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29 Free Resume Templates for Microsoft Word (& How to Make Your Own)

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29 Free Resume Templates for Microsoft Word (& How to Make Your Own)

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 just doesn’t quite cut it anymore.

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 these amazing resume templates that open directly in Microsoft Word.

free editable resume pdf template

Download 12 free, editable resume templates.

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.

Next, let’s cover how to format your brand-new resume in Word.

How To Format a Resume in Word

When formatting a resume in Word, it’s important to know the right style. We’ll go over it piece by piece.

Set the Right Margins and Font Size

Your resume should contain one-inch margins on all sides. Most documents will automatically have one-inch margins, but it’s best to double-check or create them yourself. Here’s how to create one-inch margins for your resume:

  • Go to “Layout.”
  • Click “Margins.”
  • Click the “Normal” setting, where it states 1” on the top, bottom, left, and right sides of the document.

Lastly, make sure your font size is 12-pt. This font size is standard for most resumes. However, if you have a particularly long CV, you could potentially get away with an 11-pt font size to fit it all on one page.

Create Headers

You should separate each section (i.e., education, work experience) with a header.

Create a header in Word by selecting “Styles”. You can use “Header 1” for your first and last name at the top of the page. “Header 2” is great for the “Education” section, “Work Experience” section, and “Skills” section. Use “Header 3” for employer names and job titles, and use normal text to fill in the details of your accomplishments, skills, and educational background.

Create Dividers

If you want to visually divide your resume into different parts, you can create dividers to split up the information and make your resume more scannable. Here’s how to add dividers:

Go to “Insert”, select “Illustrations,” and then click “Shapes”. You can select “Lines” to draw a line in Word. Another shortcut to create dividers is pressing the “=”, “_”, or and “*” three times and hitting enter. These give a variation of dividers that can add dimension to your resume.

Create Bullet Points

The truth is, no hiring manager will read a paragraph of information, so we recommend using bullets instead to list your accomplishments and responsibilities underneath your job titles. When you open “Paragraph,” you’ll see a variation of bullet points you can use. Choose the one you like best.

Sometimes, you might not have time to create and format a resume from scratch. Plus, 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.

You can also find resume templates directly in Word, which we’ll go over next.

To keep you from hunting the internet for resume templates that are both free and compatible with MS Word, we’ve listed some 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. A few of them cater specifically to marketers.

Free Resume Template Downloads for Word

1. Monogram Header Resume Template

resume templates for word:  Monogram Header Resume

Download this template here.

We’ll start with a simple one. This is a HubSpot exclusive resume template that is simple and clean with attractive monogrammed headers to call out each section of the resume. The rest of the design relies on a simple serif font for easy reading, which is a good thing considering that hiring managers only take 7.4 seconds to evaluate a resume. You want your experience section to be easily scannable.

Recommended For: Freelancers

This resume template is best for freelancers. The project section is great for showcasing the skills that would be most applicable for the industry the applicant wants to enter.

2. Maroon Sidebar Resume Template

resume templates for word:  Maroon Sidebar Resume

Download this template here.

Pulling your more text-heavy information off to the side in an attractive color-blocked sidebar, this resume lets your experience stand for itself in white space at the top. It’s also easily customizable with no difficult-to-manipulate tables or formatting. The sidebars are in movable text boxes that can even be removed if you wish.

Recommended For: College Graduates

This template is best for young professionals starting their career. This adjustable resume template can give you full customization options for your first resume.

3. Centered Bar Resume Template

resume templates for word: Centered Bar Resume

Download this template here.

This resume takes on a different look than most resumes, centered around a single bar. This makes the resume more visually striking, which could draw attention as hiring managers are evaluating candidates. It also puts emphasis on the objective with your chronological experience supporting it underneath. All of this is in an attractive serif font that is elegant and classy.

Recommended For: College Graduates

This template is great for college graduates to demonstrate their most recent accomplishments. The “Objective” section will help you showcase where you are trying to go in your career.

4. Bold Serif Resume Template

resume templates for word: Bold Serif Resume

Download this template here.

Speaking of serif font, this resume puts forward an element of grace and formality with its font choices. It’s perfect for individuals who are looking for more organic color than the ones more typically found in resumes, and the colors are also easily changed in Microsoft Word’s theme settings. It also includes a skill-level bar, adding a nice visual touch to the template.

Recommended For: College Students

This template is great for college students to demonstrate their internship experience. The volunteering section gives a rounded viewpoint of your accomplishments if you are just leaving college.

