Resumes & Cover Letters

How to Use Google to Create a Winning Resume

Written by Sheryl Posnick

So you found the perfect job posting and think you really want to make the plunge this time and apply. But what’s stopped you in the past is likely what’s making you take pause now—you (of course) need to provide a resume, and the thought of updating yours or creating a new one from scratch is just too daunting to tackle. Hmm, maybe you don’t need to apply to this job? Nonsense. Do it.

No idea how to start building (or rebuilding) your resume? Lucky for you there are a ton of templates out there that can serve as a useful starting point. You don’t just have to sit there with a new Word document, the cursor blinking at you on the blank page.

Next time you’re stuck, turn to Google Docs. Their template archive is a wealth of possible head starts for you to make a gorgeous and professional looking resume. And all you need is a Google account to get started—it’s completely free. And the best part is, you’ll be able to access your document from anywhere, on any computer, in any document format.

Here are a few tips on how to use Google Docs resume templates to your best advantage.

1. Search for exactly what you want and like.

The template gallery is huge—and includes more than just resumes. Use the search function to narrow things down. Just enter the word “resume” and start browsing through what’s available that suits your needs.

And if you don’t have a sense of the type or style that you want? Really, don’t let the numbers overwhelm you. Find the first one that looks clean and classy and professional. Pick that one—done and done. Use the preview function to make sure you’re happy with your choice. If you don’t love it, keep looking for clean and classy. If you do, simply click “Use this Template” and get started.

2. Personalize it piece by piece.

Your template will be full of dummy text for a fake job applicant, and you’ll have to go in and change all of the information to your own. Enter your details by clicking on each section as you edit it. The most convenient part? Your changes are automatically saved in Google Docs. (Though, in general, please practice saving as you go—it’s a great habit.)

To save a copy to your computer, simply “Download as” then choose your file extension of choice. You can then attach your file to an email if needed, or print your file directly from Google Docs.

3. Choose a good file name.

Simply click on the title of the Google Doc to rename it. Remember to make it something you’ll be able to search for easily, and that will not confuse a hiring manager—something like “Smith Resume 2017 July” will do. If you’re making multiple versions for multiple positions, be sure to make the file names specific enough to find later when you need them.

Honestly, the toughest part of this whole process is getting started. It’s hard to picture filling up a whole page of information when you have an expanse of white space sitting in front of you. A template seems like a simple thing, but trust us when we say that having set boxes to fill in is often all it takes to get your fingers typing, your brain moving, and the information about your work history into those neat little compartments.

About the author

Sheryl Posnick

Sheryl Posnick is an editor and writer living in Brooklyn, NY. She is the founder and president of Red Letter Content, an editorial company with a focus on educational, test preparation, and career readiness materials.