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Written by Paul DruryPaul Drury

Google Docs CV Templates

12 min read
Google Docs CV Templates
Artwork by:Anna Koroleva
It is likely that you will use a CV template when you start your job search. We are a fair-minded bunch (only slightly biassed), so we take a look at Google Docs CV templates.

Everyone uses Google for something. That is a statement of fact these days, but there are certain Google applications that aren’t quite fit for purpose. Yet, because of the immense amount of Google users, these applications tend to find a place in their niche anyway.

Google Docs CV templates are one such example. 

When job seekers are trawling Google for information that may assist their job search, they will likely come across links or ads for Google Docs CV templates. Assistance from such a trusted brand may seem like a no-brainer, but do you really want to use a CV template that will likely be used by millions of others, that isn’t customisable, and that may be a little lacking in the design department? 

This is not to say that the Google Docs CV templates are not fit for purpose. They are. The choice is more a question of process and aesthetics, so we thought that we would look at the choices in a little more detail. We consider:

  • Why should I use a CV template?
  • Should you use Google Docs for a CV?
  • Example Google Docs CV templates
  • Advice for personalising Google Docs CV templates
  • Alternatives to G-Docs for your CV.

There are many choices during a job search. As a CV is such a critical document, the choice of template should not be underestimated. Visual impact matters more than you think. Stellar career content with a poorly designed template will not land quite so well.

Why should I use a CV template?

When you realise that your CV is the only initial connection between you and a potential future boss, its significance is undeniable. Optimising every facet of the document is the only way to start a job search. The content should be on point, your career story should be compelling, and it should ideally be written for the specific role in question.

First and foremost, however, comes the design of the document. Gone are the days of a blank page of A4 with minimal formatting and bland design. Job seekers can opt to design a template themselves. Some do. Most of them do it badly. If the formatting is not consistent or the CV cannot be scanned by the ATS, opportunities can pass you by.

Professionally designed CV templates are certain to pass these basic tests. With a CV template you can pick the design you like and concentrate on filling it with the best content. It is one less thing to worry about — no small consideration in a stressful job search.

When you begin your job search, you want your head to be filled with how you can move up in your career, how to tell your career stories and what sort of boss and company you wish to work for. Using a CV template will create that little bit more headspace.

Should you Use Google Docs for a CV?

Just because Google has the facility to create CV templates doesn’t mean that it is the best-in-class solution for a job search. Looking at some of their templates, they certainly aren’t designed with the hiring manager in mind. Here are some of the potential challenges:

  • Are the templates formatted properly?
  • Do you know how to structure the CV from a blank page?
  • Will the CV be suitably formatted to pass the ATS test?
  • How much space should you dedicate to each section?

The other issue is that your Google Docs CV template might not be compatible with the template that you use for the cover letter. Both job search documents will be sent and viewed together, so it is essential that they have the same design. This alone may be a good enough reason to give Google Docs CVs a miss – your cover letter cannot seem like an afterthought. They are a central part of the application process!

Example Google Docs CV templates

Your Google Docs platform already has several templates that are ready to use immediately. The functionality and customisation are limited, but if you have fallen in love with the particular design then they are good to go.

Click the file menu, hover over the arrow next to the “new” button and then navigate to the Form Template gallery. There are five original templates on offer:

Coral Template. The Coral template offers a hint of coral colour to a standard CV layout. There are no columns or individual design elements, so this is one for the minimalists. Take note that anything pink may be somewhat of a charged colour selection.

Modern Writer Template. The Modern Writer template adds a line at the top of the CV to highlight the name and contact section. This is something that does not always format currently if you do it yourself, so it is a template that is worth considering.

Spearmint Template. The Spearmint template will certainly leave the reader feeling fresh. The contact section is at the top with plenty of white space on the right, maybe offering the hiring manager the chance to pause before they get into the details of the CV.

Serif Template. The Serif template allows the candidate to utilise a two-column structure. This may be useful for early career professionals who wish to fit their CV onto one page and maybe don’t have so much to say in the work experience sections.

Swiss Template. The Swiss template is the worst of the lot in our view. It dedicates a huge amount of space on the left column for the CV headings and gives the impression that you do not have much to say for yourself. Harsh, but fair.

These are five of the Google Docs templates that are available on the platform itself. There is also a significant offering on marketplaces such as Etsy, where design professionals have used the functionality to create their own Google Docs CV templates. Some of them are worth considering, as the “look” of your CV is very much about personal choice. Think carefully, however, as not all of them have been created with the hiring manager in mind.

Advice for personalising Google Docs templates

It should be said that the coral colour in the template can be changed if you wish, as can the colours and fonts of other templates. This is a welcome factor if you do opt for the Google Docs templates, but it comes with a health warning: some of the formatting and alignment can change if you make certain choices.

Making changes to a Google Docs template design will set you apart from those who aren’t aware of the possibility. Feel free to tweak it if you are sure that the overall look is not adversely affected.

After you have added your unique slant, make sure that you proofread the content. Spellchecker and grammar software is easy to use – those extra couple of minutes could make all the difference. Also, asking a friend to make sure that your CV sounds like you is never a bad idea. You don’t want to turn up at the interview and have the hiring manager wondering why you sound different in person than how you come across on paper.

Alternatives to G-Docs for your CV

There is plenty of choice when it comes to CV templates. Our suggestion would be to look around for templates that match the design that you are seeking, but you should not forget about the customisation options. Inflexible templates can look unprofessional – that is the last thing that you want a hiring manager to feel.

Resume.io has a wealth of templates and customisation options for our customers. The templates are designed by recruiters with hiring managers in mind, carefully optimised for how CVs are actually read. Compare the Vienna template within our Creative category to the Swiss Google doc resume template. 

Google docs Swiss CV template
Google docs Swiss CV template 

Note that the Vienna template allows you not only to list your skills in a side column that stands out but rate yourself on each skill as well. That is a great way of showing exactly which skills you wish to discuss during an interview. Think about which career stories you might tell for each skill. The Swiss template elevates the skills section to the top of the document for emphasis but does not design for maximum impact. We highly recommend a vertical listing of skills instead of a paragraph-style list.

In addition to Vienna, we offer an entire category of Creative resume templates, many of which reserve a spot for a headshot. Resume.io’s expertly-designed templates fall into three other categories: Modern, Simple, and Professional.

Key takeaways

Of all the initial decisions to make in a job search, choosing to use a template for your CV is a no-brainer. Then comes the practicality of which one to use. Take a little time to pick the right option for you. Maybe you do go with Google Docs in the end, but make sure that you have looked at plenty of alternatives. Hopefully the Resume.io options will stand out for you — millions of job seekers choose them, after all.

  1. Save time with your application by using a professional CV template.
  2. Make sure that the format is compatible with all recruiter software platforms.
  3. Think about how the design and format will be received.
  4. Don’t think that a bland document is professional – stand out a little.

If you are ready to build your perfect CV, we have all the templates and advice that you will need to secure that fantastic new role. Your wildly successful job hunt starts here.

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Build your CV in 15 minutes
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Build your CV in 15 minutes
Build your CV in 15 minutes
Use professional field-tested CV templates that follow the exact ‘CV rules’ employers look for.
Create My CV
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