I’ve been a resume writer long enough to have seen many generations of resume templates over the years. In the 1990s, there were the “resume-in-a-box" software programs. In the 2000s, you had Microsoft Word resume templates — which were either super boring or overly designed (with multiple columns). More recently, you've been able to purchase resume templates on Etsy or use the resume designs in Canva.
The problem is, many of these documents LOOK good, but aren’t GOOD to use in an actual job search because, especially in recent years, they have not been compatible with applicant tracking system (ATS) software, putting applicants at a disadvantage with their online resume submissions.
But the world of resume templates changed when career industry pioneer Michelle Dumas introduced “Distinctive Resume Templates.” As a longtime professional resume writer herself, Michelle recognized the need for modern, ATS-friendly professional resume templates that could be used by career industry professionals to enhance their interview-winning content with visually attractive designs.
Michelle and I started in the resume writing industry in the same year (1996) and we’ve both seen lots of changes through the years. But one thing hasn’t changed: The need to create compelling, attractive, and interview-winning career documents.
In 2020, she created a series of resume templates to use with her company’s own clients. They were designed to be easily customized, right down to the color schemes. Her first goal was to streamline the resume development process, creating templates that were useful but also easy to customize. In using the templates with clients, she realized how useful they would be to career industry colleagues. So she started selling them to other resume writers.
“Our work is tremendously time-consuming and we trade our precious time for money. Writing a great resume for a client is a very time-consuming process,” Dumas says. “Our income is limited by how much we are able to produce, which makes it hard to grow/scale a business.”
By introducing resume templates into your resume writing business, you can focus more on the content creation and let the design enhance the content, instead of having to struggle with formatting the resume and associated career documents.
“Writing and graphic design are two different skill sets,” Dumas says. “We are professional resume writers, not graphic designers. While both of these — the writing skill and the design skill — require talent, they are completely different skill sets. Graphically-enhanced resumes that incorporate color and shapes became the norm and the expectation.”
Simple Microsoft Word design enhancements can make a big difference.
For example, take this Key Qualifications section:
In the Amplify template, it becomes this: