27 Free Resume Templates for Microsoft Word (& How to Make Your Own)
No matter what industry you work in (or your experience level in that industry), a plain, black-and-white resume written in Times New Roman font just doesn’t quite cut it anymore.
But just because resumes have gotten more creative doesn’t mean you need special design software to make your application stand out. On the contrary, writing your resume in good old Microsoft Word is still the perfect way to develop your personal brand, while also communicating your experience and career goals.
Read on to find the perfect template for your next resume, then learn how to create your own in Microsoft Word.
We’ll start with a simple one. This is a HubSpot exclusive resume template that is simple and clean with attractive monogrammed headers to call out each section of the resume. The rest of the design relies on a simple serif font for easy reading, which is a good thing considering that hiring managers only take 7.4 seconds to evaluate a resume. You want your experience section to be easily scannable.
Recommended For: Freelancers
This resume template is best for freelancers. The project section is great for showcasing the skills that would be most applicable for the industry the applicant wants to enter.
Pulling your more text-heavy information off to the side in an attractive color-blocked sidebar, this resume lets your experience stand for itself in white space at the top. It’s also easily customizable with no difficult-to-manipulate tables or formatting. The sidebars are in movable text boxes that can even be removed if you wish.
Recommended For: College Graduates
This template is best for young professionals starting their career. This adjustable resume template can give you full customization options for your first resume.
This resume takes on a different look than most resumes, centered around a single bar. This makes the resume more visually striking, which could draw attention as hiring managers are evaluating candidates. It also puts emphasis on the objective with your chronological experience supporting it underneath. All of this is in an attractive serif font that is elegant and classy.
Recommended For: College Graduates
This template is great for college graduates to demonstrate their most recent accomplishments. The “Objective” section will help you showcase where you are trying to go in your career.
Speaking of serif font, this resume puts forward an element of grace and formality with its font choices. It’s perfect for individuals who are looking for more organic color than the ones more typically found in resumes, and the colors are also easily changed in Microsoft Word’s theme settings. It also includes a skill-level bar, adding a nice visual touch to the template.
Recommended For: College Students
This template is great for college students to demonstrate their internship experience. The volunteering section gives a rounded viewpoint of your accomplishments if you are just leaving college.
This resume template is available from Microsoft itself, and it’s one of many free templates the company has prepared for those who depend on Microsoft Office tools to create content. Yes, it is written in Times New Roman — don’t freak out.
Designs like this can borrow an old-school typeface and still impress recruiters with a clean layout and subtle use of color. You can also change the font if you wish (and the same goes for every template in our list).
Recommended For: Developers
The “Skills” section is perfect for candidates in the tech industry. A candidate can showcase the languages they are fluent in and show a variety of accomplishments, successfully demonstrating their capabilities as they move into a new industry.
The digital marketing resume below comes from our own collection of resume templates, all of which open directly in MS Word.
Coming with two pages total, this sheet holds a wealth of information and offers the perfect amount of style while maintaining professionalism. Mid-level marketers all the way up to CMOs can find this template valuable.
Recommended For: Mid-Level Marketers
In this resume template, mid-level marketers can effectively showcase a variety of their skills, as well as their portfolio and other media pieces.
The Black and White resume template below suits professionals who prefer using color and shading to add structure to their resume.
The black banner at the top contrasts the applicant’s name nicely to help make him/her more memorable to recruiters. The gray banner just below the header is perfect for a summary or career objective — it makes one’s goals known but doesn’t overpower the experience listed below it.
Recommended For: Graphic Designers
If you’re a graphic designer, this is the resume to showcase your art. This template has a monochromatic color scheme, but if you are a designer, you can easily take it to the next level.
The illustration on the top-left of this template shows who the designers at Hloom had in mind for this resume: civil engineers. But because it’s a Word document, that graphic is easy to edit and replace with an image that represents your line of work. Are you an analytics buff? Design a clever bar or line graph icon and place it next to your name in blue (or whatever color you’d like!).
Recommended for: Civil Engineers
If you’re a civil engineer who wants to display your accomplishments, this is the template to use! There’s a section that lets you list all of your achievements and notable opportunities that made you grow as a civil engineer.
Red color never fails to stick out on a sheet of paper, especially if it’s included in small amounts. The resume template for email marketers, below, captures that balance.
In addition to the professional title in the top right-hand corner, this template also stands out with a thin sans-serif font, helping make a lot of text easier for a recruiter to digest and read through.
Recommended for: Email Marketers
If you are an email marketer who wants to highlight successes in your previous campaigns without boring the viewer with the details, this resume template is perfect for displaying bite-sized information.
Ironically, a dark background could be just the thing to ensure your resume doesn’t fall into the black hole of resumes piled on the hiring manager’s desk.
Using soft, yellow font, the resume template below inverts the usual color scheme of a resume without trying too hard to be creative.
Recommended For: C-Suite Executives
If you have years of experience in an executive position, this design has a bold and unique design that will separate you from the pack. What’s more, it has an area where you can list your achievements, relevant skills, and notable opportunities, allowing you to showcase your effectiveness as a leader.
