Friday, November 16, 2018

Self-Driving Cars Will Hit the Road in a Few Weeks. Are We Ready?

A recent Bloomberg report says that self-driving car maker Waymo is planning to launch a driverless car-hailing service imminently.

In as little as a few weeks, the story says, Waymo -- which is owned by Google parent company Alphabet Inc. -- will debut a commercial, self-driving car service that some have likened to ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft.

The launch, if the rumors prove to be true, is said to be small, consisting of anywhere between "dozens or hundreds of authorized riders in the suburbs around Phoenix, covering about 100 square miles," according to the Bloomberg story.

But it raises a question. Are we ready for self-driving cars to hit the road?

To find out, we asked 3,325 people across the U.S., UK, and Canada about their experiences with and expectations of autonomous vehicles. Here's what they had to say.

Most People Have Not Ridden in a Self-Driving Car

Despite much of the excitement around them, autonomous vehicles remain a highly emerging technology.

Have you ever ridden in a self-driving car_ (2)

Within our survey, over 88% of respondents indicated that they had not yet experienced riding in a self-driving car. 

People Want to Try the Self-Driving Car Experience

However, despite most people not having ever ridden in a driverless car, many of them are curious to try. 

Would you ever ride in a self-driving car_ (2)

Nearly half of our respondents indicated that while they haven't ever been in an autonomous vehicle, they'd like to try riding in one -- suggesting that, once these cars do hit the road, the interest in experiencing them could help them go mainstream.

Self-Driving Cars Will Be a Dominant Form of Transportation, but Not for a While

We found that over three-quarters of respondents indicated that they believe autonomous vehicles will make up the majority of cars on roads -- some day. 

Do you think self-driving vehicles will eventually make up the majority of the cars on most roads_ (1)

However, most believe that it might be a while before that happens, with the highest number of respondents saying that they believe it will be a decade or two until self-driving cars take over.

Safety Concerns Abound

Despite the enthusiasm among respondents to experience riding in a self-driving car, few of them (about 17%) would describe autonomous vehicles as "very safe."

Do you think self-driving cars are safe_ (1)

At the same time, most people agree that while there are still some safety issues to be worked out with self-driving technology, these vehicles are generally safe enough to be on roads.

Safety has been a significant part of Waymo's message throughout its autonomous-vehicle-building journey. According to the Bloomberg story, for instance, the company said in a statement that "safety [is] at the core of everything we do."

Approaching with caution can delay launches and slow the process of such a new technology going mainstream. Waymo's own CEO, for instance, has remarked himself that he believes it will be "decades" before self-driving cars comprise the majority of vehicles on the road.

However, Waymo's "safety-first" mindset gives the company what some believe a positive, competitive advantage -- especially when compared to some other autonomous vehicle makers.

But until this fleet of self-driving cars hits the road, and you're curious to know what riding in one is like in the meantime -- check out the story of our experience here.

Featured image credit: Waymo

Wordpress.org vs WordPress.com: What’s the Difference?

Year after year, WordPress ranks as one of the top website building tools available. This easy-to-use CMS (content management system) software is beginner-friendly, offers a variety of plans, and allows you to quickly create and manage a unique and functional website for your visitors.

If you’re looking to build a site on WordPress, one of the first questions you may find yourself asking is, “What’s the difference between WordPress.org and WordPress.com?”

 

WordPress.org is a self-hosted, free platform in which you purchase and manage all aspects of your website including your domain name, add-ons, security, and code. WordPress.com hosts your website for you, offers multiple payment plans, gives you access to a domain name, and a variety of default features.

Below is a useful table that compares the key differences between WordPress.org and Wordpress.com.

Feature WordPress.org WordPress.com
Cost Free. Free, $4 per month, $8 per month, or $25 per month.

Hosting Provider and

Additional Features

Need to purchase hosting provider, create a custom domain name, purchase plugins, themes, and all other add-ons. Must manage your entire website, code, and security. WordPress offers a hosting service, domain name, security, and backups. You can upgrade your account and create a custom domain name and choose a third-party hosting provider as well.
Customization Must purchase and install your own themes to customize your website. Customize your website with any WordPress-compatible theme of your choice. If you upgrade your account, you can also use premium themes, third-party themes, or custom themes.

Integration with Social

Networks

Must install plugins to enable all social media sharing on your website. Your website can integrate with social media networks. If you upgrade your account, sharing functionality with social media accounts is included.
Plugins Find and install plugins to enhance your website’s functionality. Features such as sharing, stats, comments, and polls are included. You can also add plugins to your website for other features.
Support WordPress.org support forums.   WordPress.com support forums and personal support are available. With an upgraded account, you have access to live chat and email support.
Link to Download Get started here. Get started here.

Let’s dive into each of these features and review the differences between WordPress.org and WordPress.com in more depth.