5. Modern Chronological Resume Template

resume templates for word:  Modern chronological resume template

Download this template here.

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).

Recommended For: Developers

The “Skills” section is perfect for candidates in the tech industry. A candidate can showcase the languages they are fluent in and show a variety of accomplishments, successfully demonstrating their capabilities as they move into a new industry.

6. Digital Marketing Resume Template

resume templates for word: Digital marketing resume template

Download this template here.

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.

Recommended For: Mid-Level Marketers

In this resume template, mid-level marketers can effectively showcase a variety of their skills, as well as their portfolio and other media pieces.

7. Simple and Clean Resume Template

resume templates for word:  Simple and clean resume template

Download this template here.

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.

Recommended For: Junior to Senior Executives

If you have years of professional experience behind you, it’s smart to showcase the bulk of them without making the resume look dense with information. This design allows junior and senior executives to illustrate their authority and expertise in a clean, streamlined package.

8. Black and White Resume Template

Black and white resume template

Download this template here.

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.

Recommended For: Graphic Designers

If you’re a graphic designer, this is the resume to showcase your art. This template has a monochromatic color scheme, but if you are a designer, you can easily take it to the next level.

9. Urban Development Resume Template

resume templates for word: Civil engineer's resume template

Download this template here.

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!).

Recommended for: Civil Engineers

If you’re a civil engineer who wants to display your accomplishments, this is the template to use! There’s a section that lets you list all of your achievements and notable opportunities that made you grow as a civil engineer.

10. Email Marketing Resume Template

resume templates for word: Email marketing resume template with red header text

Download this template here.

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.

Recommended for: Email Marketers

If you are an email marketer who wants to highlight successes in your previous campaigns without boring the viewer with the details, this resume template is perfect for displaying bite-sized information.

11. Info Pop Resume Template

resume templates for word: Info Pop resume template

Download this template here.

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.

Recommended For: Experienced Professionals

This resume gives a lot of information all at once, which is perfect for professionals with more than eight years of experience. The layout makes it easily scannable and easy for a recruiter to read.

12. Dark Resume Template

resume templates for word: Dark resume template with black background and yellow font

Download this template here.

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.

Recommended For: C-Suite Executives

If you have years of experience in an executive position, this design has a bold and unique design that will separate you from the pack. What’s more, it has an area where you can list your achievements, relevant skills, and notable opportunities, allowing you to showcase your effectiveness as a leader.

13. Neat and Confident Resume Template

resume templates for word: Neat and Confident resume template

Download this template here.

Similar to the Simple and Clean template mentioned earlier, 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.

Recommended For: Professionals in All Industries

Whether you’re just starting out in any industry or looking to change careers, this template is suitable to highlight your skills and qualifications to propel you to the next level.

14. Inbound Marketing Resume Template

resume templates for word: Inbound marketing template for interns and marketers

Download this template here.

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).

Recommended For: Communications and Marketing Candidates

This template is great for candidates moving into a communications or marketing role. Aside from its amazing visual appeal, this template creates a sense of connection with the reviewer by adding a personal touch.

15. Smart and Professional Resume Template

resume templates for word: Smart and Professional resume template

Download this template here.

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.

Recommended For: Young Professionals

This resume is great for someone starting their career who needs a little guidance on how to best display notable experiences related to the job posting. Also, it is an editable template that can easily be personalized to appeal to the HR rep reading the resume.

16. Spick and Span Resume Template

resume templates for word: Spick and Span resume template with clean, bold typeface and professional headshot

Download this template here.

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.

Recommended For: Creatives, Designers, and Developers

Resumes that look like this can be the work sample. If you have a background in illustration or design, making your resume stand out will be a great nod to your future employer. Get creative with your resume’s design if you want to work in an illustrative industry.

17. Timeline-Style Resume Template

resume templates for word: Timeline-style resume template

Download this template here.

Similar to the Centered Bar resume earlier in the post, 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.

Recommended For: Editors and Copywriters

This template has a sleek and clean look that places the focus on the highlights of your experience rather than on the minor details. If you have a background in editing or copywriting, this resume is the perfect way to showcase your skills in a concise and effective narrative … without the fluff!

18. Content Production Resume Template

resume templates for word: Content production resume template

Download this template here.

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).

Recommended For: Content Creators and Videographers

This resume will help content creators showcase their biggest projects and most notable accomplishments. It’s great for showing how your scope of work has increased over the years, solidifying your expertise in that field.

19. Fresh Resume Template

resume templates for word: fresh resume template

Download this template here.

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.

Recommended For: Creative Artists or Digital Marketers

If you need a resume template that will showcase your artistic skills without being too casual or being too informal, this is perfect for you. You can also add in notes of your accomplishments, relevant skills, and qualifications for the job.

20. CV Resume Template

resume templates for word: Reverse two-column resume template

Download this template here.

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.

Recommended For: Graduate Candidates

If you are a graduate student entering the workforce, having a CV-style resume will demonstrate the depth of your knowledge first and showcase how your continued education will contribute to your future work environment.

21. Goldenrod Resume Template

resume templates for word: Goldenrod yellow resume template

Download this template here.

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.

Recommended For: Architects

This clean-cut design represents a candidate who is all about precision. This template would serve candidates who have experience in architecture or construction.

22. Resume Template With Personal Endorsements

resume templates for word: Photographer's resume template

Download this template here.

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.

Recommended For: Brand Marketers or Personal Influencers

If you work in branding or have a large social media following, you can demonstrate your ability to create a cohesive message with this resume template. Feel free to change the color scheme to suit your brand.

23. Creative Resume Template

resume templates for word: creative resume template

Download this template here.

This one 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.

Recommended For: Photographers and Other Creatives

If you are a photographer who does freelance work, this is a great template to showcase your experience. This will give your hiring manager or client an excellent first impression because it showcases your creative ability without sacrificing the important elements — your accomplishments.

24. Modern Resume Template

resume templates for word: Modern Resume Template

Download this template here.

This resume embraces simplicity with a slight touch of color to make things a bit more interesting. It also nicely sections off Skills and Education notes from the Work History list.

With LiveCareer.com, you can generate a template with your basic information and then download it to add small details.

Recommended For: Young Professionals

This resume gives a modern twist on the resume. It’s perfect for those looking for a fresher look than the traditional resume.

25. Functional Resume Template

resume templates for word: functional resume template

Download this template here.

This NovoResume.com template is colorful and includes a place for your headshot which could make you look both interesting and confident to an employer.

Recommended For: Media Professionals

A colorful format like this one might be great for a media or advertising professional who wants to keep their job application visually memorable to prospective employers.

26. Elegant Resume Template

resume templates for word: elegant resume template

Download this template here.

If you’re looking for simplicity and efficiency rather than something colorful, consider this Elegant Resume Template from Jofibo.

With Jofibo, you can select this or other similar templates on the website, enter your information, and then download it quickly and easily.

Recommended For: Marketing Candidates

If you are a mid-level marketing candidate, use this fun template to showcase all of your expertise and accomplishments. It’s an eye-catching template that displays your creativity and ability to engage.

27. Blue Corporate HR Resume Template

resume templates for word: corporate hr professional resume

Download this template here.

Canva, an easy-to-use design template website, offers a few great resume templates. One of them is this simple resume with a touch of color in the background.

Because of the color and image, it’s pretty memorable. But, for those who prefer a more conservative resume look, this template is fairly simple.

Recommended For: Corporate Candidates

This template is great for senior executives and accomplished candidates moving into a high-rank position. This layout allows you to fit plenty of accomplishments, and the conservative look organizes the fullness of your career neatly.

28. Concept Resume

resume templates for word: Concept Resume Template

Download this template here.

This resume is perfect for displaying a clear timeline of your career history. It’s ideal for a seasoned professional who may have a lot of experience and wants to display it on one to two pages.

The template also allows you to highlight your competency level in various areas, giving the recruiter an easy way to spot your expertise.

Recommended For: Candidates in the Tech Industry

This resume is great for people in the technical space because it adds a touch of color and feels more compact, which will allow you to get right to the point about your key skills, certifications, and work experiences.

29. Cream and Green Resume Template

resume templates for word: Cream and Green Resume Template

Download or edit the resume template here.

This resume is also downloadable and editable on Canva. It was created for account executives but could also be great for graphic designers or people working in visual fields due to its unique, but still professional, color scheme.

Recommended For: Graphic Designers and Other Creatives

This colorful template gives designers and creatives the opportunity to showcase their talents on their resume. Utilize the colors as a basic layout, but feel free to use the resume’s design to showcase the way you would work on a future project. This would be a great reference point when you land an interview.

