Are you wondering where to start when writing a resume for today’s competitive job market? Don’t worry. You’re not alone. With the job market so competitive, today’s applicants need a resume that will help them stand out, get noticed, and earn them those ever-important interviews.
While searching the internet for templates, you’ll probably come across countless resume builder services. Many of these have beautiful, eye-catching resume templates that will make you wonder if your plain resume is the reason you’re getting ghosted by recruiters. (Hint: it’s probably not your format, but read on for more details.)
The ZipJob career expert team of former recruiters and professional resume writers has compiled a list of 12 online resume builders, exploring every service to give you the ultimate rundown of which to use. This post includes examples of the templates from each resume builder’s website, along with an expert’s opinion of the final resumes that come out of them.
As a premier resume writing service, ZipJob has been helping job seekers create job-winning resumes since 2016. Our network of 100+ professional resume writers are experts in all industries including IT, Business, and Marketing/Sales.
The 12 best resume builders
Here is our list of the best resume builders for US job seekers in 2023. You can either use the list to navigate down to each service or read through all 12 reviews to help you make the right selection. It’s up to you and how you personally want to approach this aspect of your job search.
Best resume builder reviews
Resume.io is a resume builder tool that boasts being able to create a job-winning resume within minutes. It’s a quick, user-friendly tool that will help even the most junior job seekers build that perfect resume. Once you’ve entered your information, it’s easy to view it on various templates. However, one drawback is that you can’t format the templates to suit your particular style. Some optional features can be toggled off in the editing process, such as skills rating and reference sections. A recent addition is an AI pre-written phrases option, designed so you can incorporate pre-generated key words and phrases. While this might give you some inspiration along the way, it’s not recommended to rely on using AI to write your resume, as it’s not original content that will be generated, and it certainly won’t have that creative, human touch.
There are copious amounts of template options, but if you’re applying for jobs in the US, be sure to find a template that makes good use of white space. Decorative resume formats with multiple columns might look appealing, but they will severely cut down the space you need to add in keyword-optimized content. Also, including information like your full address or headshot on your resume will limit your real estate even further. However, the selection and ease of use make this tool the top of the bunch of best resume builders in 2023.
Is Resume.io free?
You can download one resume and one cover letter as a TXT document (no formatting or design) for free. To download your resume as a .doc or PDF, you have to fork out $2.95 for a 7-day trial, $44.95 for six months of access, or $74.95 for a full year. These all include unlimited resumes and cover letters, all premium templates and colors, and unlimited PDF downloads, for the time period you’ve purchased. There’s also a 7-day money back guarantee. If you opt for the 7-day trial and don’t cancel, you’ll be charged $19.95 every 4 weeks in an auto-renew process.
For more information, visit Resume.io.
Zety is one of the more popular resume builders out there, as it’s been helping people fix their careers since 2016. Within the resume builder tool, Zety has a library of over 20 templates for “creative,” “professional,” “modern,” and “simple” resumes, with loads of free samples to boot, so you can compare your efforts to those of others.
If you want to opt for a simple resume template, this tool is a good starting point. However, be forewarned, as many of the Zety templates have columns, oddly shaped bullet points, star or bar ratings for skill assessments, and other design flaws that could easily confuse an ATS scan. And you don’t want to be doing that at this stage! Furthermore, the templates are not searchable depending on the industry, though there are corresponding resources on the Zety website.
Is Zety free?
No. After building your resume, you must pay to download it. Zety is a subscription-based service starting at $2.70 for a two-week full access trial, or $5.95 per month with an annual payment. You could try out the free resume making, which features a 14-day trial without any feature restrictions.
To find out more, click on the Zety website.
Related read: Are Resume Writing Services Worth It?
Resume Genius, which is operated by Resume Companion, has over 500 free-to-download resume templates and cover letters to choose from, in a range of colors and styles. Each template can be instantly downloaded in either Word or for Google Docs. One great feature is that you can choose a template based on your goals and background, such as “career changer” or “job hopper.”
