How to Use Résumé Samples and Avoid Plagiarism

Need some inspiration when writing and designing your résumé? It’s a good idea to look at different résumé templates – but how do you avoid plagiarism?

Reviewed by Chris Leitch

Illustration of a man stealing another man's CV with a net

Writing a résumé can be a daunting task if you’re wondering how to utilise a résumé template while avoiding plagiarism.

The simple solution would be to browse various templates and to copy and paste what you need, and then add your own information. However, if you’re using a sample document that cannot be copied, then you’re bordering on plagiarism without even knowing it. There are ways that you can complete the résumé writing process correctly without plagiarising.

There are two major practices to follow when trying to avoid plagiarism. The first one is to avoid copying content verbatim. The second is to avoid copying the context or specific idea written. Basically, you can utilise certain ideas from the template, but you can’t copy words verbatim or duplicate specific ideas written.

Here are four tips for avoiding plagiarism while using résumé templates.

1. Be unique

It’s important that you follow the basic guidelines of proper résumé writing. While following proper guidelines and steering clear of plagiarism, it’s vital that you create a résumé that showcases your uniqueness and still remains professional. Be yourself and create a résumé that meshes your professional skills, education and work history with a professional flair.

Additionally, remember to never utilise a template that isn’t available online for free use. Otherwise, you will be plagiarizing. Always check the copyright notice listed.

You can download a résumé template from CareerAddict. We have résumés which are completely customisable in both design and basic functionality.

2. Avoid generic text

In order for your résumé to stand out from the crowd, you need to create a template with your own specific ‘DNA design’. That begins with avoiding generic content and then showcasing your specific educational accomplishments, work experience and skillsets that set you apart from the competition.

Remember that your résumé should find a way to share the basic factors – contact information, objective, education, work experience, and skills in addition to any volunteer experience. Your résumé will be unique – and not generic – because you are adding all your own professional DNA design showcasing your specific experience and talents.

3. Be inspired and guided

The basic purpose behind a résumé sample template is to inspire and guide the résumé writer in crafting the perfect professional content that effectively showcases his or her experience and skillset. It’s fine to review several different templates and pick and choose pieces from each one. Of course, the content that you use must be written in your own words and not copied verbatim.

Remember that these templates are created to inspire you to have a jumping-off point where you can create your own masterpiece of a résumé. Every time you find something in a template that you like, it must become your own distinctive content. For example, you may like the way a template describes an objective. However, you cannot copy and paste the text to your own résumé. You can, however, revise the content to be your own words.

Another important point is that you cannot simply paraphrase the content. It must be your own original content that is based upon your perception of the template.

4. Do your research

When looking for the perfect copyright-free résumé templates to utilise as you craft your own content, remember to diligently do your own research.

Look for templates that are specific to your field of study so that industry-specific activities, terms and accomplishments can be ruminated and then redefined in your own résumé. Seek out the most current templates available so that you can be certain you have located ones that are properly formatted according to today’s current professional standards. Research various templates which utilise inventive formats and content so that your presentation can showcase innovation – along with your own personal, professional flair.

The important point to remember is that you need to research more than three résumé samples. Take the time to check out at least 10 different templates so that you can get the best understanding of formatting and content in order to create the optimal résumé suited to your experience and skillset. Don’t forget to follow all proper guidelines and always proofread your writing.

Key takeaways

Writing the perfect résumé while avoiding plagiarism is possible if you follow the four basic steps as outlined in this article. Remember to be unique while never using overly generic text. Be inspired by the résumé templates you locate and let them guide you to create the best résumé for your experience. Be diligent and do your research.

Join the conversation! Got any questions or tips? Let us know in the comments section below!

This article is an update of an earlier version published on 26 February 2015.