Resume BuildersJobscan’s Guide to Resume Builders: What is a resume builder and how should you use it?
What is a Resume Builder?
A resume builder is an online tool used to quickly create a resume. They should be thought of as a starting point for developing a complete professional resume. The job seeker inputs their information, and the resume builder produces a resume. Most resume builders will also allow you to save, edit and download your finished resume.
Resume builders use templates as a guide for their system. It works the same way as if you found an online template to use, but rather than you entering in the information yourself, the resume builder does it for you. First, they ask you a series of questions about your contact information, work history, skills and experiences. Then, they plug that information into a template to form a cohesive resume.
While resume builders are a great tool, not all of them are built well. You should not trust that what the builder produces is a finished product. Think of it as a solid framework or jumping off point for what will later be a complete resume.
Why is a Resume Builder Helpful?
A resume builder can be very helpful for anyone who is feeling overwhelmed by the resume process. Perhaps you feel stuck or you don’t even know where to start. A resume builder lays out the basics for you and reminds you which information is important to include. It creates a clean and professional template that otherwise would be time consuming and difficult to make. Plus, many templates are actually built by HR professionals, so they can be great resources when you aren’t confident in your abilities to build a resume from scratch.
Organization is hugely important when it comes to resumes. Resume builders are a great way to help you organize your resume. How your resume is formatted has a big impact on whether or not you get an interview. This is because of applicant tracking systems. It is also important because the format determines which information the recruiter or hiring manager sees first. Since most recruiters/hiring managers will only skim your resume, the organization and format needs to be just right.
Using a resume builder can also help answer common questions job seekers have. For example, “What information should I include?”, “How do I format dates?”, “What contact information should I include?”. When you input your information, you’ll start to understand which components make up a good resume.
Resume builders are a cheap and efficient alternative to hiring a resume writer. Since resume writers can cost up to $1,100, having a free or low-cost option is definitely preferable. Plus, you’ll have the ability to edit and revise your resume later when you use resume builders.
Using a resume builder can also be a good learning experience for you. While you’re filling out your information and watching your resume come together, you’ll start to recognize the steps required to build a good resume. You will have more knowledge about resume writing after using a resume builder than you did prior.
How to use a Resume Builder Correctly
It is important to make the distinction between what is produced by the resume builder and a completed resume. They are not one in the same. Resume builders are a great resource, but they are not always perfect. Some builders will attach their branding to the footer of your resume, making it very obvious to the recruiter or hiring manager that you’ve used a resume builder. While using a resume builder isn’t necessarily frowned upon by hiring managers/recruiters, not taking the time to customize your resume will make you look lazy. Information can also be uploaded incorrectly or not the way you would prefer. Plus, you could be using the wrong resume format altogether.
So how should you use resume builders to produce the perfect resume?
Use resume builders as a guideline or template for your eventual completed resume. While they are a great place to start, there is no easy way out to writing a resume. Taking the time to edit and perfect the resume produced by the resume builder is a very important next step. For example, if a resume builder asks you to input information that you don’t think is relevant to the job for which you are applying, edit it out. Vice versa, if there is a piece of information you think a recruiter or hiring manager should know about you, but the resume builder doesn’t ask for it, add it in afterward.
You should take the time to develop a professional depiction of yourself that you are proud of. Then later on, you won’t have to make major changes to it as your career develops. You will already have a solid foundation to which you can make adjustments.
One great way to use resume builders is to take advantage of the many options out there. Build your resume on a few different resume builders and compare the finished products to determine what you like or don’t like. What combination of resumes puts your work history and skills in the best light? Once you’ve tried a few different options, edit the resume or start from scratch with your “perfect” resume in mind. The process of using resume builders is very similar to that of using [[resume templates]]. Resume builders use different templates, and one might work better for you than another. Give yourself a few different options to work from.
An important step in using a resume builder is to make it your own. Most builders will let you choose from a few different resume designs. Choose the one you think reflects yourself the most. If you don’t see one you like, don’t worry. Build your resume anyway and design it exactly how you want it afterward. Keywords are a big part of customizing your resume. They help you get through [[applicant tracking systems]], and they also give the recruiter/hiring manager further insight about who you are. Customizing your resume can be time consuming, but it’s worth it.