The Classic, Professional, and Chicago templates are all great formats for online resumes. There are other basic and simple designs you can choose from, but avoid those “creative” resumes that are filled with graphics, icons, and other elements that are not ATS-friendly.
The Resume Genius builder also prompts you for a lot of information that just shouldn’t be included on your resume for jobs in the US, such as graduation dates (unless you’re a very recent graduate), your full address, and detailed information on references.
Is Resume Genius free?
Yes… to a point. It’s free if all you do is use the resume builder to make a resume and then download it just as a text file. Costing $2.95 for a 14-day trial period, you need to sign up for an account, and you can download your new resume through the resume builder which is formatted either as a PDF or a Word document.
Check it out at Resume Genius.
LiveCareer is another one of the best resume builders. You start the process by selecting how long you’ve been in the workforce. LiveCareer will then suggest templates for you from their library of over 30 options. A standout feature of the LiveCareer resume builder is the access to a 700,000+ resume bank that will help you shape your content.
The resumes have a range of styles, so if you pick a minimal template you should be able to pass those ATS scans. It’s wise to steer clear of any column-based formats for online submissions.
Please note: by using this service, your information will join their resume database. Your contact information will be removed, but names and dates of employment are accessible to anyone with internet access.
Is LiveCareer free?
With limitations, you can use this service for free, downloading your resume as a TXT file. You can also gain access for 14 days for $1.95 or enroll in a subscription of $7.95 per month.
Visit LiveCareer to find out more.
Professional resume writers know how to organize your resume so it will appeal to hiring managers. Check out our guide to the best resume writing services and find your perfect fit.
My Perfect Resume
My Perfect Resume offers a few different templates for an inexpensive price. First, you can either upload an existing resume from PDF, DOC, DOCX, TXT, HTM, or RTF formats, or you can start from scratch. The transfer feature isn’t perfect, so be sure to review every bit of information for clarity and accuracy. There are also over 800 resume examples, ranging from nursing roles to resumes for Accounting Managers and Customer Service Representatives.
This is one of the best resume builders for creating a list of experience and skills, especially because it has prompts for bullet points that professionals with your job title might use. There are also hints that remind you to add any metrics or numbers, which will always appeal to Hiring Managers. However, the resume turned out to be several pages long and was not that easy to format.
Is My Perfect Resume free?
No. You have to pay $2.95 to download or print your new resume, and then it costs $24.95 every four weeks after the 14-day trial.
Visit My Perfect Resume for further information.
Kickresume offers a resume, a personal website, and a cover letter builder. You can customize your personal information, work experience, and education section, or rename the sections with your own headings. There’s also a comparison feature where you can check your resume against other successful resumes in the website’s database and see how it compares.
The Kickresume builder has many features that aren’t seen as best practice for today’s online resume submission process, but those features can largely be turned off. As long as you don’t include skills ratings, section icons, or the optional information, such as your date of birth and nationality, the free options are not that bad. It would be preferable, however, if there was an option to download the resume as a .doc instead of a PDF.
Is Kickresume free?
Yes, there is a free option which offers 4 basic resume templates, 4 matching cover letter templates, a basic website template, unlimited downloads, and access to roughly 1,500 resume examples.
For a more detailed subscription, prices start at $19 a month, or you can get a yearly subscription for $60, which works out at paying $5 a month.
If you like the sound of this resume builder, visit Kickresume.
Resume-Now has several clean, basic interfaces. The company has been in business since 2005, and has updated the 40 or so templates available to remain current within today’s recruitment sector.
The resume templates from Resume-Now are mostly basic, clean, and organized: all aspects that a Hiring Manager is likely to take note of and appreciate. The designs are simple but allow for pops of color.
Is Resume-Now free?
Yes, but very limited. This resume builder has one free resume template and a library of additional templates for a price. You can buy 14 days of access for $2.95 or pay a monthly subscription of $9.95.
