Using a CV Template vs. Creating Your Own CV

Building a Successful Resume

Opinions will vary, and we can tell upfront there is no clear answer to whether you should use a template or create your own curriculum vitae, so do not expect to find one here. However, we can help list each option’s pros and cons; that will hopefully make it easier for you to choose what is best

It is a choice between individuality and neutrality, between taking the safe and easy choice or putting in an effort and taking the risky one that, if executed right, will ensure you stand out.

Pros of choosing to use a curriculum vitae template

  • It is, of course, the easy choice between the two, but that does not make it a bad one; it is safe and risk-free since experts supposedly do it.
  • Using a template will help you focus, not get confused or distracted by the how and where to start, and a million things you should do; in other words, it will save you the precious time you would otherwise be spending working on formatting a blank Word document.
  • Templates are designed to look professional, which is great in helping the applicant pass the tracking system an employer uses to access candidates.
  • There are many samples and designs, so you will surely find one suitable to your skills, professional level, and expertise.
  • They ensure you do not miss any important information. Since they are sectioned and divided according to what to include and where, it will be impossible to miss anything, increasing your chances of getting what your CV is aimed for.

Cons of choosing to use a curriculum vitae template

  • It is easy for recruiters and employers to spot curriculum vitae templates, and they might not like you if you choose the easy way, they might think of you as someone lazy and undedicated.
  • It is said that the designers of these templates are experts, but no one knows, and there is no way to actually check and see if they are the real deal or just amateurs. And most of these templates are, in fact, very poor, so unless you are in the career industry, it will be very difficult to know which is good, which is bad, and which is lacking.
  • After spending years working on building yourself, your academia, and your expertise, it will be unfair of you to sell yourself short by using a ready-made template. Why not invest your time creating and mastering the best curriculum vitae possible for your qualifications? One made especially for you, by you, will ensure you stand out and show the recruiters what kind of employee you would be, a dedicated one.
  • When it is true that templates help you not forget important information, it is also true that they do not spot mistakes! Using a template may make you feel so at ease that you will forget to check for grammatical and structural errors, sending your CV straight to the trash if it exists.

Pros of creating your own CV

  • The biggest one is individuality. Your curriculum vitae will look like no one else’s when you design and write it. This uniqueness will attract the attention of recruiters, hiring managers, and HR people. You need to know that they only look at a curriculum vitae for an average of 6 seconds before deciding whether to throw it in the trash or continue reading it.
  • A curriculum vitae is not like a resume; it is better not to use visuals. It should be simple, clear, and direct. Templates may not abide by that, and we do not think you should take any risks with it.
  • It is agreed upon that taking the time and putting in the effort to write your curriculum vitae is appreciated and praised. If asked why someone did not get called for an interview, most recruiters will tell you that it is probably because they based their CVs on a template.

Cons of creating your own CV

  • It is time-consuming; it takes a lot of effort and concentration that you might not have if you are in a hurry or nervous about doing the task.
  • Since a curriculum vitae is an accumulation of all academic and professional accomplishments, there is a big chance you will forget to mention some information while writing it, creating a gap that will not look good for you.
  • Not having a clear guideline to show you how to section your curriculum vitae might make it look messy.
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