Google Docs Resume Templates for a Professional and Polished Look

Making a resume in Google Docs is a straightforward process. Google Docs offers you the option of selecting a built in template from the template gallery, or you can create your own document from scratch. You can also customize the template to your liking by changing the fonts, colors, and layout.

We’ll go over exactly how to make a resume in Google Docs, what you should include on your resume, and how you should format it. 

3 key takeaways you’ll get from this article

  • Google Docs makes creating a clean and simple resume quick and easy (and it’s free)
  • Once you’ve selected a Google Docs resume template (or opted out of selecting one entirely) you can easily plug in your personal information
  • With its ease-of-use comes certain drawbacks, such as lack of customization

What is a resume? 

A resume is a document that summarizes a person's work experience, education, skills, and other relevant information. It's usually used when applying for a job, and serves as a way for employers to quickly evaluate whether a candidate would be a good fit for a particular role. 

A typical resume includes sections such as work history, education, skills, and sometimes a brief summary or objective statement. It's important to tailor your resume to each job you apply for, highlighting the skills and experiences that are most relevant to that particular position.

How to make a resume in Google Docs

  1. Log into your Google account or create one: You need to have a Google account in order to create a resume in Google Docs. Sign up for a free account by following the prompts, or login with your existing credentials if you already have an account. 
  2. Choose a template: Once you’re logged into your Google account, there are two ways to access the free Google Docs resume templates:
  • Navigate to the Google Docs application homepage and select a resume template from the menu at the top of the screen.
  • From Google Drive, click “+ New” on the left. Then, hover over “Google Docs” and select “From a template.” 

Some commonly used Google Docs resume templates include: 

  • Coral: Coral is a simple, one page resume template with a pop of bright color. You can change the default coral accent color to a color that suits you better, or change it to black for a more pared down look. We recommend deleting “Hello” and “I’m” from the top section to make it easier for applicant tracking systems to scan your resume. 
  • Modern Writer: For a more literary feel, Modern Writer adds old school charm to your resume. Because of its typewriter aesthetic, this template would be a fun choice if you are applying to work somewhere like a library or bookstore, but not necessarily the best choice if you want to work in tech.
    Google Docs also offers a matching cover letter template, so if you choose this template, you'll have the ability of creating resumes and cover letters that look consistent.
  • Spearmint: Spearmint is a sleek, professional resume with a fun touch of color, similar to coral. It’s easy for both humans and scanners alike to read. Like Modern Writer, there is also a matching cover letter template for Spearmint resumes.  
  • Serif: Serif uses a two column format rather than a single column, which can be more visually appealing in some instances. The skills and awards column is on the left, while every other section is on the right. 
  • Swiss: Swiss uses a two column design, just like Serif. The main difference is that the skills and awards sections are on the right, so if you prefer this ordering, go with Swiss instead of Serif. Swiss also has a matching cover letter template. 

Add resume header

Regardless of which template you chose, you’ll need to add your own information in. This starts with your full name, email address, and LinkedIn URL. Your template will most likely have a preselected spot for your name and contact information, so fill in your personal details where appropriate. For example, you’ll want to put your first and last name where it says, “Your Name” on the template. 

Add a target title

A target title represents the position you aim to achieve with your next career move. Adding a target title to your resume helps convey your career goals and desired direction to potential employers. It is placed at the top of your resume, below your header.

For example, a target title of “Director of Operations” or “Senior Marketing Manager” signal to employers the level at which you wish to be considered for open positions. This provides context around your experience, qualifications and salary expectations. It allows you to aim high while your resume demonstrates the expertise required for that target role through a summary of your relevant experience and key achievements.  

Write a professional summary 

We strongly recommend including a professional summary before listing your experience and your education. A professional summary gives you the opportunity to explain, in your own words, who you are, what motivates you, and what you’re looking to accomplish in your career to a hiring manager.

Professional summaries, generally speaking, can vary in length. But since your resume should ideally be one page (and it’s important to save space), aim to keep the professional summary on your resume no longer than five sentences. You can always add an extended version of it to your LinkedIn page. 

If you’re stumped as to what to write (which, by the way, is completely normal—it’s difficult to sum up your goals into a small space), good news is, there are tools that can get you started. The free version of Teal’s Resume Builder lets you generate up to two professional summaries using AI, which you can then customize to your liking. 

Experience section

Your experience is undoubtedly the most important part of your resume. Regardless of your seniority level or field, you should be listing your experiences in reverse chronological order (your most recent experience should be listed first).

For each job you’ve had, list; 

  • Your job title. Rather than your target title, put the titles of the jobs you’ve held previously
  • The timeframe you worked in the role. For example: January 2020 – March 2022. If you are currently working, this should read something like: January 2020 – Present.
  • Your accomplishments in bullet point form. Your accomplishments should contain keywords that call back to the job description. This will make it more clear to the hiring team that you have relevant experience for the role. 

