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Hiring managers look at scores of resumes. Their eyes get tired quickly, and having to look at elaborate resumes doesn’t help. In fact, elaborate resume formats make the recruitment process even harder, since hiring managers get distracted by design elements in order to see the content. Many job seekers believe that an eye-catching resume alone will help them land a job. However, that’s not usually the case.

A clean resume design can help you stand out from the pool of applicants by being easy to read and pleasant to look at. Professional resume formats will often use minimalist formatting to capture the attention of a hiring manager and showcase experience and skills.

In this guide, we’ll talk about which types of employers prefer a simple resume format over a modern or creative one. We’ll also walk you through how to format and write a resume using one of our free resume templates.

Let’s get you on the path to creating your minimalist resume today.

Simple Resume Format

A simple resume doesn’t need to be a boring one. In fact, a simple resume format requires a lot of attention to detail because it should be both eye-pleasing and tailored to your experience and desired job.

It can be more traditional or more trendy, depending on which template you use. All of our templates here have clean, minimal layouts, but there’s a lot of design variation within the simple resume format. Choose the template that suits your work history best.

Here are some optional sections you could include:

  • Career Objective, Objective Statement or Professional Summary
  • Relevant Skills
  • Achievements and Awards
  • References
  • Interests and Activities

Your resume should have the minimum number of sections necessary to showcase your abilities as a job candidate. Keep it brief. Omit unnecessary information.

  • Too many colors and fonts
  • Hard-to-read colors and fonts
  • Distracting fonts like Comic Sans
  • Elaborate borders
  • Colored or needlessly fancy paper
  • Too many sections
  • Unnecessary images
  • Inconsistent formatting

If your resume is over-designed or messy, employers will be distracted from the content and more likely to take a pass on your document. A really over-the-top resume might even be automatically discarded by an ATS program before it gets read.

Want more help or ideas? Check out our list of free resume templates.

Keep in mind that many job applications will also require a cover letter that works in tandem with your resume. There you can add more detail about your experience and flesh out your bullet points. You can find help on writing your cover letter here. It doesn’t all need to go on your resume.

Simple Resume Templates

We have a variety of free simple resume templates from which to choose.

Using what you’ve just learned, look through these free templates and pick the one that suits your current job search best. Then customize the template to reflect what you have to offer as a unique job candidate.

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