It doesn’t matter who you are, what you do, or what stage in your career you’re at, chances are, you need a resume. And if you want to succeed in today’s competitive job market, you can’t just throw your work experience into a word processing document and send it off to potential employers.
Instead, you need a modern, professional resume that’s going to stand out, grab a hiring manager’s attention, and show them that you’re the right person for the job.
But why is having a well-designed resume so important? What does having a modern, professional resume look like in 2019? And how can you get a sleek, well-designed resume of your own—even if you’re not a design expert?
Let’s take a look at 20 modern professional resume templates that will help you get noticed (and, more importantly, help you get hired):
Why is a sleek resume so important?
Before we start looking at modern, professional resumes in action, let’s talk about why it’s so important to have a well-designed resume in the first place.
A well-designed resume makes the right first impression
How you present yourself professionally is important.
You wouldn’t go to a professional interview in your pajamas or sweatpants and a dirty, old t-shirt; it wouldn’t be putting your best foot forward. And, it wouldn’t send the right message about who you are or the value that you could bring to the team.
It’s the same thing with your resume. In many cases, your resume is your first opportunity to make leave a good impression with your potential employer. And in order to make sure it’s the right impression, you need a modern, well-designed resume that shows a hiring manager you’re a professional who’s taking the job hunt seriously (and will take the actual job seriously if and when you get hired).
A modern, professional resume helps you stand out
A recruiter or hiring manager can easily get hundreds of resumes in their inbox in any given week. That’s a lot of resumes to go through—and if there’s nothing memorable about yours, chances are, they’re not going to take notice. Having a well-designed, visually interesting resume is a great way to stand out and grab a potential employer’s attention—and once you have that attention, it’s much easier for your experience and job history to make an impact (and to score an interview as a result).
What are some of the elements of a modern, professional resume?
Clearly, having a well-designed resume is a must to get hired. But what, exactly, does a well-designed resume look like?
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to resume design; what’s going to look modern and professional depends on who you are and what kind of job you’re going after (for example, a modern, professional law resume is going to have a completely different look and feel than a modern, professional art director resume).
But there are definitely some universal design principles to follow to ensure that your resume looks professional and modern no matter what industry you’re in:
Create a sense of visual hierarchy
Recruiters don’t have time to read every resume from top to bottom; typically, they’re just scanning the page to see if anything jumps out at them—and if you want your resume to land you an interview, you need to make sure the right information is jumping out.
Creating a sense of visual hierarchy with your typography and other design elements will help draw recruiters and hiring managers to key sections of your resume; basically, it puts you in control of how your resume is viewed—and can dramatically increase your chances of getting an interview.
For example, if you’ve worked at a slew of impressive companies, you’re going to want to make those company names larger so a recruiter’s eye is immediately drawn to them. If you graduated with honors from a prestigious university, you can bold the school name to make it stand out.
The point is, visual hierarchy brings attention to important elements of design—and, in your resume, you can use it to draw attention to the parts of your education and job history you want to highlight to potential employers.
You might be tempted to try to squeeze as much information about yourself and your experience as possible on your resume. But filling every square inch of your resume with text and graphics is going to feel visually overwhelming for the recruiter.
If you want a well-designed resume (and, as we’ve already established, you do), you need to embrace space. Using white space can prevent your resume from feeling too cluttered or overwhelming, which will make it easier to read—and easier for a potential employer to get a sense of your background.
Add visual interest
As mentioned, recruiters get a lot of resumes every day, so the last thing they want to see is an overly-simple resume.
Make sure you add visual interest to your resume design. Things like a curated color combination that reflects your personality, or a profile image (if appropriate for your industry) can make your resume feel modern and interesting—and make you more likely to stand out against the hundreds of other resumes your potential employer is sorting through at any given moment.
Modern professional resume templates to try
So, it’s settled—a sleek, well-designed resume can give the professional edge you need to get noticed and get hired. But luckily, that doesn’t mean you have to start from square one to design it—all you need is the right resume template.
Let’s take a look at 20 resume templates that will make your resume look modern, well-designed, and professional—no design skills required:
Navy Blue Orange Simple College Resume
Why it works: The clean, straightforward layout of this resume is professional enough for even the most conservative jobs, industries, or companies—but the color blocking adds enough visual interest to keep it from crossing the line into boring or generic territory.
Gray Simple Minimalist Resume
Why it works: The two-column layout, gray color blocking, and modern sans serif font all lend a sleek, sophisticated style to this resume template. But the real star of the show is the initial graphic element in the left column—an attention-grabbing element that helps this resume get noticed.
