A couple of weeks ago, my brother Max sent me his resume in a text message and asked me to “spruce it up a bit” for him. Undoubtedly, I needed to do more than copy-and-paste the text into a Word document. To truly stand out, I knew the resume needed to demonstrate a level of professionalism and effort — something content alone can't always convey.
Fortunately, with the help of Zety, I was able to input Max's resume information, choose a template, and have Zety design the piece for me within 20 minutes:
Looks a little better than a text message, doesn't it?
Resume builders are incredibly helpful when creating a resume and can help you showcase your unique personality. Here, we’ve compiled a list of the best free resume builders we’ve discovered. Keep reading, and then get to work designing your own — trust me, with these tools, it's almost as easy as sending a text.
Best Free Resume Builders You Can Use Online
Resume Genius - Best for easy and fast resume creation.
My Perfect Resume - Best for guided resume creation help.
Standard Resume - Best for active LinkedIn users.
Canva - Best for design creativity and expression.
Resume Genius is undoubtedly one of the easiest and fastest resume tools you have at your disposal. With a clean and easy-to-use interface, the tool walks you (speedily) through categories including education, work experience, and references. It offers different templates varying from 'Taj Mahal' to 'Classic.' Resume Genius provides you with easy fill-in-the-blank sections so that you can have an impressive, comprehensive resume in no time.
Easy to use interface
Free download is a .txt file, you must pay for a 14-day trial to download as a PDF or different format
URL for sharing and performance tracking
There is no option to upload an existing resume, so you must start from scratch each time, making it difficult to make updates.
Can search for positions and choose from 50,000+ job description bullet points that relate to what you're applying for.
My Perfect Resume allows you to either start from scratch and input information into a blank template or upload a pre-existing resume if you already have one. Additionally, the tool provides you with expert recommendations as you move throughout the process, including suggested phrases you can include for specific roles.
My Perfect Resume also enables you to include optional sections like certifications, accomplishments, and affiliations, which is vital, particularly if you're just starting out, or switching industries. This tool is particularly useful if you're applying for a creative role and want to add color or a unique design to your resume.
To use My Perfect Resume for free, click "Download" on the left toolbar once you reach the final step of the builder — instead of selecting "Save and next." Then, choose "Plain Text (.txt)" to download your resume for free.
My Perfect Resume is excellent for those looking for guided help when creating their resumes. The tool recommends templates based on your experience level and provides expert recommendations for skills to include based on your job titles. Compared to other tools on the list, there are fewer customization options, and there are only nine templates to choose from.
Standard Resume allows you to import your information straight from LinkedIn, making it an ideal time-saver if your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date.
Plus, the white background and minimalist features enable you to focus on what really matters — your content. You can switch back and forth between "Write" and "Design" to see how your resume looks as you go along and download it as a PDF when you're finished. Best of all, the tool also makes your resume mobile-responsive so that you can view it on your smartphone.
Minimalist templates, not many customization options or design-focused tools
Easy import from existing LinkedIn profile
Minimalist, helping you focus on your experience and achievements.
If you're applying for a creative role or want a resume that truly lets you stand out, you might consider using one of Canva's hundreds of free, designer-made templates. Canva's selections are incredibly varied and unique, so you'll undoubtedly find one you like, and inputting resume sections can be as easy as copy-and-paste. Additionally, the templates are separated into categories, such as 'Graphic Design,’ 'Corporate,’ and 'Creative,’ making it easier to choose based on your preferred industry.
Canva is best for those looking for design creativity and expression in their resumes. Although not specifically designed for resume building, the tool overs a wide variety of templates, layouts, and designs to choose from when creating your resume, and there are multiple download formats to ensure that your resumes can be viewed and picked up by ATS.
Creating an Indeed resume is an incredibly quick process, and best of all, the site allows you to automatically share your resume with employers on Indeed as soon as you're finished. If you've already completed a resume, it's still a good idea to upload it to the site for exposure to potential employers. While it admittedly doesn't offer as many options for creativity as some of the others in this list, Indeed is an impressive option if you want to create a more traditional resume and start sharing it immediately.
Only eight templates
Includes expert tips and advice
Limited design and customization options
Templates compatible with Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)
Unable to import or upload an existing resume or LinkedIn profile
You can automatically share your completed resume on the site for employers and recruiters to see
Zety is an excellent online resume builder because of the state-of-the-art templates. You can quickly start from scratch and input your information. My favorite element of this tool is that the site will walk you through the process. All you need to do is fill out the information, and then voila — you have a resume. While this tool is free, you will need to make an online account.
To use Zety for free, click "Download" on the left toolbar once you reach the final step of the builder — instead of selecting "Save and next." Then, choose "Plain Text (.txt)" to download your resume for free.
Zety is best for those looking for expert help in creating their resumes. The tool provides tips and prompts to help you create the content for your resume, and there are a variety of customization options to ensure your resume is unique to your needs. While you can download a .txt file for free, it costs $2.70 for a different file format, and some templates used graphics and color that interfere with ATS.
With Resume.com, you can build a beautiful resume in minutes. This tool is an excellent option if you're looking for recommendations on what to include in your resume. Additionally, the site has popular templates for various job categories to help you stand out from the competition.
To use this for free, when you're at the last stage, you'll see a pop-up that says to create an account — instead, just click "Skip for now." Then, in the top right-hand corner, you can click the download button.
Limited options for design and customization
No pre-written content
Share, print, and download in multiple formats
Minimal guidance for resume creation
Building a resume can feel like you're staring at a blank canvas. But with an online resume builder, you can get recommendations and build a beautiful document that will stand out without needing a graphic design degree.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in March 2019 and was updated in May 2021 for comprehensiveness.
Originally published Jun 8, 2021 7:00:00 AM, updated August 25 2021