Cost of WordPress

There are a number of different WordPress plans to choose from that range in price. No matter your budget, you can find an option that meets your needs without breaking the bank.

Cost of WordPress.org

WordPress.org is always free. However, because it’s only a publishing platform, you’ll have to purchase every other element of your website including your third-party hosting provider, domain name, as well as your themes and templates, plugins, and add-ons. You’ll also have to find a way to manage your website’s security and maintain and edit your site’s code.

Cost of WordPress.com

WordPress.com has four different plans that range in price.

wordpress-payment-plans

Source

There is a basic plan that is always free, a plan ideal for personal use that costs $4 per month, a premium plan that costs $8 per month, and a business plan that costs $25 per month. As you work your way up through the more expensive plans, the more features and levels of customization you will be able to take advantage of on your website.

If you choose the free option, you will be offered WordPress hosting, a domain name, and minimal access to WordPress support. If you choose one of the three paid options, you’ll be able to add a hosting provider of your choosing and a custom domain name. You will also be offered extensive support and customization options.

WordPress Hosting Providers

A hosting provider gives your website a place to “live” on the internet. Choosing the right hosting provider for WordPress is crucial because it will impact your site's functionality, speed, reliability, security, and more. Let’s review the differences between website hosting with WordPress.org vs. WordPress.com.

Hosting for WordPress.org

If you choose WordPress.org you’ll have to self-host your website, meaning you’ll have to purchase a third-party provider, such as WP Engine or InMotion Hosting. There are hundreds of hosting providers available, so we’ve created a guide to 19 of the best Wordpress hosting providers of 2018 for you to review.

Hosting for WordPress.com

WordPress.com offers different hosting packages for you to use. If you pick a paid version of WordPress.com, you can decide whether or not you want to use WordPress’ hosting service or if you want to use a third-party provider — as you would with a WordPress.org plan — you already feel strongly about or have prior experience using.

Pros and Cons of Self-Hosting

There are plenty of benefits that come from self-hosting your WordPress website, as you would with a WordPress.org site. However, there are also a lot of challenges to be aware of that often make WordPress.com plans preferable.

The pros of self-hosting include having complete control over everything that goes into the creation of your website, and the ability to manage your website’s security and edit your website’s code. You also have the opportunity to find, buy, and install a third-party hosting provider of your choosing, create a custom domain name, and find different themes, plugins, and add-ons that work for your site and needs. If you choose the self-hosting route, you use the WordPress platform for free.

The cons to self-hosting include having to actually spend the time to find, purchase, and install an ideal third-party hosting provider for your site, learn how to create a domain name, and identify the themes, plugins, and add-ons that make the most sense for your website. You also need to have some type of knowledge in web development as you’ll be the one managing your website’s code and updates.

WordPress Customization

WordPress is a completely customizable CMS. With the help of the hundreds WordPress themes and templates available today, you can achieve virtually any look imaginable by customizing every element of your website.

WordPress.org Customization

With WordPress.org, you are required to find and install your desired third-party themes, such as StudioPress, Pixelgrade, and Stylemix Themes, on your own. WordPress does not offer you access to their free themes the way WordPress.com does, so the level of customization you want to achieve is dependent on your own theme research and the options you decide to implement on your website.

WordPress.com Customization

The free version of WordPress.com comes with dozens of free themes that you can choose from and implement on your website. The free plan does not let you add any third-party or premium themes to your website.

However, with a paid plan, you can use premium, third-party themes as you would with a WordPress.org website. If you choose this route, WordPress.com allows you to easily install your third-party or premium theme so you can get started customizing your website in just minutes.

WordPress Website and Social Media Integration

It’s no secret that social media marketing has become a powerful tactic to promote brands, products, and websites today. Integrating your WordPress website with your social media channels is an easy way to manage all of your interactions in one place, broaden your impact, and increase conversions. It’s also a great way to simply ensure your website visitors know about your social media channels and vice versa.

WordPress.org Social Media Integration

WordPress.org does not come with any social media channel integration. You’ll need to install plugins on your website to enable social media sharing and integration. There are a number of social media plugins available in the plugin library, such as Social Media Widget by Acurax and Jetpack, to help you with tasks such as social media posting from your website and creating beautiful sidebars with links to all of your social accounts for your site.

WordPress.com Social Media Integration

With a free WordPress.com account, you can integrate your own website with social media accounts including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and more. This will just require a bit of work on your end. By publicizing your website, or connecting it to your multiple different social accounts, you can integrate your accounts and access them from your WordPress dashboard.

If you have a paid WordPress account, all social media integration comes included and ready-to-use so you can access all of your social accounts from WordPress with the click of a button.

