The Best and Worst Resume Templates for 2021

resume wiz examples

Resume design and format, like fashion, can be somewhat subjective — what might be a beautifully designed and formatted resume to one person, might be a tacky, outdated design to someone else. While there is no perfect resume design, there are certain guidelines and templates that tend to be more effective than others. This blog is all about looking at the best and worst examples of resumes in 2021 using actual resume templates.

The pretty-but-not-super-functional resume design

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This resume design is definitely eye-catching and well laid out with bright colors and the use of iconography throughout. However, it may not be suitable for all career fields and career levels. Here are a few things that might improve this resume:

  • replace the cartoon graphic (or picture) with your initials or something that will convey more information to the reader
  • depending on the job or career to which you are applying, think of using more muted colors to appeal to a wider audience
  • remove some of the icons to allow for more text for your experience and skills

Looking to purchase your own re-usable professional resume template? Click here

The easy-to-read-but-needs-more-content resume design

resume wiz resume examples

This is actually one of the most common resume templates that you can purchase directly from us. We always provide this advice to anyone interested in this sort of resume template.

  • there is a lot of empty space in this resume so play around with the borders and formatting
  • replace the icons with text so it will be picked up by ATS screening
  • make the formatting more user friends so you can update it faster
  • the existing color scheme might not look great in black and white printing

Not sure if your resume is ATS ready? Check out our best practices here

A resume with a profile picture

resume wiz resume example

We love everything about this resume BUT the inclusion of a photo. Unless you are applying for a role that specifically asked for a headshot to be included, we would recommend leaving your photo out of your resume or cover letter. Here are few reasons why:

  • each country, state, province, city, and/or company has different rules and restrictions against photo resumes, so just be safe and leave it out
  • your photo could act as a distraction and take away from your actual skills and experience
  • your photo could reveal your age, sex, ethnicity, or a number of other personal information that the hiring manager IS NOT SUPPOSED to ask or know about
  • and as silly as it may be, your picture may remind the hiring manager of a bully they dealt with at school, and trigger a bias towards you before you even meet

The functional-but-might-be-plain resume

resume wiz resume examples

This is our go-to resume for a lot of different roles and experience levels. Definitely more on the traditional side of the resume design, but here are some of the thing we love and dislike about this resume template:

  • the format is easy to adjust for less or more information
  • a great example of a chronological resume format
  • can be easily read either as a soft or hard copy
  • ideal resume for experienced professionals that have a lot of role and responsibilities for each role
  • for a new grad, it can be reduced to one page

The Microsoft-word-classic-resume template

resume wiz resume examples

Whenever someone reaches out to use to revamp their resume, this is typically the format we see. It’s definitely functional, easy to create and update, but it SCREAMS old-school and junior. Here are some additional things to improve when using this resume format:

  • don’t include a section on career objective — no one has done that since Y2K was a thing and it will end updating your resume and skills set
  • it’s fine to list your state (province) and city, but don’t include your exact address
  • if you have any accreditations or degrees feel free to include them — e.g. Darla DeMarco, CHRM
  • make sure you space out your text using bullet points or headers to make it easier for the reader to follow along
  • the best practice for formatting your resume is using left-align bullets, rather than center aligned
  • if/when needed use columns instead of tabs to create sections

Here are a few other things to exclude from your resume

Obviously, we could go on and on with hundreds of resume examples, but hopefully, these provided you a good idea of what separates a good from a poor resume design.

Not sure how your current resume stacks up? Just send us a copy and we’ll provide you complimentary expert feedback.

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