Education section 

On your resume, list your degrees starting with the most recent. Include the name of the school, college, or university you attended, the years you attended, and the type of degree you earned. You can also include your final GPA or graduation distinction (examples: with honors or summa cum laude) if desired. 

If you’re currently a student, include your expected graduation date to give employers a sense of when you’ll be graduating. 

Skills and interests section 

Your skills and interests should, ideally, reflect the job description for the job you’re applying for. For instance, if the job description calls for proficiency in Microsoft Excel, you should make sure that you mention Microsoft Excel under “skills.” 

Adding your interests gives you the opportunity to showcase more about who you are outside of your career. Some examples of appropriate interests to note include but are not limited to: arts, sports, volunteering, and traveling. 

How to format a resume in Google Docs

You don’t need to use each Google Docs template exactly as it's presented—we recommend customizing it to showcase your individual preferences and style. 

Fonts and font size 

Fonts are a great way to showcase creativity and personality. However, the best fonts for a resume are easy to read and give a professional vibe. Some fonts you could experiment with on Google Docs include: 

  1. Arial
  2. Calibri
  3. Georgia
  4. Helvetica
  5. Times New Roman

The headers/section names on your resume should be no larger than 16 pts. Aim for a font size of 11-12 pts for body text. 

Adjust margins 

A standard resume has one inch margins on the top, bottom, left and right sides. 

However, if you want to fit more information on your resume, you can set the margin size in Google Docs to a custom size from the Page Setup window. Avoid going below 0.5 inches, as that will make your resume more difficult to read. 

On the flip side, don’t make your margins larger than one inch. Too much white space on your resume may leave the impression that your resume is too barren. 

Use styles like headings, subheadings, and bulleted lists 

On your resume, you should take advantage of different formatting options to establish a hierarchy of information.

Your first and last name, for example, can be in bold or in a larger font size than the rest of your resume. Beyond that, section headers like Summary, Experience, and Education, can be bolded to make your resume more scannable. 

Similarly, for readability and clarity, your experience should be listed in bullet points rather than paragraphs (that’s what your cover letter is for). You can also put your skills in a bullet list if you prefer. 

Tailor the resume to the job description 

Your resume should call back to the job description in two main areas: your experiences and skills. Creating a unique resume for each job you apply to will help your resume stand out and increase your chances of landing more interviews. 

For your experience section, the bullet points you list should be rich with keywords. That means that the keywords within the job description should be directly mentioned in your bullet points to the best of your ability (without sounding forced or false). 

To make crafting your accomplishment bullet points more seamless, Teal’s Resume Builder can scan each job posting for keywords. After doing so, it guides you through crafting a resume that hits them all. That way, you can send your resume knowing you’ve optimized it to its full potential. 

Your skills section also gives you the opportunity to call out both hard and soft skills that are mentioned in the listing, such as software names. 

Save resume as PDF 

When you’re finished crafting your resume in Google Docs, save it as a PDF. Navigate to File on the top left corner of your document and hover over where it says Download. Select PDF Document.

Once you’ve saved your resume, make sure that the name of the file is professional and to the point. You don’t want to send a recruiter a file named 123ASJFSNC.PDF. Renaming your file to something like, First Name Last Name Resume Current Month Current Year.PDF, is good practice. 

Limitations of creating a resume in Google Docs

While Google Docs is a great free resource for crafting your resume, it has a few drawbacks. 

Limited customization

Google Docs only lets you do so much. Ultimately, there is limited customization for your resume format when it comes to design choices like fonts, colors, and overall layout. 

If you need more creative control, we suggest looking into a different platform, and porting your resume into your Google Drive once you’re finished designing it. 

Online connectivity requirement

Because Google Docs is a cloud-based platform, it automatically saves your resume to your Google account. This is great because it means you can access the latest version of it on any device, with the caveat being you need an Internet connection. 

There are ways to save your files locally and edit offline (via Chrome extensions, desktop apps, and certain settings) but these methods are either difficult to configure or not reliable. 

Security risks

Google Docs gives you the ability to share a link directly to your resume file. However, this poses a security risk because, depending on your settings, anyone you share the link with can then forward it to other people without your knowledge. Your contact and other personal information can end up in the hands of bad actors or hackers. 

Compatibility issues 

Google Docs does not have 1 to 1 parity with other popular word processors like Microsoft Word. Your resume may have incorrect and inconsistent formatting if you create it in Google Docs, download it, and then open it later in a different word processor. 

Use Teal’s Resume Builder to craft a winning resume

Google Docs is a great tool to use to start editing your resume, but as a word processor, it’s ultimately fairly basic in its functionality. 

To supercharge your resume writing and your job search, Teal’s Resume Builder lets you: 

  • Create and save tailored resumes for each job all in one place
  • Formats your resumes in an applicant tracking system and human-friendly way
  • Craft a professional summary and optimized achievements with AI 
  • Write a matching cover letter that’s more likely to get you interviews 

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Emily Polner

Emily Polner

Emily Polner is a freelance writer based in New York City, passionate about career development and helping people find new roles.

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