Resume Template in Microsoft Word Creating a resume can be a daunting task: it's your first opportunity to make a good impression on a potential employer. You need a resume that clearly outlines your experience and skills and has a clean, professional and polished format. A clear, well-organized resume can be the difference between getting an interview or hearing nothing at all. Where should you start? Rather than spending hours laboring over the format and style of your resume, consider using one of the many professionally-designed resume templates available for Microsoft Word. Using a template gives you a great starting point, so you first can concentrate on writing concise, clear content. Then you can work on modifying the resume template to give it an appearance that suits your needs. When you install Microsoft Word, three standard resume templates are installed on your computer: Contemporary, Elegant and Professional. To use one of these resume templates, complete the following steps: 1. Start Word 2003. 2. Click New on the File menu. 3. In the New Document task pane at the right of the window, you'll find a Templates area. Click On my computer. 4. When the Templates dialog box opens, click the Other Documents tab. 5. Select one of the three available resume templates - Contemporary Resume, Elegant Resume, or Professional Resume - and then click the OK button. A new document, based on the selected template, will open in Microsoft Word. 6. To save the new document to your computer, click Save As on the File menu and then name the document with a descriptive file name that includes your name and keywords, such the company and position (for example, SmithResume_FidelitySalesManager). Using a descriptive file name makes it easier for the Human Resources Manager at a company to find your resume in a list of electronic resume files. 7. Replace any template placeholder fields with your information and then customize the document format and layout as desired. Microsoft Word also provides a Resume Wizard that will walk you through the process of creating a resume, step by step. If you prefer to use the Resume Wizard, click Resume Wizard in Step 5 and then follow the prompts to create a custom resume template. While these resume templates can serve as a general guide, using one of these three standard templates probably won't make your resume stand out from the crowd. Selecting a different, yet still mainstream and standard font may help. However, using flamboyant or clashing colors, fonts or other styles quickly can change your resume from distinctive to distinctly unprofessional. For a broader and more interesting variety of resume templates, the Microsoft Office Online Web site is an outstanding resource. You can choose from dozens of resume templates, including basic resumes, job-specific resumes for everything from sales managers to locomotive engineers, and resumes tailored to address specific job situations, like a transfer to another division within your company. Accessing the Office Online website requires an Internet connection, so be sure your computer is connected to the Internet before you start. To find resume templates on the Office Online Web site: 1. Start Word 2003. 2. Click New on the File menu. 3. In the New Document task pane at the right of the window, click Templates on Office Online in the Templates area. Your Web browser will open to the Microsoft Office Online Templates Web page. 4. Type resume in the Search box and click the Go button or, if you want to browse through the list of available templates, scroll down and click the Resumes link. 5. Review the available resume templates, each of which is listed with a brief description and a small thumbnail of the resume. Click the image or description link to view a larger image of the resume. 6. When you find a resume template you want to use, click the Download Now button to download the template. A new document, based on the selected template, will open in Microsoft Word. 7. To save the new document to your computer, click Save As on the File menu and then name the document with a descriptive file name that includes your name and keywords. 8. Replace any template placeholder fields with your information and then customize the document format and layout as desired. A well-written, organized resume should convince your prospective employer that you are a perfect fit for the job. Writing such a resume is difficult, but using one of the many free resume templates available for Microsoft Word certainly can start you in the right direction. And remember, the resume is just the first step. As you browse the Microsoft Office Online website, take the time to review the numerous other career-related templates available for use with Microsoft Word - cover letters, thank you letters, reference and recommendation requests and, of course, the job offer response letter when you win that perfect job!