Indeed Resume Builder Review: Is it Worth it?

Marsha Hebert, professional resume writer
An open office workstation in the foreground shows two Apple computer monitors with an empty chair. Man in background works at another desk.

It goes without saying that having a perfect resume is a critical step in landing your dream job. It can be hard to decide, though, whether you should bite the bullet and hire a professional resume writer or use a free resume builder online. The Indeed resume builder is a feature that the job search platform offers to over 350 million unique users across the globe. 

You are probably already searching for job listings on Indeed, but is using the Indeed resume builder worth your time and effort? Free certainly sounds good, right? As with anything in life, there are pros and cons to using the Indeed resume builder. In this article, we’ll talk about what’s good about it and what’s bad about it plus give you some alternatives to using it. 

Why a good resume is important

Without spending too much time on the importance of a good resume – mostly because you probably already know that it’s critical to securing an interview – let’s talk about why. Your resume is the first point of contact you’re likely to have with a prospective employer. You want it to help you stand out from the very large job-seeking crowd. Without a properly formatted and customized resume, you won’t even get through the company gatekeeper – the applicant tracking system (ATS)

On top of that, you need to make sure that your resume is eye-catching to impress the human beings at the company. With that said, format is crucial. There are currently three format options that are popular in the resume writing industry and with good reason.

Each of these format types has proved popular with recruiters. They are considered to be easier for software and human recruiters to review, and present information in a way that recruiters prefer to see. In short, they meet the target audience’s demands.

Which resume format is right for you depends on your work history, experience level, and the position you are targeting. 

Enter the Indeed resume builder

The free resume builder on Indeed’s website does adhere to the popular formats and offers an easy-to-use system for resume building. Because of its user-friendliness and the fact that it’s free, it has gained some traction in the job-seeking world. However, there are advantages and disadvantages to using it. 

How does it work?

Before we get into the good and bad, let’s talk about the simplicity. When you go to Indeed’s resume-builder website, you simply click the button to “Build your free resume.” Indeed will present several templates for you to choose from so that all you have to do is fill in the blanks. For example, once the template opens, you click on “Name” and a box will open that allows you to type in your name. You keep doing that for all the highlighted areas on the template. 

As you progress through the template, you’ll notice that the details you type in will populate live exactly as you type them into the box. So, grammar and proper spelling are all up to you. The system does give you the option to add some formatting, like bold and italicized text and bullet points, but those are the only design options you have.

Once you hit download, it provides you with a PDF that you can save to your computer. A box also pops up that gives you the option to “Get resume help from a real person.” That’s it, you’re done with the free resume builder offered by Indeed.


As you saw, Indeed’s resume builder allows you to input information like skills, education, work experience, and accomplishments into question-and-answer type boxes, which it then formats into a resume you can use to apply for various positions. This is especially helpful for jobs that you’re applying to directly on Indeed’s job search platform. 

It’s also a very useful tool if you’re not well-versed in the do’s and don’ts of resume writing. One thing is certain, formatting a resume can be complex and often time-consuming. When you add that to the budget constraints of being out of work, Indeed’s resume builder starts to look more and more appealing. 

Key Takeaway

Pros key takeaways:

  • User-friendly

  • Budget-friendly

  • Integrate with Indeed’s job search

  • Saves time


As it turns out, the cons, unfortunately, outweigh the pros of using the system. The largest barrier is that the resume Indeed’s resume builder produces isn’t properly optimized for the ATS scanners that companies use. By adopting a one-size-fits-all approach to resume creation, Indeed’s resume builder can truly hurt you in the job search process. 

That’s because nearly 75% of resumes are rejected by the ATS. After all, they’re not correctly formatted or keyword-optimized. This is among the number one reason why job seekers are ghosted by companies – your resume is rejected by the ATS for improper formatting or optimization so the human beings at the company don’t even know you exist.

Another major problem with the platform’s free resume is that you can only download it as a PDF file. Not only does that present a potential issue for some ATS to process, but you also can’t make edits to the downloaded document, which is important because you’re supposed to be tailoring your resume to every job that you apply to. 

You should also be sending a Microsoft Word resume version versus a PDF unless the job posting specifically asks for a PDF. What you might lose in formatting balances out with knowing that the ATS can read your resume.

While there are a few templates you can choose from, they’re very basic. Of course, it's never a good idea to turn your resume into an art project but you do want a format that stands out. 

Key Takeaway

Cons key takeaways:

  • Not ATS optimized

  • One-size-fits-all approach

  • Wrong file type

  • Generic templates

  • Limited design flexibility

Expert Tip

EXPERT TIP: View 200+ more professional resume samples for all industries, along with a guide to writing resumes from our career experts.

What should you do instead?

The Indeed resume builder is only one of a metric ton of other options out there, including other resume builders, artificial intelligence, professional resume writers, and do-it-yourself options, each with their own set of pros and cons. Let’s explore a few other options. 