WordPress Plugins

If you’re looking to add to the array of features you have on your WordPress website, you’ll need to install plugins. Plugins are how you enhance your website’s functionality by adding capabilities that don’t come standard with the software. Since there are over 56,000 options available, we created a list of 25 of the best WordPress plugins to help get you started.

WordPress.org Plugins

You’ll need to find and install plugins yourself with a WordPress.org website. Since WordPress.org is simply a platform and there aren’t any features that come standard with the plan, you’ll want to install some plugins on your own. You can search for specific topics or things you need in the WordPress plugin library to narrow down the thousands of search results and find an option suited to your specific needs.

WordPress.com Plugins

With WordPress.com plans, some social media, customer interaction, and analytics-related features (that do not come standard with a WordPress.org plan) such as sharing, statistics, comments, and polls, are automatically included. To add to these default features, you can install WordPress-compatible plugins of your choosing. If you pay for the most expensive WordPress.com plan, you can also install custom plugins.

WordPress Support

While building your website, you may run into a roadblock here or there, or have a question about how to complete a task. WordPress has varying levels of support based on the plan you choose.

WordPress.org Support

With WordPress.org, you are pretty much on your own when it comes to customer support as this plan does not provide any access to one-on-one assistance. Instead, you can access the WordPress.org support page which contains a number of forums that you can use to problem solve. Other than that, you can always try searching for answers to your questions on the internet.

wordpress.org-support-page

Source

WordPress.com Support

Free WordPress.com plan users can take advantage of community support and forums available, which are similar to the support pages that WordPress.org users have access to. This is a very basic level of support that leaves you to do most of your own problem-solving.

If you are a paid WordPress.com user, you will have 24/7 access to live chat and email support with WordPress experts in addition to the community support and forums. 

Back To You

Understanding the key differences between WordPress.org and the various WordPress.com plans is key to determining which type of website best fits your needs. WordPress.org is a great option if you’re looking for complete control over every aspect of your site. WordPress.com is preferable if you need some assistance building your website and want more automation. 

Once you’ve reviewed and considered all of the plan options, you can get started by downloading your WordPress.org or WordPress.com account and utilizing the variety of features you have access to design a website perfect for your specific needs.

Six Cover Letter Greetings for Every Situation

When you're trying to make a good first impression, a greeting is critical. Saying "Yo, what's up" to your new employer will evoke a different, likely more negative reaction than, "Hello, sir, it's nice to meet you."

A cover letter greeting is just as important as your first in-person salutation. It's a chance to demonstrate professionalism and even effort -- for instance, addressing your hiring manager by first and last name shows you did your research.

Here, we'll explore the best cover letter greetings you can use to ensure your cover letter is well-received.

Cover Letter Salutation Examples

1. Use "Hello" or "Dear" followed by first and last name.

If the job description includes the hiring manager's name, or if you've managed to figure it out through research, an easy greeting uses a full name with a "Dear" or "Hello" before it. Additionally, this helps prevent any awkwardness that could arise from mistaking someone's gender.

For instance, Carson could be the first name of a woman or man. To be safe, you'll want to address your letter like this -- "Dear Carson Kennedy" or "Hello Carson Kennedy".

2. Include their title if possible.

If you're writing to a hiring manager with a title like "Dr." or "Professor", include it in your greeting. It will demonstrate a level of respect, and since it's non-gender specific, it won't offend anyone.

For instance, you might start your cover letter like this -- "Dear Dr. Grace".

3. If you don't know their name, you can still make it specific.

If you've done your research and can't find a specific person hiring for the role, it's likely because the company has a team assembled to delegate the hiring responsibilities. To address a letter to a team, figure out in which department or on which team the role falls. Then, follow this formula -- "Dear [Department] Hiring Team".

For instance, if you're applying for a role within Customer Service, you might say, "Dear Customer Service Hiring Committee" or "Dear Customer Service Hiring Team".

How to Address a Cover Letter Without a Name

You'll want to make every possible effort to figure out the name of the hiring manager who will receive your cover letter if there is a particular person assigned to the role. A customized greeting goes a long way towards helping your cover letter stand out in a sea of "To whom it may concern".

However, some companies don't assign one hiring manager to read cover letters. Instead, they might ask their recruiting team to assess the letters, or delegate the responsibility to various team members within a department.

If you can't find one hiring manager to address your letter to, there are some impressive, and less impressive, alternatives.

For instance, Saddleback College conducted a survey of more than 2,000 companies and found 40% of employers prefer "Dear Hiring Manager" as the number one greeting when you don't have a hiring manager's name. "Dear Hiring Manager" is an effective greeting because it doesn't make assumptions about gender, and it clearly states who you're trying to reach.

Alternatively, "To whom it may concern" is preferred by 27% of employers. If you're writing a letter to inquire about positions not currently listed on the company's careers page, this might be the most appropriate greeting.

It's likely best to avoid "Sir" or "Madam", since you don't know the gender identity of the employer who will receive your letter.