How to Save Your Resume

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.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in 2018 but was updated in May 2020 for comprehensiveness.


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MARKETING

How To Build a Communication and Implementation Plan

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How To Build a Communication and Implementation Plan

You learn about a C-suite decision that will have a transformative impact on your content marketing team. Perhaps, the announcement included one or more of these directives:

  • “We must produce more content and manage multi-platform distribution with greater agility. We plan to add ChatGPT to our editorial capabilities and implement a headless CMS.”
  • “We’re updating our three-year business strategy and need all teams to align their operations around achieving a new set of goals.”
  • “We’ve been acquired. We will be merging many of our business units and will need to relaunch our website so we can tell a more unified story.”

Or maybe it’s another substantive shift in strategy or operations. As a content team leader, whether excited or terrified, you must get your team on board and ensure the initiative succeeds.

Transformational changes are nearly impossible to implement without a clear plan that communicates the desired destination, the motivation to pursue it, and the path to reach it.

Jenny Magic, marketing strategist and professional coach, shares how to do that in a Content Marketing World presentation she co-developed with Melissa Breker.

You can watch the conversation (beginning at 2:30-minute mark) or scroll down to read her recommendations to gather support, clear obstacles, and keep efforts moving in the right direction.

5 sabotages that disrupt transformational changes

Every organization has unique conditions and challenges, but Jenny points out five common barriers that prevent the successful adoption of new priorities and practices:

  • Forced change. When workers don’t understand or agree with the change, they won’t invest in the process, especially if it requires a lot of effort or a long-term investment.
  • Misaligned goals. You can’t sell a change that benefits the company if employees don’t see how it helps them reach their personal or professional goals.
  • Group-speak. Your team may nod in agreement when the CEO says, “We’re all going to do this together, right?” But that enthusiasm might not hold when the boss’ eyes are no longer on them.
  • Rushed process. Team members already overwhelmed with responsibilities don’t give new tasks top priority. Jenny says if you can’t take something off their plate, communicate they won’t be pressured to rush it through.
  • Lack of team alignment. Everyone must be on the same page regarding the direction, intention, and actions required. Without this alignment, tasks fall through the cracks, and all the hard work may not lead to achieving the goal.

Forced change, group-speak, rushed processes can all disrupt transformational changes, says @JennyLMagic via @joderama @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

For your change mission to succeed, your communications plan should account for how you’ll address (or avoid) these obstacles. These details will minimize the friction, lack of participation, and flagging enthusiasm you could have experienced during implementation.


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Plan for the transformation journey

Jenny shares a three-part approach she uses to help her consultancy clients get big ideas off the drawing board, onto team members’ priority lists, and into the marketplace.

1. Establish the destination: What’s changing, why, and what’s involved

To get your team to join the journey of change, they need to know where they’re going. Create a change summary to help with that. The simple map summarizes the relevant details about the change, the phases of implementation, and the benefits gained when the goal is reached.

First, identify the most critical details to communicate. Answer these questions:

  • What’s the nature of the change? What is being done differently, and what does that mean for the business and team? What isn’t changing that might be the stability anchor?
  • Why is it happening? Why does the organization think this change is critical? Why is now the right time to do this?
  • Who’s involved? Who will the change affect? What will they be expected to do? What about their roles, processes, and priorities? Why would they want to participate, and why might they be reluctant?
  • When will it happen? Will the change occur all at once or gradually? What happens at each stage, and which ones will require the content marketing team’s involvement?
  • What are the expected results? What is the organization looking to achieve? What benefits or advantages will it bring? What will the company and team see when the goal is reached?

With these answers, you can build a change summary to share in stakeholder and team member conversations. Any spreadsheet or presentation tool will do, though you can create a template based on the document Jenny uses for her client engagements (below).

The summary of what’s changing appears at the top of the page and details of the most critical elements appear below it. Bulleted notes detail what to expect with each element and the benefits for the business and your team. Lastly, a general timeline outlines each project phase.

2. Load up the crew: Gather support and communicate benefits

To achieve the change goal, all players must agree to travel together and move in the same direction. “If our team is not aligned on where the heck we’re going, there’s literally no chance we’re going to get there,” Jenny says.

Team members who immediately see the value in the initiative might follow your lead without question. But some key players may need a little more convincing. Jenny offers a few ideas to get them on board.

Enlist the support of an active, visible sponsor: Social media shows putting the right influencer behind your pitch can move minds. The same goes for pushing through a big change within an organization. Research from Prosci finds projects with an extremely effective sponsor met or exceeded objectives more than twice as often as those with a very ineffective sponsor.