Here’s another resume template dedicated to the digital marketer. This sheet offers all the inbound marketing language you need to express your values as a passionate, brand-loyal professional.
Similar to a few other templates on this list, it also uses just a dash of vibrant color in the applicant’s name at the top (where it matters most).
Recommended For: Communications and Marketing Candidates
This template is great for candidates moving into a communications or marketing role. Aside from its amazing visual appeal, this template creates a sense of connection with the reviewer by adding a personal touch.
This is another sharp template that offers a basic but confident design for any professional. The warm-colored panel on the right-hand side is pre-formatted for a written profile, where you can write a summary of your background or a form letter to each employer.
Just be sure to personalize this messaging to each new recipient so it works for the job you’re applying to. This template is available on Freesumes, and is free to users once they share the page to Facebook or Twitter.
Recommended For: Young Professionals
This resume is great for someone starting their career who needs a little guidance on how to best display notable experiences related to the job posting. Also, it is an editable template that can easily be personalized to appeal to the HR rep reading the resume.
There isn’t a better name for the template below. The Spick and Span resume might be the cleanest-looking sheet on this list.
It uses boldface, all-caps, and gray typeface to structure various headers of the document differently and maximize the hiring manager’s reading experience. And all that minimalism makes the professional headshot at the top pop off the page.
Recommended For: Creatives, Designers, and Developers
Resumes that look like this can be the work sample. If you have a background in illustration or design, making your resume stand out will be a great nod to your future employer. Get creative with your resume’s design if you want to work in an illustrative industry.
Similar to the Centered Bar resume earlier in the post, Hloom’s Timeline template is a super simple but creative way to tell your story.
You can convey your progression through various jobs you’ve held on one side of the vertical line, and more static elements of your background — such as skills and education — on the other.
Recommended For: Editors and Copywriters
This template has a sleek and clean look that places the focus on the highlights of your experience rather than on the minor details. If you have a background in editing or copywriting, this resume is the perfect way to showcase your skills in a concise and effective narrative … without the fluff!
This basic resume template is suited for content producers at all stages in their career. By spreading out the header and “Skills” text horizontally, the resume below fits a lot of crucial information comfortably on one page (of course, it also comes with a second page if you need it).
Recommended For: Content Creators and Videographers
This resume will help content creators showcase their biggest projects and most notable accomplishments. It’s great for showing how your scope of work has increased over the years, solidifying your expertise in that field.
This is perhaps the most imaginative of all the Word-based resume templates on this list — with both a skills meter and a comic headshot.
The template was designed by Venkata Naresh and comes with 12 different versions of the design you see below. Have you created a Bitmoji of yourself? Do you think your employer would find it creative? Match the template and add it as your photo.
Recommended For: Creative Artists or Digital Marketers
If you need a resume template that will showcase your artistic skills without being too casual or being too informal, this is perfect for you. You can also add in notes of your accomplishments, relevant skills, and qualifications for the job.
The curriculum vitae-style resume below flips the typical two-column resume so the basic applicant information is listed across the right side, rather than the left.
Feel free to change the color of this sidebar in Microsoft Word if dark-red isn’t your thing — the template can pull off any color you wish.
Recommended For: Graduate Candidates
If you are a graduate student entering the workforce, having a CV-style resume will demonstrate the depth of your knowledge first and showcase how your continued education will contribute to your future work environment.
What makes this resume unique is the space for references on the lower left-hand side. Does your field need others to vouch for your experience? This resume gives you room for three solid recommendations.
Recommended For: Brand Marketers or Personal Influencers
If you work in branding or have a large social media following, you can demonstrate your ability to create a cohesive message with this resume template. Feel free to change the color scheme to suit your brand.
This one was designed by the stationery experts at MOO and is offered for download by Microsoft. Simple but vibrant, this template hugs the text with an artistic header and footer — great for recent graduates who need to fill empty space on the page.
Recommended For: Photographers and Other Creatives
If you are a photographer who does freelance work, this is a great template to showcase your experience. This will give your hiring manager or client an excellent first impression because it showcases your creative ability without sacrificing the important elements — your accomplishments.
If you’re looking for simplicity and efficiency rather than something colorful, consider this Elegant Resume Template from Jofibo.
With Jofibo, you can select this or other similar templates on the website, enter your information, and then download it quickly and easily.
Recommended For: Marketing Candidates
If you are a mid-level marketing candidate, use this fun template to showcase all of your expertise and accomplishments. It’s an eye-catching template that displays your creativity and ability to engage.
Because of the color and image, it’s pretty memorable. But, for those who prefer a more conservative resume look, this template is fairly simple.
Recommended For: Corporate Candidates
This template is great for accomplished candidates moving into a high-rank position. This layout allows you to fit plenty of accomplishments, and the conservative look organizes the fullness of your career neatly.
This resume is perfect for displaying a clear timeline of your career history. It’s ideal for a seasoned professional who may have a lot of experience and wants to display it on one to two pages.