LinkedIn Just Relaunched Company Pages. Here’s What You Need To Know.

Having a Company Page on LinkedIn is essential. It gives you the opportunity to take part in conversations important to your brand, engage with and grow your audience, and leverage your current employees to spread your mission. 

On November 13th, LinkedIn relaunched Company Pages as LinkedIn Pages, adding new features that customers value most. If you log into LinkedIn today, you’ll notice some obvious differences. The UI is cleaner and easier to navigate -- additionally, look a little deeper and you'll see there are a number of new features geared towards helping you leverage LinkedIn to grow your business.

Understanding these new LinkedIn updates will help you take advantage of all that LinkedIn Pages has to offer, and find success on their platform. Here’s what you need to know about the new LinkedIn Pages.

Join the conversations that matter.

Whatever you specialize in, you want your company to be part of the conversation. But conversations on LinkedIn don’t just happen during your nine-to-five work day. What if you want to make a post during your commute to work, or respond to a comment on your video as soon as it comes in? With mobile admin, you can now manage conversations important to your company while at your desk, or on your phone while you’re on the go.

More than half of LinkedIn’s traffic comes from their mobile app, but a number of the benefits that individual users enjoy in the mobile app have not been extended to LinkedIn Page admins. LinkedIn’s mobile app now lets you post, update, and respond to comments from anywhere --- making it easier to manage the conversations in which your company is taking part. 

LinkedIn Mobile-1

LinkedIn Pages also now enable you to participate in conversations important to your success. For example, you can now associate up to three hashtags to your LinkedIn Page. This lets individuals dive into topics that you’ve associated with your company. With this update, you can now associate your brand with various trending topics, and more easily take part in that conversation.

Another update to LinkedIn Pages includes the ability to share different media types natively within LinkedIn. You can now upload PDFs or docs directly into a LinkedIn Page post, giving you a great opportunity to share brand stories that can be used to promote your overall brand. For example, here at HubSpot, we could share our Customer Code directly on our LinkedIn Page.

Going further than just PDFs and docs, video on LinkedIn allows you to share quick, authentic video messages with your followers. Video is growing quickly on LinkedIn, with 17% more marketers posting video on the platform in 2018 than the year before.

LinkedIn’s native video solution gives marketers even more reason to lean into video. These videos will auto-play in the LinkedIn newsfeed, and will stay there longer than just a video linked from another platform, like YouTube. Consider using video to tell a quick customer success story, or to authentically promote one of your products or services.

Know and grow your audience.

Your success is tied to your ability to understand your audience. The more keyed into the unique challenges and needs of your audience, the stronger your content will be, and the more it will resonate with your audience.

To help you understand exactly what content is resonating with your audience, LinkedIn Pages now offers "Content Suggestions." With Content Suggestions, simply select your audience, and you’ll be presented with a list of topics and articles they are interested in. Create original content based around these topics, or share articles your audience is already interested. This update makes it easier than ever to stay active on LinkedIn -- driving traffic to your page and increasing your follower count. 

Content Suggestions-1

Once you start creating and sharing content that interests your audience, you need to determine whether or not your content strategy is successful. LinkedIn Pages now give administrators stronger visual analytics that can be used to further understand your success on their platform. You can filter your dashboard by any time frame to determine how you are performing over time, and adjust your strategy accordingly. All admins will receive a monthly summary email, providing them with the demographics of people visiting the site and which content they are interacting with.

Engage with your people.

LinkedIn is often thought of as a platform where individuals can find their next job, and companies can attract new talent. Not enough attention is given to how you can leverage your current employees to grow your brand. Employees generally have ten times the reach of a company on LinkedIn, making them a great resource for expanding your brand’s reach.

Employee Engagement

With the updates to LinkedIn Pages, admins will now receive a notification every time their company is tagged in a post. These posts can easily be shared to your LinkedIn Page, making it easy to fill your page with content, expand your reach, and humanize your brand.

YouTube SEO: Top Factors to Invest In - Whiteboard Friday

Posted by randfish

If you have an audience on YouTube, are you doing everything you can to reach them? Inspired by a large-scale study from Justin Briggs, Rand covers the top factors to invest in when it comes to YouTube SEO in this week's episode of Whiteboard Friday.

Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high-resolution version in a new tab!

Video Transcription

Howdy, Moz fans, and welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. This week we're chatting about YouTube SEO. So I was lucky enough to be speaking at the Search Love Conference down in San Diego a little while ago, and Justin Briggs was there presenting on YouTube SEO and on a very large-scale study that he had conducted with I think it was 100,000 different video rankings across YouTube's search engine as well as looking at the performance of many thousands of channels and individual videos in YouTube.

