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Create a resume with Word

Many applicants rely on Microsoft Word from the Microsoft Office suite when creating their résumé. It's easy to explain: Microsoft Word is the most widely used word processing program. Its functions enable the creation of both classic and modern résumés with numerous design elements. However, if you want to achieve decent results with Word, you should have a certain Know-how bring it with you - otherwise the results will be poor.

Users can either start with a blank document and create an individual résumé from scratch or choose a suitable candidate from variously designed résumé templates. The program has a number of patterns that can be adapted and edited without restrictions. So you can use Word to record your professional career.

You can find out how it works here - we have one for beginners Screenshots, explanations and Examples prepared. We also record which word traps you shouldn't fall into.

Use resume templates in Microsoft Word

Our examples are the program versions Word 2016 or Word 365 taken. If the user interface of the software looks different for you, that's not a problem: Even in older versions, comparable functions are available that might just be hidden elsewhere.

Step 1: start Microsoft Word

When you open it, Microsoft Word usually greets you with a blank page. If you want to create a completely new and self-designed résumé, then this is the starting position. So if you want to put together your own résumé, you have a lot of work ahead of you. However, if you do not have the time and knowledge for this, there is also another and more efficient way of completing the application documents.

Step 2: Create a new document

To do this, click on the "File" menu item at the top left and then on the "New" tab. The following page opens:

Here you get templates for different purposes - for example also for applications. The easiest way to find the pattern that suits you is using the integrated search function. More on this in the following point.

Step 2: Find a template

Enter the term "curriculum vitae" or "application" in the search field. Microsoft Word will then list various templates and samples that are suitable for creating your application documents.

To make sure that the search results are really templates for the resume, a category can also be selected on the right-hand side. Also make sure that you have an overview of All Categories and ultimately select the appropriate categories. Sometimes you can also find one or the other document that has not yet been displayed in this way. If you don't see the templates you want, check your search settings.

Step 3: choosing the template

If you like a template, click on it. After clicking on the preview image, a window appears in which the template is shown larger and briefly described. In order to access the template, Word needs to connect to Microsoft's servers - so make sure your internet connection is stable and you have a valid license for the program.

Here you can also find information about the author and the size of the template. Clicking on "Create" will download the template and save it in Word for editing. You can of course also experiment with different templates, because not every variant will meet your expectations.

Step 4: edit the template

After the selection, a template appears with sample entries and pre-formatted boxes and tables that can be adapted step by step:

To do this, click on the relevant area and change the information - such as your name, your address, your previous professional positions, etc. - as shown above. In many templates you can also add new lines for naming further career steps with a click, but you may have to create them yourself. That differs from template to template. However, make sure that you do not accidentally change the font or font size used or insert paragraphs. Personnel managers take a critical view of style breaks and formatting errors.

Danger: Be extremely careful and don't forget to fill in all the fields with your information. It would be very embarrassing and a clear knockout criterion for your application if there were still one or two placeholders in your resume at the end.

Find the right template

When choosing the right template, it is not just a question of an attractive design, but above all of the correct structure. Not all samples from Microsoft Word contain the necessary space for the information that HR professionals value. It is important that the template leaves enough space to present personal information and professional history completely and clearly. Better to invest a bit more time before editing one really matching template for your resume to find.

Better to choose a simple design that is designed for the information you need than an overly modern design that is not geared towards your data. Because your application documents should definitely give a coherent picture - but this can quickly be lost due to the use of different templates and numerous customizations. Make an effort to ensure that your application looks "like a piece".

Danger: In Microsoft Word in particular, many CV templates are internationally oriented and tend to be designed for the American job market. For example, there is not always a predefined area for the application picture - although such a photo is still common in this country. Those who are used to using Word can of course retrofit such an element.

Overall, however, using a résumé editor is easier and usually leads to better results, especially when applying to German companies. Because the CV templates used by such editors are specially tailored to the requirements of German applications and take into account the ideas of German HR departments.

Disadvantages of a Word template

In addition, the usual and popular Word templates are usually recognized by experienced HR professionals. This carries the risk of being sorted out early on in the application process: On the one hand, the use of conventional patterns suggests that you are in the process of creating your application documents no particular effort have given. On the other hand, their use can be interpreted in such a way that you consider your Microsoft Office skills to be insufficient - otherwise you might have drawn up your own résumé. Those who use well-known Word templates should consider these restrictions. The use of Word templates is associated with risks, especially for inexperienced users.

Create a resume with Excel?

We recommend the word processing program Word for creating your résumé - even if it should be structured in tabular form. Due to the better design options and the easier page division, a word processing program such as Word is the right choice for creating the résumé. Microsoft Excel would only complicate the design unnecessarily.

Last updated on 08/24/2020

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