Today’s job market is more competitive than ever. Whether you’re looking to advance in your own company, or move elsewhere, you must stand out from the crowd to land your dream job.
Even the most mundane positions often attract dozens or even hundreds of potential applicants. Of these, a great many may be perfectly qualified. So the question becomes: how do you stand out and get recognized amongst competing applicants?
The answer lies in building a perfect professional resume.
In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to make a resume on Microsoft Word using a template from Envato Elements. Word is widely used and available, and you won’t need any special skills to build a perfect resume. Envato Elements is the premier source for professional templates and more.
5 Design Principles for Successful Resumes
Professional resumes follow a few key design principles:
- Boldness. A refined and eye-catching style that shows a willingness to stand out
- Brevity. Business resumes should be a single page to succinctly summarize
- Relevance. Valuable details are highlighted while filler items are discarded
- Specificity. Job and position-specific experience should be at the forefront
- Connection. Geographic, digital, and social media contact details should be included
Sounds simple, right? It really is, but a majority of candidates don’t take the time to refine their resumes. By simply following those guidelines, you stand a good chance of capturing the attention of recruiters and hiring managers. Let’s explore each of the above ideas in a little more detail. Keep them in mind when you’re creating a resume in Word.
Now that we've covered some of the most important design principles, let's review them in more depth and see how to apply them to your next job application.
Always remember: your resume, no matter how well-crafted it is, might join a stack of hundreds of similar documents. First impressions may be nothing more than a single glance. You need styling bold enough to capture that first look, and then the detail and credentials to land the big interview.
Job applicants in the corporate environment are often expected to keep resumes to a single page. Moreover, some recruiters go so far as to discard anything above a single page! Sticking to the concept of brevity not only meets this expectation; it also shows your attention to detail, and forces a focus only on details that truly matter.
A high school restaurant job might not merit much attention when you’re applying for a new corporate role, but your past experience as a project manager certainly does. When building a professional resume, it’s critical to spend more time and space focusing on position-relevant experiences, skills, and education.
Often, applicants only list their three most recent positions (unless an earlier one has unique relevance to the new role). But remember to list all of your higher education; even a seemingly irrelevant degree can be a valuable point of interest.
As you’re making a resume in Word, you might want to consider making two. Everyone - even if you’re not actively searching for a new job—should always maintain a current, updated resume. It’s impossible to know when a great opportunity might come along. Nothing would be worse than being unprepared for it.
But when you're applying for a certain position, it’s often a good idea to revise your resume to specifically fit the situation. Of course, this doesn’t mean changing details or misrepresenting yourself. It simply involves highlighting and illustrating the personal background and traits that make you the best candidate for the job.
In our global world, employers pay a close eye on social media and online presence. For many roles, especially involving tech, it’s best to feature your social media channels right on your resume.
Plus, they can actually serve as a portfolio to market yourself and your work. And of course, it’s always important to include geographic contact details along with your phone and email. This demonstrates interest and makes you easier to find. Nothing could be worse than missing an interview invitation because you cannot be found!
These tips establish the perfect foundation for creating a creative resume in Word. Now, it’s time to get started!
Find the Right Template for You on Envato Elements or GraphicRiver
We’ve already talked about how important it is to build a resume perfectly suited not just for you, but for the specific job you’re applying for. That’s where custom templates from Envato Elements come in. Elements is an all-you-can-download resource for creatives, available for a low monthly fee. With membership, you’ll gain access to resume templates for Word, along with stock videos, photos, fonts, and more.
It’s an unbeatable deal for anyone in search of professional-grade project templates to use in their own work. Elements includes thousands of premium templates that match the quality of the finest professional resumes.
Tap into this resource as you search for the perfect resume template. As with any project, the trick to choosing the perfect resume template lies in matching your search to the goals you already have in mind.
Or, if you prefer to purchase resume templates for Word one by one rather than paying a subscription fee, check out GraphicRiver. GraphicRiver is another Envato service, featuring an incredible content collection available as individual downloads.
How to Make a Resume in Word
Use the following steps for creating a resume in Microsoft Word.
1. Choose a Resume Template
Remember that we're making a resume in Microsoft Word, so it helps to narrow our search to include templates that support Word. Let’s keep it pretty broad by searching for “resume Word.” With plenty of resume template options, there's no shortage of options. Choose a template that meets the design principles we covered earlier in this tutorial.
When you’re ready to download, simply click on Download on the right side of the Elements screen. Elements will ask you for a license usage. This is just a description of how and where you intend to use the file. And even if you stop subscribing to Elements, you’ll still be licensed to use anything you downloaded.
Once you enter a license usage, go ahead and click Add & Download. The pre-built Word resume template file will download, typically as a .zip archive. Go ahead and extract the files, and double-click on the .docx file to create your new resume in a Word document. Word will launch, and your template will appear, as you can see here.
2. Add Your Name and Contact Details
For the purposes of this tutorial, we’ll be building a Word resume for Nathan Williams, a creative digital marketer. To kick things off, click in the text placeholder at the top and enter the name and relevant contact details. Having this placed prominently—and kept up to date—is essential to ensure recruiters and managers can easily contact you. It also suggests your favored ways to communicate.
