12 Resume Templates for Microsoft Word Free Download

Because stressing about the formatting shouldn't be delaying your job search. Instead get a jumpstart with these 12 free resume templates.

Get a head start on your resume with these 12 free resume templates. The real world is coming. Are you ready? In only a few short months the next wave of new graduates will be entering a tough job market. Impressing potential employers at every stage has never been more important. As a welcome gift into adulthood, I proudly offer these 12 free resume templates to get the new grads and folks looking to switch jobs started.

I've written my own handful of resumes through the years and have talked to a ton of friends and Primer readers about the process. The number one complaint about looking for a job (which means using it to delay the process for months) is writing or updating a resume.

A resume is short, fewer than a couple hundred words. Sometimes it's not even written in complete sentences. It's about a subject no one knows better than ourselves.

And yet it's such a chore. Perhaps the most frustrating thing about the resume writing process is formatting. Getting everything you need to say down and have it packaged neatly is a trial-and-error design challenge.

You're a smart person, this isn't an unmanageable task, but this extra time could be used for the fruit-bearing part of the job seeking process like researching positions, having coffee with contacts, and connecting with others in your network.

To help out, I've created these 12 Microsoft Word resume template designs free to download. Differing in structure, style, and tone the resume templates should cover a wide variety of industries and positions for job seekers. Find a template that makes use of white space for folks with limited job experience. If you've been at it for a few years, find a template that allows for greater detail of your previous responsibilities and experience.

How to Write a Resume

After you've picked a resume template it's time to get down to work on the truly important part: the contents of the resume. A resume designed by the world's best artist without the right content isn't any better than no resume at all.

Here are some resume writing tips from a few seasoned Primer contributors:

  • If you submit the same resume to every job you apply to, you're doing it wrong. There's no such thing as a one-size-fits all resume for every position, even for the same position at different companies. Create a master document, and modify it to reflect the interests of the specific company you're applying to.
  • The job description is the secret to success. The employer is literally telling you what they're looking for, so apply your experience to the keywords they use.
  • Ditch the “Objective” section. This is an outdated part that just takes up space. Everyone's says the same thing: “To have a rewarding and challenging role at an industry-leading organization blah blah blah.” Instead, create a Profile section. This is where you define yourself, work ethic, and experience in your own words. Your overall strengths and impressive accomplishments. Keep it short, no more than a couple of sentences.
  • Don't describe the duties of your previous positions. If you're applying to be an accountant, the hiring manager already knows the duties of an accountant. Instead focus on highlighting your quantifiable contributions to the companies. Don't write “Monitored accounting and related systems for accuracy,” get specific. “Developed new workflows for analyzing accounting across departments that cut errors by 40%” is a specific contribution you made to your previous employer. It shows the kind of value you bring beyond the staple duties of the position.
  • Keep it to one page. You may eventually get to the point where your resume will require more pages to list impressive clients or projects, but until then keep it readable with just one page.
  • Provide more focus to your most recent position. Don't feel the need to detail the specifics of a job you had 5 years ago, since you likely had less responsibility and made less impressive contributions. If your most recent position has 4-8 highlights, use 2-4 for the older ones.
  • Be objective with yourself: know when something is impressive and when it's not. If it reads just like a job responsibility, ditch it or reword it to showcase your expertise.

For more check out Jack Busch's great and detailed feature, “How to Avoid a Dead End Job: Laying the Groundwork for a Fulfilling Career.”

Note: These resume templates were created in and intended for Microsoft Word. The formatting may shift or break if used with other applications, though it should be easily modifiable to look correct. If the template looks different than the example it may be because you don't have the correct font. Simply find a similar one installed on your computer.

All the best to you on your job search! I hope you find my resume templates helpful.


12 Free Resume Templates

Resume 1

Download this resume template.

Microsoft Word resume template 1 free download

Resume 2

Download this resume template.

image of free resume template download

Resume 3

Download this resume template.

modern resume template

Resume 4

Download this resume template.

two column resume template

Resume 5

Download this resume template.

resume for microsoft word

Resume 6

Download this resume template.

2 column resume template for word

Resume 7

Download this resume template.

one page resume template

Resume 8

Download this resume template.

modern resume for word

Resume 9

Download this resume template.

simple one page resume design

Resume 10

Download this resume template.

Resume 11

Download this resume template.

two column resume

Resume 12

Download this resume template.

resume template for a lot of information

Andrew is the founder and editor of Primer. He's a graduate of American University and currently lives in Los Angeles. Read more about Primer on our About page. On Instagram: @andrewsnavely and @primermagazine.

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  • Me_number3

    Sorry to be demanding but could you add a quick rundown of the pros and cons of each template? Or what you think it’s suited for. This is a great post, one page seems a bit light but I like the thought behind it. 

    I’m still an undergrad in NZ and I find the hardest thing for CVs and interviews is to strike the right level of professionalism.

    • http://www.primermagazine.com/ Andrew

      Professional customs may be different in NZ regarding page length but consider the perspective of the person reviewing it. If they have 100 resumes to go through I can almost guarantee they won’t read beyond the first page.

      There aren’t universal pros and cons for each since everyones situation is so different. It’s really up to the priorities of the individual how much space they need and the design they feel is appropriate for their industry and position.