The final step in using resumes builders to make your resume is to proofread and edit. You might think it looks great at first glance, but typos will be the first thing the hiring manager notices when skimming your resume. Take a couple minutes to read it over for spelling and grammar, and consider having a friend read it over as well. Grammarly is a good resource to use at the very end.
Top 10 Resume Builder Review
A great resume fits the job you want and can make a big impact on hiring managers and recruiters. A good resume builder will help you create a strong professional resume with ease. However, finding a good resume builder is crucial to creating the perfect resume. Searching for a good builder can be overwhelming because of all of the available options, so we’ve narrowed it down to the top 10 for you. Check out our review of the top 10 resume builders here:
Top 10 Resume Builder Reviews
|TXT Export||PDF Export||HTML Export||Doc Export||WYSIWYG Editor||Form Based Editor||Multiple Free Templates||Free Hosting||Advanced Text Editing Tools||Resume Import||Pre-Written Content|
($19/yr or $29/lifetime)
|My Perfect 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.
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.
It is 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 is really well done, and easy to follow.
We received a warning from the Chrome browser that the site has been reported for having suspicious activity, after continuing, the rest of the initial resume building process went smoothly.
There are several file choices to choose from when downloading your completed resume. But when we tried to download it as a PDF, not only did the file not download, but the status bar of the browser indicated that something was uploading from the browser.
Unfortunately, we were redirected and 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 (above).
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.
Super Resume advertises itself as a free resume maker, and you can create a resume without paying anything. Unfortunately, if you want to print or download that resume, you have to pay at least $2.50.
That said, the service is remarkably easy to use. You are presented with a list of themes to choose from, and you start with a pre-filled resume with sample content you can add your own content to.
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, since they are owned by the same company.
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. Unfortunately, not all resume builders are created equal. My Perfect Resume has a questionable reputation among users. Other options, such as Super Resume and ResumeGenius provide very little for free users.
Resume Builder Final Steps
Regardless of which resume builder you decide to use, remember to use it as a guideline and check the final product very carefully to make sure it is exactly what you want. Once you build your resume, use Jobscan to triple your chances of getting an interview. Copy and paste your resume beside the job description for which you are applying, and get a rating of how well the two compare, and tips for improvement.
Resume Builder Glossary
- TXT Export: Allows user to save resume as a TXT file.
- PDF Export: Allows user to save resume as a PDF file.
- HTML Export: Allows user to save resume as a HTML file.
- DOC Export: Allows user to save resume as a DOC file.
- WYSIWYG Editor: Stands for “what you see is what you get” and means that when the resume is completed, all text and graphics will look exactly as they looked during editing.
- Form-Based Editor: Allows the user to customize multiple pages and tabs.
- Multiply Free Templates: Create multiple templates for free.
- Free Hosting: There is no cost to use these resume builders.
- Advanced Text Editing Tools: Text editing tools extend beyond basic font options.
- Resume Import: Allow the user to import resume rather than starting from scratch.
- Pre-Written Content: Gives the user content ideas based on their job title.
Easy-to-use resume builder
Detailed builder with several interesting design options
Resume builder as well as personal landing page and portfolio builder
Completely free with no hidden upgrades
Plug in your info for simple resume and cover letter building
Great ATS-compatible resume builder
Five steps to a complete resume
Free account with optional monthly subscription
Various template designs and easy interface
Thousands of examples and templates
Multiple formats available
Connects to your Google Drive account
View examples and create your ideal resume
Resume building from one of the top job boards
Wordpress plugin for resume building
Learn about resumes and create your own
Three steps to your perfect resume
Use this system free for a limited time
Start your resume using Facebook
Try this resume builder for free
Jobscan Learning Center The Jobscan Resume Learning Series
Jobscan's Guide to Resume Writing to get you Past Computer Screeners
Jobscan's Guide to Resume Formats
Jobscan's Guide to Resume Templates
Jobscan's Guide to Resume Builders, What is a resume builder and how should you use it?
Jobscan's Guide to Resume Examples, How to Use Them Effectively and Which One is Right For You