Basic Resume Templates
Basic doesn’t have to mean boring, as you will see in the wide array of free basic resume templates we offer. Our team spends hours designing and testing these samples so that you can create the perfect resume to land the job of your dreams. On this page, you will find 30 basic resume templates. We also have an additional 26 basic templates that are specifically designed to beat applicant tracking systems (ATS).
Benefits of Basic Resume Templates
Basic resumes typically have a very classic and traditional tone. While they may have touches of color to add emphasis, in general they are designed to have universal appeal. This is of great benefit when applying for multiple jobs with different types of organizations, as any of the templates on this page are timeless.
Easy to Read
Another benefit of a basic resume is that it clearly communicates your job history, work experience, accomplishments, and education – in the order you desire. We have free resume templates in the top three resume formats – chronological, functional, and combination, to allow you to focus the reader’s attention where you desire.
Easy to Make
An easy resume layout means you won’t be spending hours trying to figure out intermediate and advanced features of Microsoft Word. Basic layouts are very easy to edit, even if you have never made a resume before.
While creative resumes and portfolio resumes have their place and purpose, they are not the most printer-friendly of resumes. However, the clean layout and simple design of our basic resumes makes printing them a breeze; if you are applying for jobs online, or submitting your resume via email, a printer-friendly document may be the right choice for you.
Basic Resume Format
While there isn’t a road map that dictates the format of a basic resume, there are some unwritten design rules that most templates in this category will follow.
Vertical lines, different fonts, and pops of color are commonly used to highlight sections.
- White Space
Columns, tabs, and plenty of white space to make it easy to read.
- No Graphics or Photos
Void of photos and graphics but some include simple Skill Meters.
Chronological, Functional, or Combination?
As you begin your search for the best resume template for your needs, determine if a chronological, functional, or combination resume format is the best choice for you.
Our basic resume templates are available in all three formats; just take the time to find the one that best conveys your skills, talents, work experience, education, and accomplishments in a manner that lands you the interview.
Resumes are generally categorized by the manner in which the information is presented. When a resume presents an applicant’s job history as the primary focus, they are considered Chronological resumes. These are by far the most commonly submitted resumes. When candidates want to highlight achievements and abilities over their work history, a Functional resume can be a better choice, and for those that want to give their achievements and work history equal billing, combination resumes are a great solution.
Basic Resume Examples
What stands out for hiring managers and recruiters?
Really really bad resumes. Resumes that are poorly worded, filled with grammar and spelling errors, contain humor, have too many colors, or that look like they were drawn by a cartoonist – all these are features that will not help you get an interview, let alone a job. While these tactics may get your resume some attention, it could be just a head shake and a delete.
The way to get the positive attention necessary to land the job you desire is to provide hiring managers and recruiters an easy-to-read and well organized resume. The resume needs to highlight your best qualities, skills, experience, and education in a layout that is easy on the eyes, with plenty of white space. This is exactly why our team has designed the following 54 basic resumes – they provide a professional backdrop to get you noticed.
Clean styling and plenty of white space are the two identifying design features of a traditional basic resume. This category features all three formats – chronological, functional, and combination resume templates. This simple resume format is perfect for mid-career professionals and senior level professionals, as they provide a format that allows you to highlight your extensive experience and expertise.
If you cannot manage to fit all your work history, awards, education, and expertise on a single page, don’t worry. While we do have two-page traditional templates in this category, it is important to recognize that any of our simple resume templates can be easily modified to a two-page, or more, resume. Designed in a format that is easy to navigate, you have plenty of room in our two-page resume templates to expound on the key aspects of your background that make you an ideal candidate for the job.
With the simplistic styling, these resumes work well for those applying for positions with more traditional or conservative companies. Industries such as financial services and banking, law firms, healthcare organizations, non-governmental agencies and governments, as well as engineering and real estate companies, are all a perfect fit for this type of resume format. Unlike some of the more creative and colorful resume formats that feature photos and intensive graphics, these samples print beautifully and are easy to read.
Chronological resumes remain one of the most popular formats for recruitment agencies and applicants. In chronological resumes, your work history takes the spotlight. This is perfect for individuals with extensive experience, those who show a growth in their career, and those who have worked with well-known organizations, as the job title and organization name can figure prominently in these samples.
However, a chronological format may not be the ideal resume for those with gaps in their work history, or if you’ve changed jobs frequently, as the dates of employment are displayed prominently along with job title and organization name. When crafting the text for your resume, don’t focus just on your previous job descriptions. It is important for hiring managers to understand what your duties were, but your accomplishments are what many are primarily looking for.
Chronological resumes are the perfect place to highlight your accomplishments. For example, if you managed a retail store, include strong accomplishment focused bullet points like:
- Increased sales 35% in first 9 months as manager
- Lead the retail team to #1 in sales and profits, 7 quarters in a row
- Decreased theft loss by 45% in first 9 months as manager
- Coached our national peer group to achieve highest sales profits in history
Use the chronological format to make hiring managers and recruiters take your background and expertise seriously; when done well, this format can help you land a new job.