The template also allows you to highlight your competency level in various areas, giving the recruiter an easy way to spot your expertise.
Recommended For: Candidates in the Tech Industry
This resume is great for people in the technical space because it adds a touch of color and feels more compact, which will allow you to get right to the point about your key skills, certifications, and work experiences.
How to Make a Resume in Word
Open Microsoft Word on your computer.
Select either Basic Resume or Bold Resume from the template menu.
Fill in your name and contact information at the top.
Draft a brief summary of your experience and goals.
Enter your school and latest education.
Describe each job you’ve held using the lines prompted on the template.
List all relevant skills.
Describe any relevant accolades and accomplishments.
1. Open Microsoft Word on your computer.
If you have Microsoft Word installed on your computer, open the program and let it load for a moment. There will be a couple of helpful options waiting for you on the first screen, specifically for resume creation.
2. Select either “Basic Resume” or “Bold Resume” from the template menu.
Once you’ve launched MS Word, a window of templates will appear. Scroll down until you see the template options designed for resumes — there will be at least two of them. Double-click the one that suits your style and personal brand, but don’t be too particular about design just yet … you can customize these templates quite a bit.
3. Fill in your name and contact information at the top.
When your resume template opens, you’ll see placeholder text for each line of your resume, starting with your first and last name at the top. Delete this header text and enter your name, as well as any contact information by which you want the recruiter to contact you.
4. Draft a brief summary of your experience and goals.
Use the first line below your name and contact info to describe who you are, what you do, and what you’re looking for in your career.
5. Enter your school and latest education.
List any relevant degrees or certificates you received through schooling. You can safely exclude secondary education if you’ve graduated from an accredited college.
6. Describe each job you’ve held using the lines prompted on the template.
Your professional experience is frequently the most important section of your resume, so feel free to rank this section above your skills and education, depending on how many jobs you previously held.
7. List all relevant skills.
If you have experience in certain software, exercises, problem-solving, or management techniques, use them to populate your skills. Your resume’s “Skills” section helps reveal what all of your previous jobs or related experiences have in common, based on what they taught you and what you provided them.
8. Describe any relevant accolades and accomplishments.
Finish out your resume with any personal accomplishments or accolades you think a hiring manager in your industry would appreciate. Although this section shouldn’t include a Most Improved recognition from little league, for example, it should definitely include your Marketer of the Month award from your last position.
When formatting a resume in Word, it’s important to know the right style. We’ll go over it piece by piece.
Set the Right Margins and Font Size
Your resume should contain one-inch margins on all sides. Most documents will automatically have one-inch margins, but it’s best to double-check or create them yourself. Here’s how to create one-inch margins for your resume:
Go to “Layout.”
Click the “Normal” setting, where it states 1″ on the top, bottom, left, and right sides of the document.
Lastly, make sure your font size is 12-pt. This font size is standard for most resumes. However, if you have a particularly long CV, you could potentially get away with an 11-pt font size to fit it all on one page.
You should separate each section (i.e., education, work experience) with a header.
Create a header in Word by selecting “Styles”. You can use “Header 1” for your first and last name at the top of the page. “Header 2” is great for the “Education” section, “Work Experience” section, and “Skills” section. Use “Header 3” for employer names and job titles, and use normal text to fill in the details of your accomplishments, skills, and educational background.
If you want to visually divide your resume into different parts, you can create dividers to split up the information and make your resume more scannable. Here’s how to add dividers:
Go to “Insert”, select “Illustrations,” and then click “Shapes”. You can select “Lines” to draw a line in Word. Another shortcut to create dividers is pressing the “=”, “_”, or and “*” three times and hitting enter. These give a variation of dividers that can add dimension to your resume.
Create Bullet Points
The truth is, no hiring manager will read a paragraph of information, so we recommend using bullets instead to list your accomplishments and responsibilities underneath your job titles. When you open “Paragraph,” you’ll see a variation of bullet points you can use. Choose the one you like best.
Sometimes, you might not have time to create and format a resume from scratch. Plus, if you’re already employed full-time, it’s hard to find the time to apply to a new job opportunity, let alone update your resume to reflect your qualifications.
Luckily, there are numerous publishers out there who’ve created incredible resume templates for quick editing and formatting in Word.
You can also find resume templates directly in Word, which we’ll go over next.
How to Find Resume Templates in Word
When you open Word, go to ‘New’. On the bar on the left, select the ‘New’ option if it’s not selected already. Scroll down and you will see the resume template options that Word provides. These templates are visually appealing and are ready-made to send with your job application.
To keep you from hunting the internet for resume templates that are both free and compatible with MS Word, we’ve listed some options below for you to customize with your own information right now.
Some of them come with variations so you can pick your favorite design. A few of them cater specifically to marketers.
How to Save Your Resume
Remember, once you’ve finished personalizing your resume, you’re not ready to submit an application yet. To ensure your resume’s format stays the same for everyone who receives it, save the document as a PDF. Best case scenario? Even the hiring manager won’t believe your resume came from Word.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in 2018 but was updated in May 2020 for comprehensiveness.