Justin came up with some fascinating results. I've called them out here @JustinBriggs on Twitter, and his website is Briggsby.com. You can find this study, including an immense amount of data, there. But I thought I would try and sum up some of the most important points that he brought up and some of the conclusions he came to in his research. I do urge you to check out the full study, especially if you're doing YouTube SEO.

5 crucial elements for video ranking success

So first off, there are some crucial elements for video ranking success. Now video ranking success, what do we mean by that? We mean if you perform a search query in YouTube for a specific keyword, and not necessarily a branded one, what are the things that will come up? So sort of like the same thing we talk about when we talk about Google success ranking factors, these are success factors for YouTube. That doesn't necessarily mean that these are the things that will get you the most possible views. In fact, some of them work the other way.

1. Video views and watch time

First off, video views and watch time. So it turns out these are both very well correlated and in Justin's opinion probably causal with higher rankings. So if you have a video and you're competing against a competitor's video and you get more views and a greater amount of watch time on average per view -- so that's how many people make it through a greater proportion of the video itself --you tend to do better than your competitors.

2. Keyword matching the searcher's query in the title

Number two, keyword matching still more important we think on YouTube than it is in classic Google search. That's not to say it's not important in classic Google, but that in YouTube it's even more important. It's even a bigger factor. Essentially what Justin's data showed is that exact match keywords, exactly matching the keyword phrase in the video title tended to outperform partial by a little bit, and partial outperformed none or only some by a considerable portion.

So if you're trying to rank your video for what pandas eat and your video is called "What Pandas Eat,"that's going to do much better than, for example, "Panda Consumption Habits" or "Panda Food Choices." So describe your video, name your video in the same way that searchers are searching, and you can get intel into how searchers are using YouTube.

You can also use the data that comes back from Google keyword searches, especially if videos appear at the top of Google keyword searches, that means there's probably a lot of demand on YouTube as well.

3. Shorter titles (<50 characters) with keyword-rich descriptions

Next up, shorter titles, less than 50 characters, with keyword-rich descriptions between 200 and 350 words tended to perform best in this dataset.

So if you're looking for guidelines around how big should I make my YouTube title, how big should I make my description, that's generally probably some best practices. If you leak over a little bit, it's not a huge deal. The curve doesn't fall off dramatically. But certainly staying around there is a good idea.

4. Keyword tags

Number four, keyword tags. So YouTube will let you apply keyword tags to a video.

This is something that used to exist in Google SEO decades ago with the meta keywords tag. It still does exist in YouTube. These keyword tags seem to matter a little for rankings, but they seem to matter more for the recommended videos. So those recommended videos are sort of what appear on the right-hand side of the video player if you're in a desktop view or below the video on a mobile player.

Those recommended videos are also kind of what play when you keep watching a video and it's what comes up next. So those both figure prominently into earning you more views, which can then help your rankings of course. So using keyword tags in two to three word phrase elements and usually the videos that Justin's dataset saw performing best were those with 31 to 40 unique tags, which is a pretty hefty number.

That means folks are going through and they're taking their "What Pandas Eat" and they're tagging it with pandas, zoo animals, mammals, and they might even be tagging it with marsupials -- I think pandas are a marsupial -- but those kinds of things. So they're adding a lot of different tags on there, 31 to 40, and those tended to do the best.

So if you're worried that adding too many keyword tags can hurt you, maybe it can, but not up until you get to a pretty high limit here.

5. Certain video lengths perform and rank well

Number five, the videos that perform best -- I like that this correlates with how Whiteboard Fridays do well as well -- 10 to 16 minutes in length tend to do best in the rankings. Under two minutes in length tend to be very disliked by YouTube's audience. They don't perform well. Four to six minutes get the most views. So it depends on what you're optimizing for. At Whiteboard Friday, we're trying to convey information and make it useful and interesting and valuable. So we would probably try and stick to 10 to 16 minutes. But if we had a promotional video, for example, for a new product that we were launching, we might try and aim for a four to six minute video to get the most views, the most amplification, the most awareness that we possibly could.

3 takeaways of interest

Three other takeaways of interest that I just found potentially valuable.

Older videos do better on average, but new videos get a boost

One is older videos on average tend to do better in the rankings, but new videos get a boost when they initially come out. So in the dataset, Justin created a great graph that looks like this --zero to two weeks after a video is published, two to six weeks, six to twelve weeks, and after a year, and there are a few other ones in here.

But you can see the slope of this curve follows this concept that there's a fresh boost right here in those first two to six weeks, and it's strongest in the first zero to two weeks. So if you are publishing regularly and you sort of have that like, "Oh, this video didn't hit. Let me try again.This video didn't hit. Oh, this one got it.This nailed what my audience was looking for.This was really powerful." That seems to do quite well.