Visit Resume-Now to find out more.
Novorésumé has 8 templates that you can edit and customize, with a great degree of formatting flexibility. The templates have been designed by taking feedback from hiring experts into account. All options include color, clear section headings, and opportunities to create that perfect resume.
If you do pay for the resume builder tool, the resumes are well-suited for posting online. You can click through the many templates to find one that displays your information well. This builder tool has many excellent tips for job seekers, such as including your city and state in the contact details section (but not the full address), and how to compile a short and engaging professional summary.
Given the PDF-only download option, the graphic elements are appropriate. If an ATS is sophisticated enough to parse a PDF, you don’t have to worry about the icons next to your contact info or the bubbles around your skills. Another choice is to create your resume as a sharable link, making the most of the hyperlink options that Novorésumé has.
Is Novoresume free?
Novorésumé is free with premium options. Its pricing is notably not subscription-based, so it doesn’t auto-renew, which is very handy for those of you who only need a short amount of time to build a resume. Prices start at $16 a month, then it's $29.99 for three months, and $89.99 for 12 months of access. The basic (free) plan gives you access to 8 one-page predefined layouts and one resume download as a PDF.
The premium access option gives you two or three page resumes, multiple downloads, cover letter templates, and additional formatting options.
Our hiring experts prefer a two-page resume, which is only available with a premium subscription from Novorésumé.
Novorésumé recommends, and our experts agree, that a resume should be tailored for each job application. With the PDF-only download option for free users, tailoring your resume is not possible without paying.
Visit Novoresume for more detail.
ResumeCoach doesn’t have an upload option, but claims it takes users an average of just 12 minutes to build a new resume, which is great if you’re in a real hurry. The builder includes tips for job seekers that are either UK or US based, so US job seekers need to be vigilant about not including extraneous information that is common on UK CVs. ResumeCoach doesn’t offer formatting edits before download; there is no option to rename headers or break up lines of text.
There are about 20 templates to choose from, but even the simplest options had too much white space which cuts down on keyword opportunities. Columns and graphics on a resume are not only confusing for ATS scans, but are not welcome by the majority of Hiring Managers.
Is ResumeCoach free?
Yes, with limits. You can download your resume as a PDF or a TXT document for free. To get all the features of ResumeCoach, you can either pay $0.95 for 14 days of basic access, $1.95 for premium access, or $95.40 for annual access.
If you want to find out more about this, visit ResumeCoach.
Resume.com has helped over 6 million people create resumes. It has 24 templates to choose from, ranging from stylized to bare bones. Some templates are labeled for “digital” use, while others are suitable for printing and distributing. You can search the many resume samples by job title to inspire you as you create your own resume.
You can choose to download your resume in multiple formats. We suggest sending your resume in a Microsoft .doc file versus a PDF for easy editing and online submissions. While most of these templates follow the organized and minimalist look that Hiring Managers are looking for in 2023, we don’t recommend you use the Notepad or Dot Matrix templates, which both look very dated.
Is Resume.com free?
Yes. This is one of the absolutely free resume builders on our list. You can build, edit, and download your resume for no cost. There are no limits on the number of downloads, revisions, or versions of your resume that you can have with Resume.com.
Resumonk offers flexible layouts that display your work experience and skills on recruiter-friendly resumes, with a choice of 20 templates. The company is based in India, but US job seekers can remove information to make these templates work for other job targets. Brush up on the difference between a CV and a resume, just in case.
Our experts like the fact that your resume can have as much or as little information as you want. This service also has cover letter templates to correspond with each resume template--this is great when submitting that cohesive job application as you want all of your documents to complement each other.
Is Resumemonk free?
You can download your Resumonk resume as a PDF without paying, having had a choice of 5 resume templates, as well as import a full LinkedIn profile. It’s worth noting, however, that with the free plan, your resume will have Resumonk branding in the footer.
