No one undermine the role that resumes and cover letters play in building the first impression on recruiters. No matter which field you belong to or which position you are applying for, there are plenty of websites that provide customized resumes that help candidates kick start their journey for great career. Most of these websites claim that their templates are based on research and proven stratagem of drafting the perfect CV. The reason for falling back on these customized services may differ from person to person. While many people get carried away by such tall claims made by these websites, others may be plain lazy and want to escape the effort of drafting their own resume. Yet some others opt for it helps save a lot of time. If used appropriately, sample CVs have their own set advantage; but not many realize that they come with a list of drawbacks as well.
Using a template is fine as long as you do not replicate it blindly. Usually candidates just change the content and follow the template without analyzing the sub heads and their relevance to the job they are applying for. This makes the CV unreasonably long and loaded with irrelevant information. Unnecessary information is a major turn off for any recruiter. While you refer to templates, it is important to understand the requirements of the job you are applying for.
Moreover using the same format to lure different employers is definitely not a good idea, especially if you are planning to change fields. Based on the employer’s need, it’s important to customize the resume and convince the employer that you would be their best bet.
Another setback of using sample CVs is the formatting. In an attempt to make it look unique and stand out, templates focus a lot on the formatting thus eating upon the visibility of the content. A CV is best kept as simple as possible with a good and easily readable font. The moment a HR manager sees a format picked up from the Internet, he can make it out. Sample CVs are always jazzed up with unnecessary elements like images borders clip arts and fancy fonts which have no place in recruitment process. All you need to do is prioritize the content and get a little creative.
Being unique, creative and maintaining originality always helps win a brownie point. Your resume should be a reflection of your persona and your individuality and not just another document that states your qualifications and achievements; sample CVs often limit your creativity and can backfire as they speak volumes about you as a professional as well as an individual.
Sample CVs can be used as a guideline. You have to understand that these templates are designed for the masses and comprise contents that are very genetic in nature. Thus, it gives a standard result.
Drawbacks of Sample Resume
1. Focus goes haywire
2. Provides standard results
3. Does not reflect your individuality
4. Has limited scope
5. Can get monotonous for recruiters
But if you want to be short-listed, you have to convince the employer of your uniqueness and abilities and give him/her a solid reason to offer you the job and not your contender. Remember, many recruiters short-listed CVs on the basis of originality format, content and lay out. If need be, you could refer to sample CVs to get a fair idea of the market trends and the fields you need to cover. But as a rule, do not rely on them completely when it comes to style format, contents, etc. It is important to think beyond the set layer to give your resume an individual flavor that distinguishes it from the huge bulk of CVs your recruiter is likely to receive.
When you find it difficult to collate information, picking up several templates and compiling the good elements in each of them to design your own CV would be a good idea. This may not be an easy task as defining ‘good elements’ can get tricky. But given a little thought, drafting the perfect resume is not as complex as it appears to be.