If you have the support of senior team leaders and high-profile company personnel, ask for their help socializing the change to others. They might seed relevant information in their newsletters and other content they share internally or help shape your change activities and messaging to improve their appeal.

Translate organizational goals into personal motivations: Some team members may reluctantly participate because they perceive an impact on their role. For example, workers may think the added work will strain their already demanding schedules. Others may be skeptical because of negative experiences with similar changes in the past or disbelief that the change might benefit them.

A series of stakeholder conversations can help identify the significant concerns and disconnects that might prevent them from engaging. They also can reveal specific challenges and motivations that you can address with more resonant and appealing messaging.

Translate organizational goals into personal motivations so team members can see how they’ll benefit, says @JennyLMagic via @joderama @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Some marketing tools you use to influence an audience can help you facilitate those conversations. For example, Jenny says, personas can surface critical insights about who may be impacted by the change and what it might take to nurture them onto the path.

Her personas checklist includes these questions:

  • Who’s leading the change? Do any key sponsors directly relate to the persona’s role?
  • Will this persona be impacted more or less than others?
  • Will they need information more frequently or in greater detail?
  • What reactions will they have?
  • How will you approach training for this persona? What support will be provided?
  • At what phase of the change will they be most affected?

Jenny also recommends using your marketing communication and engagement tools. For example, the simple tracking sheet she developed (below) can help visualize the audience, delivery formats and channels, optimal messages, and approval and final sign-off requirements to mention in your stakeholder discussions.

Choose the right messenger – and a customized message: Sometimes, a disconnect occurs not because of the message but because of the message’s deliverer. For example, employees expect to hear about significant corporate initiatives from executives and senior leaders. But for changes impacting their day-to-day responsibilities, they may prefer to hear from a manager or supervisor who understands their role.

Other times, preventing a disconnect could require tailoring the message to the team’s needs. Jenny suggests focusing on the direct benefits once the initiative is activated. “Consider how it might help them further their career, address something they’re struggling with, or offer an opportunity to explore an area they’re passionate about,” Jenny says.  

Surface hidden issues with confidential interviews: Valid concerns can remain hidden, especially for team members who are reluctant to voice their objections in team meetings. Working one-on-one with a neutral or external moderator – someone with no stake in the decision for change – might help them open up.

Ensure they know the confidential interview results will be aggregated so no individual responses will be identified. “It’s really helpful to get that confessional energy,” Jenny says. “It can help you surface individual reservations, causes of their reluctance, and personal motivations. “

A confidential one-on-one interview with an external moderator can help surface concerns from reluctant team members, says @JennyLMagic via @joderama @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Jenny shares in her checklist (below) some preliminary questions for a moderator to assess during a confidential interview:

  • How does the individual feel about the change?
  • Is it the right change?
  • Is it the right time?
  • Is it supported enough to succeed?
  • What risks do they predict?
  • Do they have ideas about how we could reduce obstacles and challenges?
  • What lessons from past change efforts can they share with us?
  • Could they become a change champion?

The process can fuel opportunities to shift messaging, positioning, or delivery approach to help the outliers see how the change can benefit them and get them more excited about participating. Jenny says it can also reveal valid concerns that need to be solved so they don’t hinder progress.

3. Hit the road: Position and prepare your team for success

Big changes are always risky. They disrupt the status quo, and if they involve multiple teams and business functions, some changes may feel like a win for some at the expense of others.

Taking a few extra steps before executing your plans can keep those issues from diverting the goal or leaving any team members stranded along the way. “This is where we establish commitment and accountability and think about what could go wrong and how we’re going to deal with it,” Jenny says.

Own up to what you do and don’t know: Ultimately, you can’t plan for every contingency. “You’ll lose trust rapidly if you pretend you do,” Jenny says. She offers a few communication tips to set the right expectations from the start:

  • Be clear and candid: Directly address what you do know, don’t know, and what is and isn’t possible with this change. Outline how you will communicate status updates and new information as they arise.
  • Be receptive: Don’t take resistance personally. Listen to your team’s questions and respond to their feedback with an open mind.
  • Be visible: Socialize progress across your team’s preferred communication channels, and make sure everyone knows how to reach you if they encounter a problem. You can regularly host town hall meetings, road-show presentations, or open forums to ensure everyone stays informed and has a chance to share their thoughts.