Other free options

Before you waste a lot of time researching other online resume builders, you should understand that they’re basically all the same. They’re simple to use and cost-effective but lack customization options and have very basic templates. If you think of your resume as an investment in your future, it’s probably a good idea to find something that requires some type of actual investment (time or money) so that you get a good return.

Artificial intelligence

In addition to online resume-builders, like Indeed’s resume builder, you could utilize AI to help you craft your resume. You’ll end up with more options for customization which gives you the option to properly tailor the resume to your industry and job targets. There could be some steep learning curves, depending on the platform you use and the language that’s produced by the AI program may end up presenting you more as a doer than an achiever

Professional resume writing service

If you think of your resume as one of the most important financial documents you’ll ever own – without it, you can’t pay bills, go on vacation, or save for retirement – it stands to reason that you should consider every avenue for making sure that it opens career doors to propel you toward financial security. With that said, a professional resume writing service – like the one ZipJob offers – can certainly ensure you get a resume that is properly formatted and tailored to your job targets. Of course, there is a monetary requirement from you that could stretch your budget. 


A lot of people fall into the DIY category. After all, it’s your career, you should know how to write about it, right? That’s not always the case, especially if you have a hard time bragging about your achievements. Of course, this is the most cost-effective option that gives you the most control over the final product, but there’s a lot to know – like resume-writing best practices and rules that will get you past the ATS. 

The bottom line – the review

Before you decide the option that’s best for you, there are some additional things you should think about, including:

  • Do you have time to write a resume on your own?

  • Do you have good writing skills?

  • Are you confident in your abilities and experiences enough to write about them?

  • If you’re changing careers, do you understand what transferable skills are?

  • How competitive is your industry?

  • Are you applying for an entry-level, mid-range, or executive position?

The answers to these questions can have a major impact on which resume-writing option is best for you. If you are applying for an entry-level position and don’t have a lot of experience, then you could probably get away with using Indeed’s resume builder. On the other hand, if you’re changing careers or are applying for something a little higher up on the career ladder, Indeed’s resume-writing tool is not going to serve you very well. 

Also, considering that you are responsible for coming up with all of the text on the resume you build on Indeed, if you have poor writing skills you’ll want to avoid using the platform. Spelling, grammar, syntax, clarity, and consistency all play a vital role in how your resume is perceived by prospective employers. It isn’t just about your skills and achievements. A simple typo on your resume could cause your resume to end up in the garbage. 

Likewise, if you’re applying for a role in a highly competitive job market, Indeed’s resume builder will probably not serve you very well. The simplicity of the templates provided by Indeed will not help you stand out from the crowd. When you’re trying to catch the eye of a higher-level recruiter or hiring manager, you want something more customized. 

The next step – upload to Indeed

The sheer popularity of Indeed’s website for searching for jobs and researching companies cannot be understated. So, even if it isn’t in your best interest to use Indeed’s free resume builder, you definitely want to have your resume on the platform. Mostly because it makes the overall application process easier. 

Therefore, after you figure out which option is best for you and have a finalized, customized, and optimized resume in your hands, you should upload it to Indeed so you can both easily apply to jobs with a single click and have employers find your resume in Indeed's database to reach out to you directly.

More than uploading your resume, though, you need to complete your Indeed profile. This goes a step further in helping recruiters find you and learn more about what you can bring to the table for any position they may have open. Just as you would tailor your resume with relevant keywords from job descriptions, be sure you’re customizing your Indeed profile with the right keywords, too. 

Your future is on the line

Your career is too important to leave to chance! Having the right resume makes all the difference in the world, which is why you have to think critically about whether to use Indeed’s free resume builder or one of the other options that we talked about. Submitting a poorly constructed resume to a new job opening can have a negative impact and close doors that could’ve been your pathway to financially rewarding opportunities. 

Remember, companies get hundreds of applications for every job they have open so your resume has to stand out from that crowd and capture the attention of the hiring manager. Otherwise, you can kiss a call for an interview goodbye. 

If hiring a professional resume writer is the option you’ve decided is best for you, ZipJob’s team of writers is standing by to work with you on a personal basis to highlight your skills, achievements, and qualifications in a way that gets you past the ATS and impresses a hiring manager. 

Recommended reading:

Marsha Hebert, professional resume writer

Written by

Marsha Hebert, Professional Resume Writer

Marsha is a resume writer with a strong background in marketing and writing. After completing a Business Marketing degree, she discovered that she could combine her passion for writing with a natural talent for marketing. For more than 10 years, Marsha has helped companies and individuals market themselves. Read more advice from Marsha on ZipJob's blog.

Person working on laptop outside. ZipJob Branded.

Our resume services get results.

We’ve helped change over 30,000 careers.