A simple resume template can make it easy for your experience, skills, and credentials to shine through. Choose an organized, readable resume template with single columns and a top-down approach, avoiding flashy colors, bulky graphics, and other distracting visual elements.

This guide offers basic and simple resume templates and tips you can use to strengthen your job application and land your next job interview.

Dos and Don’ts

Dos Don’ts
  • Select a basic, well-structured, organized, and readable template. Choose a format that has clear section dividers and an appropriate amount of white space.
  • Use a simple, elegant font that balances readability with visual appeal, such as Garamond, Calibri, or Cambria.
  • Select a resume template that allows you to customize sections based on your individual career needs easily. Include volunteerism, academic projects, associations, and certifications depending on your experience level and job aspirations.
  • Use a traditional top-down approach with single columns. Tactically control the flow of information by ordering your sections in terms of importance and relevance.
  • Include flashy colors, bulky graphics, and other distracting visual elements. If your resume prioritizes aesthetics, you might draw the hiring manager’s eye from your content. Always keep the reader’s focus on your qualifications and experience.
  • Use overly decorative or generic fonts that are difficult to read, such as Times New Roman, Futura, Courier, or Comic Sans.
  • Choose a template with multiple columns or an excess of white space. This arbitrarily increases the length of your resume and makes it difficult to organize your sections effectively.
  • Use a template that features a photograph. This distracts the hiring manager and can invite bias, so avoiding featuring a headshot is best. Instead, you should put a professional photo on LinkedIn.
Resume Callout Image
Build Your Resume
Resume Builder offers free, HR-approved resume templates to help you create a professional resume in minutes.

Basic Resume Examples

  • Medical Assistant
  • Business Analyst
  • Food Service
  • Auditor
  • Retail Sales Associate
  • Pharmacist
  • Bartender
  • Teacher
  • Hairstylist

Basic and Simple Resume Template Tips

Focus on readability, structure, and organization

When selecting your resume template, structure and organization should be your primary focus. Studies show that hiring managers and recruiters spend an average of 7.4 seconds during the initial resume screening. Prospective employers want to see templates that allow them to easily scan your resume for key skills, qualifications, and accomplishments. Select an option that has enough white space between your sections, but also doesn’t appear barren.

Avoid flashy colors and graphics

Although flashy colors and graphics may seem visually appealing, you should always prioritize readability over aesthetics when selecting your template. These elements are indeed eye-catching, but they can also have the opposite effect of what you’re hoping for.

Strong visual elements run the risk of distracting the hiring manager from your content, which is the most important aspect of your application. If your document is overly cluttered with graphics, this can also negatively impact the overall structure of your resume.

Use a single-column template

Many modern templates use multiple columns featuring various sections concurrently across the page. This is generally not an advisable format for most job seekers, as it makes for a confusing reading experience. A simple, top-down approach that uses single columns allows the hiring manager to read through your content in a clear sequence. This enables you to fully prioritize what sections and information the reader sees first.

Select a simple, elegant font

Choose a simple format with a traditional font that allows prospective employers to easily scan your resume for experience, qualifications, and skills that match the job description. Garamond, Calibri, and Cambria are all strong options that are easy to read while possessing visual appeal.

Be sure to select a font size that is readable, but still allows you to capture all of your relevant qualifications in two pages or less.

Structure your template based on your experience

You should choose a template with a structure that matches your career experience and industry.

For example, if you’re an entry-level job seeker, you may want to feature your skills section above your professional experience. If you’re a senior-level executive, you’d want a template that allows you to highlight your awards, associations, and professional certifications prominently. Take the time to find a format that allows you to display the most compelling aspects of your career prominently.

Frequently Asked Questions About Basic and Simple Resumes

What is the easiest resume template?-

A single-column resume template in reverse chronological format is the easiest. Hiring managers are likely familiar with its formatting, and it’s also easy for applicant tracking system (ATS) to scan.

Which template do most employers prefer for resumes?-

Most employers are looking for a reverse chronological resume, but a hybrid or functional resume format can work, too.

What is a simple resume format?-

A simple resume format typically includes a professional summary, skills, work experience, and education.

Frank Hackett headshot

Frank Hackett

Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW)

Frank Hackett is a professional resume writer and career consultant with over eight years of experience. As the lead editor at a boutique career consulting firm, Frank developed an innovative approach to resume writing that empowers job seekers to tell their professional stories. His approach involves creating accomplishment-driven documents that balance keyword optimization with personal branding. Frank is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) with the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches (PAWRCC).

Sidebar image
Create your resume in minutes. Try for free.