Channels help boost their videos

Channels is something Justin looked deeply into. I haven't covered it much here, but he looked into channel optimization a lot. Channels do help boost their individual videos with things like subscribers who comment and like and have a higher watch time on average than videos that are disconnected from subscribers. He noted that about 1,000 or more subscriptions is a really good target to start to benefit from the metrics that a good subscriber base can bring. These tend to have a positive impact on views and also on rankings. Although whether that's correlated or merely causal, hard to say.

Embeds and links are correlated, but unsure if causal

Again on the correlation but not causation, embeds and links. So the study looked at the rankings, higher rankings up here and lower rankings down there, versus embeds.

Videos that received more embeds, they were embedded on websites more, did tend to perform better. But through experimentation, we're not quite clear if we can prove that by embedding a video a lot we can increase its rankings. So it could just be that as something ranks well and gets picked up a lot, many people embed it rather than many embeds lead to better rankings.

All right, everyone, if you're producing video, which I probably recommend that you do if video is ranking in the SERPs that you care about or if your audience is on YouTube, hopefully this will be helpful, and I urge you to check out Justin's research. We'll see you again next week for another edition of Whiteboard Friday. Take care.

Video transcription by Speechpad.com


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Thursday, November 15, 2018

19 Free Resume Templates You Can Customize in Microsoft Word

No matter what industry you work in (or your experience level in that industry), a plain, black-and-white resume written in Times New Roman font can actually weaken a job application.

But just because resumes have gotten more creative doesn’t mean you need special design software to make your application stand out. On the contrary, writing your resume in good old Microsoft Word is still the perfect way to develop your personal brand, while also communicating your experience and career goals.

Read on to find out how to make your resume in word, then download one of 19 amazing resume templates that open directly in Microsoft Word.

Use these marketing resume templates to create a killer resume. 

1. Open Microsoft Word on your computer.

If you have Microsoft Word installed on your computer, open the program and let it load for a moment. There will be a couple of helpful options waiting for you on the first screen, specifically for resume creation.

2. Select either "Basic Resume" or "Bold Resume" from the template menu.

Once you've launched MS Word, a window of templates will appear. Scroll down until you see the template options designed for resumes -- there will be at least two of them. Double-click the one that suits your style and personal brand, but don't be too particular about design just yet ... you can customize these templates quite a bit.

3. Fill in your name and contact information at the top.

When your resume template opens, you'll see placeholder text for each line of your resume, starting with your first and last name at the top. Delete this header text and enter your name, as well as any contact information by which you want the recruiter to contact you.

4. Draft a brief summary of your experience and goals.

Use the first line below your name and contact info to describe who you are, what you do, and what you're looking for in your career.

5. Enter your school and latest education.

List any relevant degrees or certificates you received through schooling. You can safely exclude secondary education if you've graduated from an accredited college.

6. Describe each job you've held using the lines prompted on the template.

Your professional experience is frequently the most important section of your resume, so feel free to rank this section above your skills and education, depending on how many jobs you previously held.

7. List all relevant skills.

If you have experience in certain software, exercises, problem-solving, or management techniques, use them to populate your skills. Your resume's "Skills" section helps reveal what all of your previous jobs or related experiences have in common, based on what they taught you and what you provided them.

8. Describe any relevant accolades and accomplishments.

Finish out your resume with any personal accomplishments or accolades you think a hiring manager in your industry would appreciate. Although this section shouldn't include a Most Improved recognition from little league, for example, it should definitely include your Marketer of the Month award from your last position.

19 Resume Templates You Can Customize in Microsoft Word

Of course, if you’re already employed full-time, it’s hard to find the time to apply to a new job opportunity, let alone update your resume to reflect your qualifications. Luckily, there are numerous publishers out there who've created incredible resume templates for quick editing and formatting in Word.

To keep you from hunting the internet for the resume templates that are both free and compatible with MS Word, we’ve listed 19 more options below for you to customize with your own information right now. Some of them come with variations so you can pick your favorite design. Four of them cater specifically to marketers.

They’re so nice, you won’t believe they open up in Microsoft Word once you download them.

1. Modern Chronological Resume Template

We’ll start with a simple one. This resume template is available from Microsoft itself, and it’s one of many free templates the company has prepared for those who depend on Microsoft Office tools to create content. Yes, it is written in Times New Roman -- don’t freak out. Designs like this can borrow an old-school typeface and still impress recruiters with a clean layout and subtle use of color. You can also change the font if you wish (and the same goes for every template in our list).

Download this template here.

Modern chronological resume template for MS Word

2. Digital Marketing Resume Template

The digital marketing resume below comes from our own collection of resume templates, all of which open directly in MS Word. Coming with two pages total, this sheet holds a wealth of information and offers the perfect amount of style while maintaining professionalism. Mid-level marketers all the way up to CMOs can find this template valuable.

Download this template here.