Position project requirements as opportunities and advantages: Jenny suggests exercising creative thinking to help concerned team members see the new responsibilities as a chance to benefit personally.

For example, if they need to learn additional skills to accomplish their tasks, provide in-house training or access to third-party educational tools. Position the opportunity as a chance to expand their capabilities to help them be more prepared for this change and to advance their careers in the long run.

You can also use the big change to rethink your org chart and rebalance team member responsibilities. “Every single person has work that they hate on their to-do list. I’ve found folks become more open if they’re offered an opportunity to do a task trade-off,” Jenny says.

Incentivize the journey – not just the destination: A lengthy and gradual implementation process should include incentives at regular intervals to motivate team members to stay the course.

Rewards can be specific and tangible, such as bonuses or loyalty program points. Or they can be intangible, such as shoutouts during monthly meetings or in internal newsletters. Arrange team happy hours or give comp time for extra hours worked. These appreciation efforts can make the added burden feel worthwhile.

Overcome obstacles in predictive planning: An element of science exists in the journey of change. You can’t reach your destination if the forces of resistance are stronger than the forces propelling you forward.

Jenny shares an innovation tool from a company called Gamestorming that can help quantify the balance of those forces at each phase. By working through this force-field analysis, you can take steps to ensure the winds of change will be in your favor.

An example of how it works is shown below. In the center, an illustration represents the change you want to implement – transitioning from hierarchical to more transparent hubs.

On one side, the forces of change – all the elements of the vision that characterize the importance of the change and how it works in your favor – are listed. In this example, those forces are:

  • Improve long-term revenue
  • Help meet market demand
  • Satisfies customer expectations
  • Addresses current unsustainable costs
  • Give a competitive advantage in the marketplace

On the other side, the forces of resistance – conditions and constraints that may prevent realizing the vision – are listed. In the example, these forces include:

  • Company culture
  • Time constraints
  • Viability of new tech
  • Client adoption
  • Current costs

Rank each element’s impact on the project’s success on a scale of one to five.  Then add the rankings on each side and compare the scores to see whether you have a stronger chance of success than failure and identify where efforts should be made to overcome obstacles.

Plan the journey for a smoother arrival

Convincing your team to jump aboard the organizational-change train is rarely easy. But with a clear operational plan, aligned support, and open communication, you’ll help them see the benefits of participating and get them excited to reach their destination.

Want more content marketing tips, insights, and examples? Subscribe to workday or weekly emails from CMI.

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Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute



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Alternative Search Engines: Why They Matter and How to Rank on Them

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Alternative Search Engines: Why They Matter and How to Rank on Them

The author’s views are entirely his or her own (excluding the unlikely event of hypnosis) and may not always reflect the views of Moz.

12 billion, 3 billion, 1 billion. That’s the number of searches made in some of the top alternative search engines monthly.

While Google still holds more than 80% of the market share, ignoring search engines such as Bing, Yahoo, and DuckDuckGo can make you lose out on relevant traffic. So don’t limit yourself to Google’s algorithm as you plan the next year’s SEO strategy.

In order to grow in the digital economy, we have to diversify our efforts. What better way to do that than by making sure that you rank on all the top search engines relevant for your audience?

Generally, there’s two reasons why your audience would choose an alternative search engine over Google: geopolitical reasons and/or privacy concerns.

As such, I’ve categorized the search engines below by global market share and by data privacy.

Top alternative search engines by global market share

When analyzing the global desktop market share of search engines throughout the last decade, there are a few small but mighty search engines that stand out. These are:

1) Bing

2) Yahoo

3) Yandex

4) DuckDuckGo

5) Baidu

These are the engines you want to give extra consideration if you intend to expand internationally. They all have their own unique search algorithms that are in many ways as complex and developed as Google’s.

Why they matter and how to rank on them

If you’re like me a few years ago, a die-hard Apple fan remarkably repulsed by Microsoft’s products (I’ve now converted to the seamless team of PC), you might think prioritizing resources to optimize content for Bing or other engines is a waste of time. What I failed to consider then, and what you might be overlooking, is geographic segmentation.

Do you want to reach the American audience using voice search? Consider Bing.

Are you expanding into China? Check out Baidu.

Each search engine matters because of its unique user types. Regardless of how small that market share might look on a global scale, if there’s regional search volume from your target audience, it’s worth the optimization.

Let’s go through them one by one.