  • Adam

    Psyched and amazed that this came out today! I am applying for a promotion at work and have to send in my updated resume and cover letter tomorrow. The side article on cover letters is great too.  I’m still deciding between the Donald Draper and the Michael Robertson.  I work at a university so I want something that will stand out, while still upholding to the traditional standards I know my bosses look for and are comfortable with.

    Thanks Andrew

  • Todd

    As a warning, removing the Objective could really hurt you in old-guard fields and with large companies. I can’t imagine getting a proper interview without explicitly stating my intended position and role.

    The objective line is as much for HR to categorize you as it is for the interview to have a quick notion of what they should expect from you.

    If you work in a field dominated young professionals or one that requires displays of outward creativity, then it could be worth exploring the Summary over the Objective.

    • http://www.primermagazine.com/ Andrew

      A good point. For me, that info goes in the cover letter and in some form in the profile, relating your personal expertise the position you’re applying for.

  • Asedlins

    What about references? I have been told by careers advisors that leaving out references or adding “references upon request” is a bad idea. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=560134487 Arthur J. Boilanger

      I’ve always been told that it’s assumed you will be able to produce references when called upon to do so, so there is no reason to state that you can.

  • Ayaan

    Awesome templates!!!
    Helped me a great deal. I had to apply for a new company and I was really worried coz my old resume was well OLD. But now it looks amazin’. Thanks man!

  • Geran Brown

    Which template would you use for a individual with an IT background with 5-10yrs experience?

  • amamore1

    Thanks so much for the templates!! I haven’t had to update my resume for a long time as I was a stay at home Mom. Was looking for some templates and a lot of them are terrible. These are great and will be a big help to me!

    • Hulme Thompson

      Which one did you use? i. too. have been at home and would love to get on at a hospital as a registrar, entry level of course! `Lisa

  • comeonyall

    These are some REALLY SWEET templates! Thanks alot!

  • Grateful Girl

    Thank you very much for the advice and templates – what a relief to have help making it look good.

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  • k

    thanks a lottt…. for these free templates……
    what you are doing is a great service…
    you could… easily impress us..with these awesome templates…
    and put a dollar or Euro signs beneath them….
    .. but my friend you worked and put your skills and effort on it…
    and offered it FREEEE 4 us…
    that’s something..koollll…N Great…. great attitude…and a sign of a good human…
    THANK YOU my friend…

  • Azhar

    thank you so much..

  • basse

    Hi is it possible to remove the john mclain email from down on the page on the john mclain resume? Unfortunately the template is pretty useless otherwise :/

    • http://www.primermagazine.com/ Andrew

      It should be in the footer. Go to View / Footer in your word processing program and you should be able to edit it.

  • Tony

    I like your resumes, but I personally prefer resumes that are more designed, like these ones http://www.cvfolio.com.

  • Tony

    I don’t know why my comments are not showing, is it broken?

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  • MLB

    Thank you for these. Life saver as I update my resume today.

  • P-Athena

    Noticing you have only used male names… You do know women use resumes too nowadays?

    • http://www.primermagazine.com/ Andrew

      This is a website feared towards guys. 😉

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  • Lovely

    Thank you for sharing the resume format. It was very helpful.

  • Roger

    Excellent resource!

    I just thought you might like to know that you’ve been featured in a collection of the best resume resources on the web at: http://www.rawresume.com/blog/44-free-job-finding-interview-getting-resources/

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  • http://www.abinashmohanty.com/ Abinash Mohanty

    These are amazing! Also checkout my new minimal single page resume template especially for designers that I am distributing for free, and available for download via behance network at http://on.be.net/1IU0P2X

  • Tomáš Ondrejka

    I think that these are pretty boring just black&white like from MS Word. I like minimalistic colour design. For example you can get creative resumes for free at cvmkr.com or http://www.kickresume.com

    Enjoy 🙂

  • Suzz7432 .

    I am looking for the right resume for a seasoned professional with varied work experience transitioning from one field to another. Should I list my skills and then the jobs?

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  • Annie

    Great list, I am looking for more complex but still creative resume templates like those on http://www.trendyresumes.com or http://www.cvfolio.com but free. Do you know where I could find such templates? Also, they should be for Microsoft Word. Thanks!

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  • Anastasia

    Thank you for the resume template. I used resume 10. For some reason my name, on the side, shows jumbled up when sent through an email and google docs. Is there anyway to prevent this? Thank you.

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  • Jinette Edgar

    Thanks a million Andrew. You’re a life saving god today & if I ever have to buy anything in the future ,I’ll run to you & recommend you.

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  • Union_m

    Thank you for this article but if you want your resume to stand out from all the other resumes you need a resume template like this!

    Here is the link to purchase this resume ($6 only in Word files)

  • Caramelo

    Nice but need more personal improvement in design, thank you very much!

  • Craig

    Which template would you recommend for a Director of Development with 16 years experience, some college, currently enrolled in a Leadership Certificate program but no degree?

  • Adam

    Amazing collection. We have professional modern collection of resume templates in MS Word for fair pricing.Please, visit our website on https://www.resumeroll.com

  • Mustafa Abdulhussein

    Thank you so much Mr.Andrew for the 12 free Resume Templates.I will take a look at them and see if one of them suits me.Thank you Thank you Sir!!!

  • Tülay Vural

    Great article! Today’s business world is more competitive than it has ever been before, so you need to introduce yourself with an up-to-date, well organized and visual resume.
    To make it easy, take a look into our Free Resume Templates which are including different professional and creative resumes for your job applications;