective Statement/Professional Summary
  • Education/Work History
  • Work History/Education
  • References

Recent graduates tend to put education before work history, while experienced workers put work history before education. It depends on what is most impressive, as you want your best information at the top.

You have a choice between an objective statement or a professional summary as well. Professional summaries tend to be preferred on professional resumes.

Most traditional resumes are chronological resumes. If you are not sure what resume style to use, choose a chronological resume. It is the most widely accepted, widely used, and common. They tend to not be very flashy, but that’s okay.

Even though your goal when applying to jobs is to stand out, you only want to stand out in the right ways. Sometimes it’s better to blend in as you learn how to create better resumes, and then you can start branching out to more modern resume templates in the future.

Professional Resume Template

Your go-to template for most positions should be a professional resume template. Professional resume templates have all of the main features that you expect from a resume. They are usually chronological, but many professional resume templates have switched to a combination style resume template.

Combination resume templates are almost identical to chronological, but they integrate something from what’s known as a “functional resume.” They generally have a “Skills” section, or some variation, near the top. The order of the resume often looks like this:

  • Contact Info
  • Objective Statement/Professional Summary
  • Skills Section
  • Work History
  • Education
  • References

The advantages of a skills section are that it allows you to highlight skills and abilities you have (some people also call it the “highlights” section, or a “skills and abilities” section), regardless of where you learned those skills.

Then it allows you to focus on some of your best achievements in the work history section. Generally, in these types of resumes, the work history section almost always goes before education.

Professional resume templates tend to lean more towards the combination resumes, unless the individual does not have a lot of experience.

There are also several other important factors of a professional resume template, including:

  • No Flashy Graphics
  • No Flashy Colors
  • Easy to Read Font
  • Crisp Appearance

An interesting test of a professional resume template is to stand far away from it – so far you can’t make out the words – and see if you’d still hire that person based on how clean their resume looks.

Great professional resume templates have a design that instantly stands out as professional before reading a single word, simply based on the way the content is formatted.

Most job seekers will want to consider a professional resume template for their application, especially those that have worked a few jobs or are applying to what can be considered a “professional career.”

Modern Resume Template

Even professional resume templates have changed, however. Many of them now are modern resume templates. These are the cleanest designs, usually crafted by graphic designers with an eye towards sharp lines and complementary design elements.

Modern resume templates almost always use a sans serif font. They almost always incorporate graphics as well, including charts or some type of stylistic element in the header.

They are rarely more than one color (although there are exceptions), and they may have clear line breaks or a background shape to help make the text stand out.

Just like most professional resume templates are combination resumes, so too are most professional resume templates considered to be modern resumes, simply because the style of resumes have changed substantially over recent years.

If you know how to create an amazing resume, and you are applying to a job in:

  • Tech
  • Sales
  • Marketing
  • Design
  • Creative/Crafts

Or any career that either has an office environment or prioritize those with creativity, a modern resume template is very likely to be your best possible choice.

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Simple Resume Template

There are, however, some times when you may only need a simple resume template, even if you have a longer work history. In this case, “simple” means free of anything extra – just a basic resume template that is capable of showcasing your strengths.

Modern professional resume templates tend to have design elements that are best used by those with a work history that warrants them. For example, many of the more advanced resume templates have features that include:

  • Pie Charts
  • Bar Graphs
  • Resume Highlights

These features and more are designed to highlight numbers and achievements in a way that is detailed and valuable. But some careers don’t have those same achievements.

For example, even though they involve a lot of difficult, hard work and talent, those that work in customer service (such as a cashier or front desk worker) do not always have numbers to showcase their achievements, or projects that would “wow” a hiring manager.

It’s not that the job itself is easy. It’s simply that those types of careers do not always provide the numbers or projects that are easy to promote in a resume. Similarly, those that have had shorter careers may not have developed enough experience, and thus have less to highlight.

Many people think that long resumes are better. That is not always true. Shorter resumes with incredible information are better than long resumes with a lot of filler. So if your resume does not have enough information for a professional resume, you may want to choose a simple resume.

Simple resume templates tend to have no interesting features. They are usually chronological, although theoretically it may be possible to have a combination as well. The templates are usually a basic font, with a lot of space, and are easy to fill in for those that have not used many resume templates in the fast.

This type of simple resume template may not be as impactful, but it doesn’t necessarily need to be. It’s simply there to show off your best information in the most effective way possible.

College Resume Template

These types of simple resume templates are especially common for college students. However, the reality is that there are effective, professional college resume templates as well that differ from the typical small job simple resume template.

Detailed college resume templates tend to de-emphasize the space that was made available for work history, since the student is unlikely to have developed a work history.

Instead, with a college resume template, you highlight the strengths you do have, and do so in a way that looks similar to professional resumes.