Bing and Yahoo

Screenshot of bing.com, November 2022

Since 2018, Yahoo is exclusively powered by Bing Search. So as long as you rank in Bing, you’ll rank in Yahoo.

Bing Search, in combination with Yahoo, is without a doubt the strongest player after Google. Together, they have more than 10% of the global market share for desktop.

Now, some say that Bing’s market share will increase due to mergers and acquisitions, while others argue for its decline due to the death of Internet Explorer.

Still, all Microsoft browsers, such as Microsoft Edge Legacy and Chromium-based Microsoft Edge, have Bing as the default search engine, making Bing Search the natural choice for Microsoft product users. Yahoo, which is powered by Bing Search, is the default search engine for Mozilla’s browser Firefox, adding billions of impressions to Bing’s search results each year.

If we look at the United States alone, Microsoft sites own over 18% of the market share.

This is much due to their partnership with Amazon, where all voice-activated searches on Amazon Echo and Alexa are made with Bing Search.

Microsoft also pushes Bing further by offering easy rewards for searches and more advanced image search capabilities than Google.

Although the algorithms differ, optimizing for Bing search results is not much different than optimizing for Google. With a bit of fine tuning, it’s more than possible to come up with a strategy that allows for high rankings on both.

To rank on Bing, and thus Yahoo, make sure to do the following:

Infographic by AS Marketing, December 2022


1. List your business on Bing Places

Bing Places is the equivalent of Google My Business and is the fastest way to get your business ranking for local seo. Many even consider Bing Places to favor small business owners as Bing puts their information more prominently on display.

2. Upload an XML Sitemap using Bing’s Webmaster Tools

While the debate on how much sitemaps really do matter for Google SEO continues, uploading one with Bing’s Webmaster Tool for XML Sitemaps allows the algorithm to better categorize and manage your content, making it more visible and relevant to the search audience.

3. Match keywords in your content

Check that the exact keyword match can be found in your page titles, meta descriptions and overall content. It’s known that the impact of on-page tactics as a ranking factor is much greater in Bing than Google.

4. Keep your social media profiles up to date

Go social! Bing considers your social media presence more than any other search engine. The Webmaster Guidelines specifically states that Bing considers social signals from third-party platforms to rank your content. Bing might even extract certain information directly from your Facebook company page to your Bing Places display.

5. Use high-quality images to enhance your content

Bing’s image search is much more advanced than Google’s. If you want your landing page to rank, add high-quality design assets to showcase your offerings. If you want your blog to rank, attach too-long-to-read infographics to highlight your points. Like the one above.

Yandex

Screenshot of yandex.com, November 2022

Second to Bing is Yandex, having a total of 1.5% of the market share in global desktop search.

While it looks a lot like Google, its algorithm is different in many ways. Most prominent is the way Yandex indexes pages. Unlike Google’s almost continuous indexation, Yandex indexes pages sporadically. That means that you might have to wait around for a while before your site shows up on Yandex.

Despite this, it is still possible to rank on Yandex. You just need to have a bit more patience.

While waiting for your site to be indexed, take a look at the following:

1. Focus on tags over internal site structure

According to The Ultimate Guide to Yandex SEO, your header tag, title tag and slug are way more important than your internal site structure. In fact, it was only recently that Yandex started to support hreflang tags. Before that, Yandex only allowed the <head> hreflang implementation.

2. Consider search intent to rank

Some argue that Yandex meets search intent better than Google. The modern ICS score, which replaced the Thematic Index Citation, is determined by how relevant a site is to the query. Yandex uses its own version of expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness (E-A-T) test to determine relevance.

3. Eliminate toxic links

Many do not know this, but Yandex was actually the first search engine to roll out a link-based algorithm. Already in 2005, 7 years before Google’s Penguin algorithm, Yandex introduced the Nepot filter, which specifically looked at the impact of toxic link exchanges and spam links.

Baidu

Screenshot of baidu.com, November 2022

With over 3 billion searches daily, Baidu is the Google of China. If you want to do business in China, it’s the place to be.

While the site is available worldwide, the site predominantly favors simplified Chinese. So before taking any other steps, hire a native speaker to help you along the way. To win at global, you have to ditch translations.

Here’s a few steps to get your content ranking.

1. Localize your keywords and content appropriately

As with all multilingual SEO, you need to work with a native language expert to ensure proper keyword localization and content optimization. If your site experiences high bounce rates, Baidu will tank your rankings immediately. As with any search experience, localization matters.