Digital marketing resume template

3. Simple and Clean Resume Template

This template is the perfect balance of creative and modest -- best for the professional who wants to seem casual, thoughtful, but not over the top. Not only does it feature a space for a headshot on the top-left, but you can customize the color of that entire panel. Created by Zoki Design, the resume template also comes with a matching cover letter template.

Download this template here.

Simple and clean resume template for MS Word

4. Black and White Resume Template

The Black and White resume template below suits professionals who prefer using color and shading to add structure to their resume. The black banner at the top contrasts the applicant's name nicely to help make him/her more memorable to recruiters. The gray banner just below the header is perfect for a summary or career objective -- it makes one's goals known but doesn't overpower the experience listed below it.

Download this template here.

Black and white resume template

5. Urban Development Resume Template

The illustration on the top-left of this template shows who the designers at Hloom had in mind for this resume: civil engineers. But because it’s a Word document, that graphic is easy to edit and replace with an image that represents your line of work. Are you an analytics buff? Design a clever bar or line graph icon and place it next to your name in blue (or whatever color you’d like!).

Download this template here.

Civil engineer's resume template for MS Word

6. Email Marketing Resume Template

Red color never fails to stick out on a sheet of paper, especially if it's included in small amounts. The resume template for email marketers, below, captures that balance. In addition to the professional title in the top-righthand corner, this template also stands out with a thin sans-serif font, helping make a lot of text easier for a recruiter to digest and read through.

Download this template here.

Email marketing resume template with red header text

7. Info Pop Resume Template

This one, also from Hloom, gives you exactly what the name suggests: ample space for the info you need, with headers that pop just enough to get your employer’s attention. Although the template fits a ton of text, its soft color palate prevents the document from seeming overwhelming.

Download this template here.

Info Pop resume template for MS Word

8. Dark Resume Template

Ironically, a dark background could be just the thing to ensure your resume doesn't fall into the black hole of resumes piled on the hiring manager's desk. Using soft, yellow font, the resume template below inverts the usual color scheme of a resume without trying too hard to be creative.

Download this template here.

Dark resume template with black background and yellow font

9. Neat and Confident Resume Template

Similar to the Simple and Clean template in #2, this resume design by Nowpixelse communicates a truly professional tone. The template’s muted colors work very well with the side panel layered over the top header.

Download this template here.

Neat and Confident resume template for MS Word

10. Inbound Marketing Resume Template

Here's another resume template dedicated to the digital marketer. This sheet offers all the inbound marketing language you need to express your values as a passionate, brand-loyal professional. Similar to a few other templates on this list, it also uses just a dash of vibrant color in the applicant's name at the top (where it matters most).

Download this template here.

Inbound marketing template for interns and marketers

11. Smart and Professional Resume Template

This is another sharp template that offers a basic but confident design for any professional. The warm-colored panel on the right-hand side is pre-formatted for a written profile, where you can write a summary of your background or a form letter to each employer. Just be sure to personalize this messaging to each new recipient so it works for the job you’re applying to. This template is available on Freesumes, and is free to users once they share the page to Facebook or Twitter.

Download this template here.

Smart and Professional resume template for MS Word

12. Spick and Span Resume Template

There isn't a better name for the template below. The Spick and Span resume might be the cleanest-looking sheet on this list. It uses boldface, all-caps, and gray typeface to structure various headers of the document differently and maximize the hiring manager's reading experience. And all that minimalism makes the professional headshot at the top pop off the page.

Download this template here.

Spick and Span resume template with clean, bold typeface and professional headshot

13. Timeline-Style Resume Template

Hloom’s Timeline template is a super simple but creative way to tell your story. You can convey your progression through various jobs you’ve held on one side of the vertical line, and more static elements of your background -- such as skills and education -- on the other.

Download this template here.

Timeline-style resume template for MS Word

14. Content Production Resume Template

This basic resume template is suited for content producers at all stages in their career. By spreading out the header and "Skills" text horizontally, the resume below fits a lot of crucial information comfortably on one page (of course, it also comes with a second page if you need it).

Download this template here.

Content production resume template

15. Fresh Resume Template

This is perhaps the most imaginative of all the Word-based resume templates on this list -- with both a skills meter and a comic headshot. The template was designed by Venkata Naresh and comes with 12 different versions of the design you see below. Have you created a Bitmoji of yourself? Do you think your employer would find it creative? Match the template and add it as your photo.

Download this template here.

Resume template for MS Word with space for comic headshot

16. CV Resume Template

The curriculum vitae-style resume below flips the typical two-column resume so the basic applicant information is listed across the right side, rather than the left. Feel free to change the color of this sidebar in Microsoft Word if dark-red isn't your thing -- the template can pull off any color you wish.

Download this template here.