The main difference is the sections. With a college resume template, you can consider alternative sections. Instead of work history, you can extend the length of your education section, and then add complementary sections including:

  • Volunteer Experience
  • Research Experience
  • Computer Skills
  • Internship Experience

These sections can be written just like work history sections, so you still have a lengthy and detailed resume, but instead of an extensive work history, you make the other experiences you had more extensive.

Hiring managers don’t mind the idea of looking at unusual sections if, and only if, the information in those sections makes them want to hire you.

Always remember that your resume is not just a piece of paper you are required to submit. It is your sales sheet that is supposed to help companies understand why they should choose you.

If that means using a college resume template that is different from the way resumes are supposed to look, then that’s what you should do, so that your resume is able to convince the hiring manager to get you the job.

Functional Resume Template

Another resume template you may see as you look for your own style is that of the functional resume template. These resume templates often look impressive, but be warned – experienced hiring managers are not as fond of them.

There are many reasons for this:

  • First, they are more difficult to navigate. Hiring managers are used to resumes being laid out in a certain way, and if they see that you’ve changed the way the resume is laid out, they know it will be harder for them to analyze it.
  • Second, functional resumes hide important factors, like how recently you engaged in the tasks that are necessary for the job, and whether or not you experienced growth in your career as time moved forward.
  • Finally, functional resumes are most frequently used by those that have something to hide, such as a large gap in their employment or a work history that doesn’t show a positive career arch.

However, despite these “negatives,” some people simply do need a functional resume template. That’s often because, if you DO have that career gap, or you DO have skills that don’t otherwise show up on your resume, chronological resumes may not be the right choice to get you the job.

Even though functional resumes are not preferred by hiring managers, it’s still about what will give you the best chance to get the role.

Functional resumes are resumes that focus on the things you can do and what you know, and generally minimize where you worked. Usually, functional resume templates consist of a large list of experiences you have in different functions. Then, on the bottom, you simply list out where you worked and when.

Functional resume templates may come in many different styles, but the typical template will have a layout that goes something like this:

  • Name
  • Objective/Professional Summary
  • Function Category
  • Function Category
  • Function Category
  • Work History
  • Education

“Function Categories” are categories that are a part of the job, and beneath them is a bulleted list of examples that show how you performed in that function. Here’s an example of what that could look like. In this case, the job that the person is applying for is a manager:


  • Supervised a diverse team of 11 strategists.
  • Led 13 multimillion dollar projects from idea to completion.
  • Organized group meetings with industry leaders for networking and communication.


  • Delivered 30 minute address to prospective clients at annual meet and greet.
  • Created 140 page report on industry best practices used by companies all over the world.

The list can go on, but the idea is that you give a list of the categories of the job, and then give examples of achievements and abilities from within that category. For example, in event management, you may see categories that include:

  1. Planning Skills
  2. Interpersonal Skills
  3. Organizational Skills

Then beneath each section is a bulleted list of examples of how you’ve used that skill, or the abilities that you can provide.

If you do decide to use a functional resume template when you design your resume, you will want to make sure that the template follows many of the same guidelines as professional resume templates.

It has to be easy to navigate, which generally means that the template allows for multiple function categories (rather than one giant skills list) and has clearly labeled sections. Pay attention to the design elements of each section.

If, when looking at the template from far away, the text of the categories seem to blend together, you may want a different functional resume template.

It should also still be easy visually for the hiring manager to navigate to the work history section as well, even though it is often smaller and on the bottom, and it should have space for important information, such as the years that you worked there and what your title were.

As always, trust your instinct. Don’t be too flashy, and try to imagine what the hiring manager really wants to see, not what you want to create. You want them to read onward and get the job.

Pick a functional resume template that meets this goal.

Also, don’t forget that there are combination templates available, for those that like the information in the functional resume but want to use a chronological style.

High School Resume Template

Finally, we get to one of the most difficult resumes of all – the high school resume template. While certainly there are some high school students that have developed some incredible achievements, and maybe even a strong work history, most high school students have neither the educational experience or the work experience to create a resume that rivals those with college experience or a greater work history.

High school students may find that they are best served by functional resumes. If they do have any work experience (even if it is babysitting, a summer job, or working for your parents’ business), a chronological resume may be worthwhile.

High school resume templates may benefit from a more spacious design, since there is less information to put in the resume than those with more experience. However, you also don’t want the resume to appear sparse or empty.

See if you can find a template – maybe even a modern high school resume template – that gives the best chance to show off the skills and abilities the high school student has, and information that can help the hiring manager visualize them in the role.

Custom Resume Templates

There is benefit to breaking the mold, just like there is benefit to convention. You want a resume that will stand out, but you also don’t want a resume that stands out for the wrong reasons or draws attention away from the information that you plan to highlight in the resume itself.

One of our goals here at Online Resume Builders with our resume templates is to try to make sure that building your resume is easy, and that your selection of resumes templates is limited to those that will have the most success but with many resume styles to choose from so that not everyone has the same resume.

Take the time to find the right resume template, so that you can be certain your template will help convince hiring managers to continue to read onward.

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