2. Position relevant content and keywords to the top of the page

Baidu favors a completely opposite layout than the Westernized one. The sooner you get to the point the better. Therefore, it is important to position your keywords as early as possible in the text and introduce all relevant content already in the top of the page to rank.

3. Obtain a verification level and get certified

By registering and paying a small fee you can obtain a verification level to improve your domain authority and rankings on Baidu. If you want to secure top ratings, you can get certified and obtain an ICP license, which is much more difficult than getting verified.

Top alternative search engines by data privacy

While most of the search engines mentioned above are tied to big corporations or political forces, global initiatives are setting the stage for more privacy-focused search engines. Among these is DuckDuckGo, the forefront runner with over 130 billion searches processed since launch.

Why they matter and how to rank on them

In many ways, the movement is a response to Google’s invasiveness on privacy. Many are fed up with how they are capitalizing on personal data and controlling the narrative with targeted search.

On a macro scale, the European Union continues to protect data privacy with strict GDPR regulations and the California Consumer Privacy Act indicates similar trends for Americans.

From a micro perspective, documentaries such as The Great Hack shine a light on how global companies monetize on personal data. As a result, privacy-safe search engines continue to rise.

If you’re working for an innovative SaaS startup, there’s a high chance your ideal customer persona is using one of these search engines.

Let’s go through how you rank on DuckDuckGo and two alternative equivalents.

DuckDuckGo

Screenshot of duckduckgo.com, November 2022

Screenshot of duckduckgo.com, November 2022

DuckDuckGo aims to make your search experience as simple and true to its cause as possible, i.e. no tracking for personalized search results and filter bubbles. Instead it uses semantic search to determine search intent for your queries from over 400 sources.

Consequently, this attracts tech-savvy experts with a lower bounce rate. Once they commit to a search, they stay.

Here’s how to optimize for it:

1. Sharpen Your User Experience

UX continues to make an impact on SEO, not to mention for DuckDuckGo. Make your content easily scannable and stay away from intrusive pop ups that harm your users’ experience and ease of navigation.

2. Focus on High-Quality Backlinks

As with any SEO, high-quality backlinks play a huge role for ranking. If you already have a solid backlink profile from your Google strategy, you should be good to go. If your backlink profile has a high level of toxicity, do some cleansing.

3. Rethink Local SEO

Since there’s no location tracking available for searches, location-specific searches such as “services near me” don’t work. If you like to rank for these types of searches, include a specific location in your keyword strategy. Otherwise, you won’t be able to optimize for local seo.

Startpage

Screenshot of startpage.com, November 2022

Startpage could be my personal favorite among the alternative search engines. It basically is Google without the tracking.

And while many consider DuckDuckGo to be the forefront runner of the privacy-focused search movement, many forget how Startpage ‘blazed the trail in 2006’. Offering a search experience without IP recording or tracking back when it was more or less unheard of. Now, it is the common denominator among all privacy-safe search engines.

So, how do you rank in Startpage? Simple. You rank in Google.

SwissCows

Screenshot of swisscows.com, November 2022

There are many more privacy-safe alternatives to search engines than the two mentioned above. Perhaps one without equal is SwissCows – a search engine that prides itself on being the only family-friendly, privacy-safe semantic search engine available on the web.

This means that any intrusive search results, like adult entertainment or offensive content, is naturally censored from the search results. At the same time, they never store any data nor track user specific information.

SwissCows SERPs bring up organic results and paid ads directly from Bing so in order to rank in SwissCows, you need to rank in Bing. Just make sure to omit any content that’s not PG-13.

What do they all have in common?

In the end, none of these alternative search engines can replace Google. As an SEO, I’ll never advise starting out with anything other than a Google strategy.

But when you are ready to branch out and extend your reach, give these alternatives a try. Analyze where your target audience hangs out and optimize thereafter.

Many of the privacy-focused search engines require little optimization as they pull their search results directly from other sources anyways. Simply do a quick check to see how you rank on each one.

And who knows, perhaps Microsoft will continue to steal more of the global search landscape. If that happens, you’ll be there — ranking in first position, ready to reap the rewards of your diversified efforts in an ever-changing search landscape.

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14 Best Screen Recorders to Use for Collaboration

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14 Best Screen Recorders to Use for Collaboration

For your team, screen recorders can be used for several reasons — from creating tutorials for your website to recording a recurring tech issue to sending your marketing team a quick note instead of an email.

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