To remove the branding, you need to upgrade your account to a premium subscription of $29 a year or $89 for forever access. A paid plan will also give you access to all resume templates (compared to the 5 available without a charge), creating multiple versions of your resume, and customizing your Resumonk personal link.
If this sounds like the plan for you, go to Resumemonk.
Standard Resume's hallmark offering is a LinkedIn profile upload feature. You only have to enter your full LinkedIn URL, give it a few minutes to work, and voila! It uses the information you make available to the public, so be prepared to either make your LinkedIn profile public, or cut and copy your information. There are 12 Hiring Manager approved templates to choose from.
The resume document is simple and likely to perform as well as any PDF going through an ATS scan, based on its design. It has a single-column format, standard headings, and includes the right information. The watermark isn’t ideal on the free version, nor is the fact that the resume is several pages long and contact information is at the very bottom.
It’s nice that Standard Resume allows you to include work experience in a summary and/or with bullet points. This is a great feature, especially for job seekers with unusual jobs who require some explanation in addition to their accomplishments.
Is Standard Resume free?
Yes, but limited. The free option is web only, so you can import from LinkedIn, and it includes resume editing, a PDF preview, and web resume sharing. The pro option costs $19 a month, and is web and PDF. With pro, you can have duplicate versions of your resume, which is useful when tracking your edits, and tailoring your resume to different positions. There are also more formatting options, the support of a dedicated team, and the company’s branding is nowhere to be seen.
Visit Standard Resume for more information.
What do I need to know before using an online resume builder?
A resume builder can be a useful tool for creating a resume if you’re starting from scratch or if you haven’t updated your resume in many years.
Below are some tips on how to get the most out of the best resume builders around.
You still need to do the work
A resume builder tool cannot write your resume for you. Some builders will suggest bullet points or skills for you, but you still need to use your own judgment to determine whether that content is valuable or not. If the suggestion is so generic that anyone in your field could use it, it’s not going to help you or your resume at all!
Your resume has two audiences
Your resume needs to appeal to both a human audience and a computer scan, the Applicant Tracking Software (ATS). At ZipJob, we focus on helping people create resumes that will appeal to both audiences, but cater to the ATS scan first.
Resume builders, on the other hand, tend to focus on the visual elements first--which isn’t the most effective strategy. In fact, some elements of popular creative resumes will get your resume automatically rejected by the ATS scan. When using a resume builder, you need to balance design with content.
Research the resume builder before you commit
If you’re reading this list, you’re probably following this tip already! There are dozens of resume builders available today, all with slightly different features and strengths. Look at multiple resume builders, their reviews, and the experts’ opinions before getting started.
Many resume builder sites are free to use but charge for downloads. The most common complaint when it comes to resume builders is, “I’ve just spent hours building my resume, and now I have to enter my credit card to download it?” To avoid this frustration, make sure you know what to expect in terms of payment before you start.
Resume builder tools are great for organizing your information and learning more about what is standard on resumes, but the tools have many shortcomings as well. Many templates are not designed for ATS success. Since resumes differ from country to country, it’s important to recognize if a tool is prompting you to add information that is inappropriate. Resume builders can be a great jumping-off point for job searching success, but you still need to know what information should be on your resume, and how to get the resume to pass an ATS scan.
There are so many best resume builders out there. It can be confusing. Cut through all the noise by building your resume, and then sending it through our free ATS-friendly review tool.
Elizabeth Openshaw, Editor & Content Writer, Elizabeth Openshaw, Editor & Content Writer
Elizabeth Openshaw is an Elite CV Consultant of 11 years based in Brighton, UK, with an English degree and an addiction to Wordle! She is a former Journalist of 17 years with the claim to fame that she interviewed three times Grand Slam winner and former World No.1 tennis player, Andy Murray, when he was just 14 years old. You can connect with her at Elizabeth Openshaw | LinkedIn.