3. Add an Optional Headshot
The placeholder in the upper left corner is meant for inserting a professional headshot. This is an easy and unique way to make your resume stand out in a stack of others. Many people don’t think of including their photograph, so it’s an excellent option for literally putting a face to your name.
To add a photo, click on the placeholder to select it, and then press delete on your keyboard. On the Insert tab, in the Illustrations group, click on Pictures. First, you’ll want to browse to where your photo is stored on your computer. Click to select it, and then choose Insert to add it to the Word resume.
Once the image is added, you can change its size and placement. Simply click and drag to move it around the page, or click on one of the corners and drag to resize the image. It’s easy, it’s unique, and it can really help you be noticed by encouraging that key first look.
4. Write a Winning Profile
Profile sections can be one of the harder things to add to a resume. They're essentially short biographies that draw attention to your key traits. This is the primary area of focus if you’re building a job-specific resume. There are a few rules to help make your profile a winning one:
Avoid “I” and “you.” Even though you’re talking about yourself, avoid using first-person references. Focus instead on attributes and results.
Highlight your strengths. Suppose you’re noted for being detail-oriented, creativity-driven, and have demonstrated history working in time-critical environments. Craft a short statement that incorporates these attributes clearly and concisely.
Bold key points. The goal of a Word resume profile statement is to call attention to a small handful of items. Make it easier on the reader by putting them in a bold font. Readers’ eyes are naturally attracted to contrasting and offset text. Take advantage of this reality to gain attention.
With these attributes in mind, go ahead and type out a short profile statement. For our purposes, let’s use:
"Detail-oriented digital marketing professional experienced in delivering creativity-driven solutions in time-critical environments. Practiced success in leading cross-functional teams in a global setting. Noted for unique insights and handcrafted solutions."
As you can see, these three sentences call out key skills and traits that are tailored around a digital marketing position. They convey facts accurately, without being pompous.
5. Work and Educational Experience
Okay, so we’ve added our name, contact info, photograph, and an elegant profile section. It’s now time to get into the meat of the resume—the work experience and education sections. The world’s best profile and photo will mean nothing without a healthy educational background and strong working foundation. But those items aren’t valuable without presenting them in a stylish and creative fashion.
Fortunately, when you use an Elements template to create a resume in Word, all this valuable content is already beautifully presented.
All you need to do is input your own experience and educational credentials. Let’s go ahead and do just that. Simply click on the appropriate lines of text, and replace the placeholder with your own text. If there are placeholders you don’t need to use, click them and press Delete to free up space. It takes just a few minutes, and in no time the bulk of your Word resume will be filled out.
6. Resume Icons and Skills
This resume template already includes resume icons to add a refined look to your Word file. One thing that really sets it apart is the skills section in the lower right corner. This is a visual way to quickly draw attention to unique abilities you have. With this, you’re actually able to rank skills both by relative depth and order of importance.
To make changes here, simply click on the text placeholders and type in your own skills that you want to feature. And then, click and drag on the black bars to increase or decrease their relative proportions. Just like that, you can show off your digital marketing prowess with an unforgettable visual!
Also, be sure to take the time to include your own references over on the right side of the page. This will enable hiring managers to quickly contact those ready and willing to vouch for you.
7. Review the Finished Product
As you can see, in a few minutes we’ve built a stunning and practical professional resume in Microsoft Word. All you need to do now is save your finished file, share it, print it, and find your dream job with it!
More Top Creative Resume Templates for Pros
To help get you started, let’s check out three of the best Word resume templates available today on Envato Elements. Remember, Elements is an all-you-can-download service, so try out as many as you want to find the one that works just right for you.
With its elegant sidebar and refined, urbane feel, Resume Arieta warrants a second look. Present your credentials in high style on this polished template. Use the optional headshot placeholder for a dash of recognition and a new flash of color.
Simple in title, but stunning in design style. This resume template is a top choice for Microsoft Word resumes. Simple enough to accommodate easy edits, but robust enough to fit any role, this powerful template is the perfect starting point on your creative journey. It includes both US Letter and A4 sizes to give you a bit more space. Does it look familiar? It’s the one we just used in the tutorial above.
Crafted to satisfy the needs of the most discerning design professionals, this template embraces the modern age in printed form. Explore the colorful options and font alterations to make it truly your own. Plus, you’ll unlock a premiere value-add, courtesy of a matching business card template included in the download.
Stand Out From the Crowd by Creating a Resume in Word
By creating a resume in Word, we’ve just illustrated how easy it is to create a professional resume that'll help you get the job you want. Thanks to all-you-can-download templates from Elements, or single purchase options from GraphicRiver, Envato’s professionally-designed resources stand ready to help you on your job-search journey.
It's easy to find a template you like and start creating a resume in Word immediately. With Word resume templates, there’s no need to utilize complex and expensive editing software. Rather, with a few clicks and your imagination to guide you, you can build a professional resume in Word in just minutes. Why not get started today?