Free resume templates might sound like something a creative professional might want to avoid using, especially if you're a graphic designer. But that's not actually the case, for two reasons.
First, most employers aren't looking for overdesigned, flashy resumes; they just want to digest the basic facts about you in a clear and uncluttered way. And second, if you do want to add your own design touches, then free resume templates are usually customisable in your favourite software, whether that's Photoshop or Illustrator.
Having said that, free resume templates aren't generally known for their high quality. But there are a few decent ones worth downloading, and we've rounded up 16 of the best here, each offering a slightly different take on the format.
Want some inspiration before you start putting together your resume? These examples of creative resumes all stand out from the crowd in original and imaginative ways. And to include brilliant typography, here are the best free fonts around.
01. Professional free resume template
Most free resume templates are created by designers who are relatively new to the profession and looking for exposure. But here's a notable exception. Chris Do is the award-winning designer, founder and CEO of Santa Monica studio Blind. And he's made the template of his personal resume free to download for job seekers in the industry, via the online education platform The Futur.
The document comes in both an Adobe Illustrator file and a PDF, and the design is pretty straightforward and formal. And while it's not exactly going to wow anyone as a visual, that's kind of the point. The fact that this is based on the real resume of such a successful creative highlights that less can be more when it comes to job applications.
02. Stylish free resume template
Next on our list of free resume templates is this stylish design from graphic designer Fadhli Robbi. Created in Adobe Illustrator, you can edit this template to create new colour schemes, add or delete selected sections and change fonts, so that the overall design fully reflects your style.
03. Clean and colourful free resume template
Here's one of the most simple, yet elegant, free resume templates we've seen in a long while. Designed by Raka Caesar, it offers a very visual guide to your work history, using icons to reveal your interests and a chart-type system to convey your relative strengths in various skills. The file is in the PSD format, so it's fully customisable if you want to replace or add any content.
04. Free resume template with business card
It's very handy when free resume templates come with added extras, and this one fits right into that bracket. Created by Alamin Mir, in collaboration with Grapphiora (formerly Pixelll), this pack includes a cover letter, resume, image portfolio page and bonus two-sided business card, and everything is fully customisable.
05. Material Design free resume template
One of the best free resume templates to be inspired by Google's Material Design framework, this includes areas for professional profile, work experience, education, skill circles, skill bars, social media icons and images. It's supplied in A4-size format for Adobe Illustrator, InDesign and Photoshop. And if you'd like a covering letter and portfolio template too, the premium version also includes extra colour options, matching business card templates, and custom icons.
06. Creative free resume template
If you know your way around Adobe Illustrator and don't mind getting your hands dirty, then this template is perfect for producing a great-looking resume that you can customise to your personal taste. You can either use it as-is, changing the text and adding a photograph, or you can spend time editing the colours and tweaking the layout until you have something that more accurately reflects your personality.
07. Three-part free resume template
Created by Indonesian graphic designer Angga Baskara, this elegant template covers all the bases with three sections: a main info page featuring eye-catching progress bars to illustrate your main skills; a covering letter; and a portfolio section where you can add a selection of your work, in the form of images and short descriptions.
08. Vintage-style free resume template
This splendidly vintage-looking template has deliciously earthy tones, and comes as an AI file so you can adjust it to your heart's content. Be aware, though, that the fonts aren't included, so you'll either have to hunt them down yourself (they're all free fonts, luckily) or substitute your own.
09. Creative designer free resume template
Fully layered and well-organised to keep customisation nice and easy, this bold and punchy visual template enables you to get yourself and your skills across quickly, without any messing around. It comes as a print-ready 300dpi A4 PSD, ready for editing in Photoshop.
10. Project-based free resume template
Depending on the type of application process you're dealing with, it may be appropriate to include samples of your work within your resume. This most attractive of free resume templates is perfect if you have images of visual work that you'd like to include, and there's also space for a cover letter.
11. Timeline free resume template
This timeline-based template was created by graphic designer Patryk Korycki. Supplied as an AI file, it employs the free typeface Open Sans, with various fields available to enter your education details, skills, interests and much more.
12. Stylish free resume template
This most stylish of free resume templates features all the details you need to include, along with a neat sidebar holding a profile and references. There's also a timeline in which you can list your employment history, an online profile section to show just how social media-savvy you are, and a software skills bar graph to showcase your skills. It's supplied in PSD, AI and INDD formats.
13. Icon-based free resume template
If icons are your thing, check out this coolest of free resume templates from designer Fernando Báez. A sectionalised design, complete with stylish type and icons included (you get the CV in AI format and the icons in PSD), this template allows you to customise it with your own icons too.
14. Typography-focused free resume template
Here's one of those free resume templates that may not be to everyone's taste, but which certainly makes an impact. A central typographic column bursts out to boxes in which you can add your details. The template comes in AI format so you can easily export a PDF – and it comes in black and white so you can get creative with colours.
15. Simple free resume template
Simplicity is the key in another one of our favourite type-based free resume templates. This one puts your profile at the top, then lists experience and education in simple boxes. There's also a professional skills section enabling you to give yourself a percentage score on languages and professional skills. The Illustrator file makes the most of colour to aid the reader.
16. Clean free resume template
This most customisable of free resume templates comes from designer Mats-Peter Forss. It comes in both PSD and AI formats, and has a Smart Object header, so you can quickly and easily link in an image of your choice. It's A4, 300dpi, and with 3mm bleed, so completely print-ready. Just add your logo, bio, experience and so on, and you're ready to print and send.