Reverse two-column resume template in CV style with red sidebar

17. Goldenrod Resume Template

This template, also offered on Freesumes, dares to use yellow as the dominant color -- but doesn’t sacrifice professionalism in the process. The document anchors the education section to a thick, bright banner across the bottom, but you can likely change this to a skills section with some simple editing in Microsoft Word.

Download this template here.

Goldenrod yellow resume template for MS Word

18. Resume Template With Personal Endorsements

This resume template has quite a flashy header -- no photography pun intended -- but it’s not just for photographers. What makes this resume unique is the space for references on the lower right-hand side. Does your field need others to vouch for your experience? This resume gives you room for three solid recommendations.

Download this template here.

Photographer's resume template for MS Word with space for recommendations and endorsements

19. Creative Resume Template

The last one on our list was designed by the stationery experts at MOO and is offered for download by Microsoft. Simple but vibrant, this template hugs the text with an artistic header and footer -- great for recent graduates who need to fill empty space on the page.

Download this template here.

Resume template for MS Word with header and footer design

Remember, once you’ve finished personalizing your resume, you’re not ready to submit an application yet. To ensure your resume’s format stays the same for everyone who receives it, save the document as a PDF. Best case scenario? Even the hiring manager won’t believe your resume came from Word.

Marketing Resume Templates Download Now

Free Marketing Resume Templates

Why the New Google My Business App Makes for a Pivotal Marketing Moment

Earlier today, I saw a tweet that impressively captured the space between a proverbial rock and hard place where many marketers and small-to-midsize businesses (SMBs) might find themselves.

The tweet was part of an ongoing conversation in response to a recent New York Times investigation of never-before-reported events that led to Facebook's high-profile crises and missteps over the past few years. 

One commenter suggested that advertisers -- those who use Facebook's ad targeting tools to build and promote their businesses -- leave the network, effectively cutting off the company's largest revenue stream.

To which another commenter essentially asked, "But where else is there for them to go?"

This story is not, however, about the pros and cons of advertisers leaving Facebook. Rather, it's a story about moves made by other companies to create new platforms for businesses to establish a broader -- or perhaps alternative -- digital presence.

One such company is Google, who earlier this week announced its new Google My Business app. Here's a look at the app -- and why it represents a pivotal moment in marketing.

The Google My Business App

The road to this app began a few weeks ago, when Google introduced a new feature to Maps that allowed Android users to follow a business on that platform. 

On the consumer side, the development was positioned as a way for users to keep up with existing favorites and new establishments alike on Maps for Android and mobile search(When or if these features will be available for iOS users is unclear.)

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Image source: Google

On the flip side, the follow feature allowed these businesses to create a profile and -- even if they weren't going to open for another three months -- become discoverable. 

These features were and are part of the broader suite of tools within Google My Business, which is what allows businesses to create and maintain these profiles that appear on Maps and mobile search results. Now, Google has released a mobile app for managing these profiles.

In a way, the Google My Business app could be likened to a hybrid of Yelp and Facebook Business Page tools -- among its features are those that allow businesses to respond to reviews, send and receive messages from customers, and see who's following them on a dedicated "Customers" tab.

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Image source: Apple

Otherwise, the Google My Business app offers similar tools to those of other social networks -- namely, Facebook -- that allow businesses to upload photos, promote offers, create events, and view engagement analytics.

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Image source: Apple

A Key Period in the History of Digital Marketing

What might be the most interesting aspect of Google's announcement and launch of this app is its timing.

As we mentioned previously, the Google My Business app was officially unveiled on the same day the New York Times published a rather damning report on the inner workings of executive leadership within Facebook -- which is one of the most commonly-used digital marketing tools among small businesses.

As one of the report's authors, Sheera Frenkel, notes in the tweet above, it followed years of controversy faced by the company.

Facebook's ongoing period of embroilment is somewhat compounded by diminishing user trust in the company among users, slowing growth in its two most lucrative markets (the U.S. and Canada), and a drop in Business Page engagement by as much as 50% over the past year.

When looking at all of these combined factors, it raises the question: Is this a catalyst for other networks and platforms, like Google, to build new platforms for businesses and advertisers to reach customers?

Possibly -- but some say that these new platforms would build on a foundation of business tools that Facebook has been building and growing for a while.

"Facebook has really been the leader in solutions for very small businesses over the past eight years," says HubSpot Principal Marketing Manager Marcus Andrews. "Its Business Pages and ad solutions have really resonated with the early entrepreneur."

But now, Andrews says, the landscape has shifted -- and calls for both Facebook and other potential providers in the digital marketing space to approach thoughtfully.

"A lot of factors have helped Facebook achieve this leadership position, but seems like the company might have to slow down and start to be more deliberate about the choices it makes -- for good reason," Andrews explains. "At the end of the day, that does give some of its biggest competitors an opportunity, and I think entrepreneurs will go to wherever they see the most opportunity."

Featured image credit: Google