Black Simple Lines College Resume
Why it works: When it comes to designing a modern, professional resume, sometimes simple is best. This resume takes a minimalist approach to design—but it also incorporates enough unexpected design elements (like the bold sans serif font and asymmetrical line layout) to feel new and interesting.
Blue Health Photo Resume
Why it works: Resume photos are tricky; if they’re not used correctly, they can draw attention away from the resume’s content. But that’s not an issue with this resume design, which puts the photo in the background and (wisely) lets the resume content take center stage. The end result? The photo adds visual interest and gives a modern look and feel to the resume—but the actual resume content (which is the important part) doesn’t get lost in the shuffle.
Minimal Multimedia Artist Resume
Why it works: This resume is a great example of a variety of design principles in action, from balance to visual hierarchy to typography—and when you add in the visual interest created by the header photograph and graphic icons, you have a modern resume that shows you understand good design. (Plus, what’s more modern than having your social media handles in the footer of your resume?)
Colorful Gradient Graphic Designer Resume
Why it works: Gradients are one of the hottest trends in the graphic design world—and highlighting it in a resume immediately lends a modern edge (and shows potential employers you have your finger on the pulse of what’s trending).
Black and White Minimal Simple Resume
Why it works: Sometimes, it’s the most basic of resume designs that are the most impactful. This straightforward resume design embraces a classic two-column style—but the sharp line down the center and the contrasting shades of gray and white in each column keep this simple resume from feeling too simple.
Pink Floral Pattern Professional Florist Resume
Why it works: By incorporating a floral pattern into the header, this resume feels modern, fresh, and fun—and because the rest of the design is more minimal, the bold pattern feels visually interesting instead of visually overwhelming.
Beige Geometric Pattern Food Server Professional Resume
Why it works: This resume keeps most of the design elements, from the neutral color palette to the two-column layout, traditional—but then jazzes things up with a visually interesting geometric patterned background. This unexpected element elevates the entire design, lending a sleek, sophisticated, and modern feel that’s sure to get this resume noticed.
Green Charming Floral Designer Resume
Why it works: When graphic elements are too bold, large, or over-the-top, they can make a professional resume feel too loud and distracting. This resume design wisely keeps the floral graphics to the corners—which adds a pop of color and visual interest while still allowing the actual resume content to take center stage.
Brown and White Mountains Photographer Photo Resume
Why it works: Splitting a photo between the header and footer adds visual interest creates a sense of continuity in this design—while the white background in the text section brings attention to the actual content of the resume (which is, of course, what hiring managers are most interested in).
White and Coral Icons Infographic Resume
Why it works: While this resume design is obviously a better fit for more creative fields, the perfectly executed design (which makes excellent use of key design principles like white space, balance, and visual hierarchy) makes for a professional resume that’s sure to grab any design-savvy hiring manager’s attention. Plus, how fun are those graphic elements?
White Minimalist Academic Resume
Why it works: The rectangular text box not only creates a visual division between the columns of this resume, but it also lends a more modern, visually interesting look to this otherwise minimalist design.
Pink Dark Blue Icons Infographic Resume
Why it works: A bold color palette, unexpected layout, and graphic focal points give this otherwise straightforward resume design a more modern, design-centric feel.
Black and White Rainbow Infographic Resume
Why it works: Black and white are colors you expect to see in a resume design—but the rest of the rainbow? Not so much. The pops of color in this infographic resume elevate the otherwise neutral color palette—lending a more modern, fun (but still professional!) feel to the overall design.
Light Carmen Pink College Resume
Why it works: There can be a lot of information to communicate in resume design. This design keeps that information from feeling visually overwhelming with an attention-grabbing photo, bold border, and generous use of white space.
Black and Yellow with Image Photography Photo Resume
Why it works: Black and white is a classic color combination—but because it’s the color palette most often used in resume design, it can often fail to make a real impact. The bold pop of yellow in this design elevates the color palette, making for a more eye-catching and attention-grabbing design.
Graphic Designer Resume
Why it works: Overall, this resume design feels modern and professional—but the bold color blocking is an unexpected element that adds visual interest and elevates the design to an entirely new (and better designed!) level.
Bright Pink Modern Resume
Why it works: The photo is clearly the star of this resume design—which is a bold choice, but can create a sense of balance for job seekers who are newer to the workforce and don’t have as much experience to highlight on their resume (especially when compared to more senior applicants).
Yellow and Green Modern Creative Resume
Why it works: This resume design proves that focusing on a few key design elements—in this case, a bold palette and color blocking—can be all it takes to create a visually impactful resume.
Design a modern, professional resume that gets you hired
Clearly, having a well-designed resume is a must. And now that you have 20 templates to get you started, all that’s left to do is get out there and design a modern, professional resume that gets you noticed—and, more importantly, gets you hired.