Growing in popularity over the last decade, functional resumes showcase your professional accomplishments, victories, and skills. Job titles, companies worked for, and length of time at each position are all minimized here – it is your true essence that shines through in this resume format.
Functional resumes are perfect for professionals who are re-entering the job market after an absence, individuals who are transitioning from one industry or job title to another, and those who are leaving the military and seeking employment in the civilian workforce. In our samples, you can easily highlight the universal skills and expertise that you’ve gained throughout your career.
The format and design of our basic functional resume samples are suitable for a wide range career levels and industries. The simplicity of the design, and the layout, give a completed resume evergreen staying power. However, it is still recommended that you tailor each resume to the specific job you are applying for, as hiring managers will be evaluating your resume against the expectations they have for a new employee.
Clean, elegant, and professional, combination resumes blend your skills, accomplishments, and work history together beautifully. This is a format that is still likely to please hiring managers who prefer a straight chronological format as the information they are looking for is still easy to identify.
Combination resumes are the perfect choice for mid-level professionals, as the sections and headers provide ample areas to highlight relevant skills, accomplishments, special certifications, and work history. When crafting the content for a combination resume, use the work history area to highlight relevant points from your job description, and the skills area to underscore advanced or unusual skills.
In addition, this resume format lends itself to showcasing accomplishments you’ve achieved and accolades you’ve received. If you’ve been highlighted in a newspaper or trade magazine, won an award either in the company or in your community, or if you’ve written an article and have been published, be sure to include the details in your resume.
Many professionals believe they simply cannot fit all their pertinent work history, experience, expertise, skills, and education on a one-page resume. And for some, this may be the case. However, with our well-designed basic one-page resume templates, you will be surprised at the level of detail you can provide. Remember also that you have the cover letter to explain why you are the right candidate.
A well-written one-page resume can have more impact on a hiring manager than a two-page resume; brevity can be your friend. To make a one-page resume work for you, it is essential that you prioritize key bits of your work history that are relevant to the position you are applying for. As a hiring manager reads through your resume, and if your background and skills match the job description, your chances to move forward in the recruitment process improves.
The one-page resume is a great choice for students, recent graduates, and other individuals with limited work history. This format also works beautifully for professionals who have remained with the same company for a long period of time, and for those who are entering the workforce after an extended absence, such as a parent. If, during the absence, you’ve volunteered, worked on committees, or wrote for a local newspaper, be sure to include the skills you’ve gained from those experiences.
It can be challenging to find the right resume template when you are just entering the workforce. So many professionally designed resume templates are crafted with mid-level or upper-level professionals in mind. But, rest assured, we have plenty of samples that are perfect for students, recent graduates, interns, and others with limited professional experience.
Our basic entry level resumes will give you a professional format and design. For the content, speak with your teachers and professors, any mentors or coaches that you have, and those whom you’ve volunteered with, for insight into what skills and attributes you have acquired that will impress hiring managers and recruiters. Take this information and select the basic entry level resume that best suits your personality, and start your job hunt.
Remember, everyone must start their careers somewhere, and someone will give you a chance, if you present your expertise, goals, objectives, and history in a manner that is professional. In your job search, you will undoubtedly find job descriptions that call for more experience than you have, and that’s okay, as this scenario will happen at every level of your career. The important thing is to pull relevant snippets from your background that show you have interest and experience.
For Performers, Writers, and Artists
Writers, performers, and artists need resumes too, and while portfolio resumes may be appropriate for some applications, having a basic resume that highlights your skills, accolades, education, and experience is a must. Whether you are applying for a job, a grant, or using your resume to build your own client base, a professional and well-organized resume is recommended.
A basic resume may be the right format and tool for you when you are looking to transition into a job from freelancing or self-employment. For example, if you are an art photographer wanting to move into a position with a magazine or advertising agency, a basic resume that emphasizes previous work and in a chronological format will most likely be appreciated.
More and more organizations and recruiting agencies are using applicant tracking systems, also known as ATS programs, to help manage the recruitment and hiring process. ATS was designed out of the need of major corporations that receive hundreds or thousands of applications for each open position. The ATS saves HR departments thousands of hours, as they can tell the program what specifically they are looking for in candidates.
These systems scan resumes, looking for keywords and phrases that are included in the job description, as well as minimum experience, education levels, special certifications, and job titles. While ATS are technologically advanced, they can and will stumble over advanced formatting like columns, text boxes, and headers. To ensure your resume is ATS-friendly, use one of our specially designed basic resume formats. You can browse through the templates our team has designed on this page.
Basic Cover Letters
After you’ve written your resume and incorporated it into one of our professionally designed templates, remember that cover letters are an essential piece to the application puzzle. Fortunately, we have over 200 professionally designed cover letter templates you can use. Our goal is to take the guesswork out of designing resumes and cover letters to allow you the time and energy to focus on creating captivating content that will get you hired.