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Wednesday, January 4, 2017
Free Resume Builder For An Effective Resume
Free resume builders are useful tools that help you assemble your work history and experience into a well-organized resume with ease. A good resume builder enables you to create a resume that fits the job you’re going for and highlight the best aspects of your professional profile.
In this article, we will take a look at 10 most popular free resume builders that you can use online (But some include premium features). We will look at the pros and cons each one brings to the table, and whether or not they are worth considering for your next resume.
SlashCV boasts itself as a simple, easy-to-use resume maker, and it certainly lives up to its reputation. You don’t need to sign up or even submit your email to start building your resume, and even generate a clean PDF.
Signing up with your email address and a password gives you access to a number of additional features, including the ability to select from a handful of nice-looking resume style templates, save and edit your resume. You can also link your Dropbox account and save directly to it for easy sharing.
The text editor included in the interface is as basic as it gets. You can bold text and set up either ordered (numbered) or unordered lists. You can’t set up multiple columns for things like a skill list, so long lists look awkward.
Resumonk is another excellent resume builder, though its interface is considerably more cluttered than SlashCV’s, pushing the $19 premium account plan that gives you access to a number of additional features such as multiple resumes, additional file export formats, and cover letters.
What you do get for free is no slouch. You receive public hosting for your resume, a host of unique and pleasant designs, plenty of text formatting options in the editor, and more.
During my initial testing of the site, I came across a pretty annoying bug that duplicated work experience items every time you clicked on the Experience tab. This occurred whether you saved or not, and takes manually deleting the duplicates to correct*. Overall, Resumonk had a full feature set and plenty to be happy about, if you don’t mind a bug here or there.
VisualCV is among the cleanest and most user friendly options in this list. It allows for LinkedIn and existing resume file import, has free hosting for your resume as well as a personally branded hosting option for premium members, and more.
VisualCV pushes its premium option pretty strongly, and you are given two clean, yet limited designs to choose from if you don’t update to a paid account.
The editor is very good. You don’t get a lot of text editing tools, but you do get the ability to click and add text directly on your template instead of in bland text boxes, giving you the ability to see exactly what your PDF export will look like in real time.
CV Maker is a simple, free solution for building resumes. For free, you can do quite a lot. You can save your resume and make it accessible by an individual link, export your resume in PDF, HTML, and TXT file formats, and more.
Like many of the resume makers on this list, the preview you see prior to exporting your resume is very limited. There are a handful of design options to choose from, and all of them are clean yet admittedly drab designs.
Creating a resume using this tool took just a few minutes without any sign up required.
This site has some really cool tools for creating a resume, but there was a significantly troubling drawback to using it.
First, it was packed with preset content that enables you to just click qualifications, skills, and work experience bullet points from a list in addition to typing your own. This was really well done, and easy to follow.
As I worked my way through the site, however, I received a warning from the Chrome browser that the site has been reported for having suspicious activity. Ignoring this warning and continuing, the rest of the initial resume building process went smoothly.
Once the resume was built, I elected to download it in PDF format (there were several export options to choose from). Not only did the file not download, but the status bar of the browser indicated that something was uploading from the browser.
Then, I was taken to a page where I was asked to select a paid plan in order to download the resume. Despite being “free” to try, My Perfect Resume turned out to be anything but.
Further review of My Perfect Resume revealed that customers are reporting scams and other seedy activity from the service such as being overcharged, auto-renewed after cancellation, and more.
ResumUP as a service is packed with options. You can create anything from Applicant Tracking System (ATS) ready resumes to dynamic infographic resumes, and more.
If you’re sticking to the free service, you are pretty much stuck with the ATS ready resume template, which is about as plain and unpleasant to read as they get.
You can, however, see your resume using any of the many premium templates to get a feel for how well it works.
Speaking of the premium templates, when you create a new resume and select a template to work with, the selection page is a bit too stylized, so the template selections look like a mishmash of ads rather than an organized list.
At the time this review was done, in mid January, the site still had a Black Friday deal up reducing the price of admission by up to 85%.
ResumeBucket is another resume builder that features pre-written skills and work experience inserts for a variety of employment types. In many ways, it operates a lot like My Perfect Resume which we discussed before.
The pricing table that appears if you try to export your resume in any format not supported by the free version even looks the same.
However, there are some notable differences. The user interface is a bit outdated, but still very easy to use. You get a lot less handholding with this builder compared to some of the others in the list, but the prewritten bits and pieces you can click to add are a useful touch.
The only export option for free accounts appears to be an ATS-friendly text file, which is a bit of a head-scratcher given how basic the premium templates actually are.
LiveCareer and ResumeBucket have the exact same back end software, which is not a total surprise as ResumeBucket is now owned by LiveCareer. You’ll see that both feature identical user interfaces, and an identical price page. It would appear that each of these sites purchased the same pre-made resume building toolkit and applied them to their sites in order to make some extra money.
Like ResumeBucket, you are restricted to an ATS friendly text file with a free account, and have the option to spend a couple bucks to get 14-day access to multiple file type downloads, a cover letter builder, and more. You can opt for monthly subscriptions for about $8.
ResumeGenius has a great user interface, beautiful resume templates, and a comprehensive set of prewritten items for virtually any job type.
Where ResumeGenius fails for free users is that it promises free access to your resume, and doesn’t deliver. You have to sign up for a $1.95 14-day trial to download the resume you’ve created in any other format but a simple ATS friendly text file.
Accessing that text file download requires a bit of work. You have to leave the builder and go back to the website from the front page, click Log in, and select a text file download option from a dropdown.
Uptowork has both a free plan and a premium plan ($9.99). Both options give you 30-days of access, but the free plan includes only 4 resume templates with Uptowork branding. The premium plan gives you 20 unbranded templates.
Uptowork is easy to use and offers clean, nice-looking resume templates. However, keep in mind that it is a European company and that resumes differ among countries. For example, Uptowork offers an optional “add photo” section, but photos are not a good idea on U.S. resumes. It is illegal for companies in the United States to hire based on race, ethnicity or gender. So, in an effort to protect themselves, many companies will immediately toss resumes with photos.
These ten resume builder tools each have their own set of pros and cons. Throughout the process of testing these services for this review, it was surprising to find out just how many of them had the same software on the back end, and the same pricing structure.
CV Maker, VisualCV, and SlashCV do a great job and provide useful features at the free level. Resumonk had a full feature set and plenty to be happy about, if you don’t mind a bug here or there.