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While some of the resources on this list don’t offer free PDF downloads, they do all offer free resume builders and the option to download a .txt file of your finished resume.
I used several free and cheap resume builders, including those listed above, to see which free options offered the best final products. I considered how easy the website was to navigate, whether or not the resume builder offered meaningful guidance throughout the process, how much creative flexibility the tool offered and what was available for free.
Below, you’ll find more detailed information on each resume builder including how to get started, how to build a resume and what you can expect from the finished product.
Best for simple resumes
If you're looking for a simple, clean and quick resume, Resume.com is a great resource to check out. To get started, scroll over the "Resume" tab and click "Resume Builder" or click "Get Started." When you do, Resume.com will ask you to enter a job title. Then you'll be able to choose from 12 different templates.
Once you’ve selected a template, you can fill out more detailed information directly on your new resume. In addition to your name and contact information, additional preset sections included a summary, work experience, skills, education and languages. On the right side of the screen, you’ll find tools to add a custom section, print or save your resume and a link to view general tips on resume building. You can also create a free account to save your resume.
In addition to the free resume builder, Resume.com also offers resume samples, a guide on how to write a resume, a cover letter builder, a job search tool and additional career resources and advice. When I created a free resume with Resume.com, here were the biggest pros and cons that I found:
Best for a guided experience
Resume Genius offers an online resume builder that can help you create a professional resume in about 15 minutes. To begin, visit the website and click "Build My Resume Now." Then you'll be able to select a template, enter your information and download or print your final product.
Resume Genius offers 15 different templates that are a little more colorful and creative than the options available at Resume.com. Once you’ve selected a template, you can create a new resume from scratch or upload your current resume and have the builder move everything to your new template for you. I opted to create a resume from scratch. I answered a few questions about my work experience and education before I was able to fill out additional details.
Resume Genius will walk you through the required information fields as if you were simply filling out a form online. There is space for contact information, work experience, education, certifications, additional skills, career objectives and references. Once you're finished entering your information, the website will format your resume for you. Unfortunately, you will have to create an account to download your resume, and download formats are limited with the free version of Resume Genius.
When I created a free resume with Resume Genius, here were the biggest pros and cons that I found:
Indeed Resume Builder
Best for online job seekers
If you're actively looking for a job, there's a good chance you've come across Indeed. The job posting website offers a free resume builder that's great for applying to jobs on any platform. To begin, visit the website and click "Build your free resume."
Indeed’s Resume Builder offers eight different templates. Once you’ve selected one, you’ll be able to add and edit your information directly on the resume. In addition to your name and contact information, default sections include work experience, skills and education. Click on each highlighted section to enter the relevant information. Once you’ve entered the information for a section, Indeed will format it appropriately and add it to the resume.
To the left of the resume, you can click on the “Sections” tab to add, remove or reorder sections. In addition to the “Sections” tab, you’ll also see a “Style” tab where you can choose the resume’s accent color and font.
When I created a free resume with Indeed, here were the biggest pros and cons that I found:
If you're thinking about applying for jobs on Indeed, be sure to check out these five things to know.
Best for creative resumes
Canva offers the largest selection of resume templates and a full range of customization. This makes it great for creating unique resumes. To get started, visit the website and click "Create your own resume." From there, you'll have the option to watch a two-minute how-to video on the resume builder. You can also skip it and begin designing right away.
Once you’ve selected a template, you can click on different elements to edit the resume directly in preview mode. You can edit text, change the design elements, freely move sections and more. You can even change the background and upload images. Unfortunately, there is no guidance on what information to include in your resume.
It’s free to create an account to save your work, but it isn’t required. Once you’re finished, you can click “Download” to save your resume in a variety of formats including PDF. When I created a free resume with Canva, here are the biggest pros and cons that I found:
Best for resume optimization
MyPerfectResume is another option for building a professional resume online. To begin, visit the website and click "Build my resume now." Once you do, you'll be able to answer a few questions about your work experience. MyPerfectResume will then recommend templates for you. There are 33 templates to choose from total and nine different accent colors.
Once you’ve chosen a template, you can choose whether or not you’d like your resume optimized by MyPerfectResume’s tool. If you do, you’ll receive a resume strength rating once you’re finished. Next, you’ll be able to create a resume from scratch or upload an existing resume to optimize. I chose to create a new resume. You’ll then be guided to enter details including your name and contact information, work history, education and skills. Finally, you’ll be able to write a summary to include and choose any additional sections.
Once you're finished, you'll be prompted to create an account. After you do, you'll see a payment page. A 14-day trial with full access costs $2.95. Still, you can back out to MyPerfectResume's website after creating an account, click on resumes and download a .txt file for free.
When I created a free resume with MyPerfectResume, here are the biggest pros and cons that I found:
Best for active LinkedIn users
Like a few other resources on this list, Resume.io offers an excellent free resume builder online but limited free download options. Still, if you need some inspiration on where to start, it can be a great website. To begin, click "Create my resume" from the homepage.
Resume.io offers 18 different templates to choose from. All of the templates are available to download for free as .txt files, but only one is available for free as a PDF. Once you've selected a template, you'll be able to log in with Facebook, Google or LinkedIn to pre-fill some of your resume data. You can also skip this step and create a free account. Either way, you'll be able to enter some personal details, a professional summary, employment history, education background, websites and social media links, skills and more.
Once you’re finished entering information, you can click on the blue page icon in the bottom-right corner to preview and download your resume. If the template you selected isn’t available for free as a PDF, you can click the three dots in the upper-right corner of the preview page to download a .txt file.
When I built a free resume with Resume.io, here are a few of the biggest pros and cons that I found:
Best for building a fast resume
If you're looking for a totally free PDF download, NovoResume is a great builder to consider. While NovoResume does offer premium memberships, you can create a basic one-page resume for free.
To begin, click “Get started for free” on the homepage. From there, you can choose from eight free resume templates. The themes include basic, executive, college, creative, functional, modern, professional and simple. Once you’ve selected a template, you’ll have to create a free account.
After you’ve logged in, you can enter your experience level and begin directly editing your resume. Pre-set categories include work experience, education, skills, personal projects, achievements, languages and interests. Across the top of the page, you can click on the editing tools to rearrange and customize your resume’s layout. Once you’re finished, click “Download” to save it.
If you're in need of a fast, professional resume, using a free or cheap resume builder online may be a great option for you. Just keep in mind that online resume builders can do only so much. To make a truly great professional resume, you'll need to be sure you know what to include.
If you just need a simple resume, try Resume.com first. NovoResume is another great resource for building a quick resume online. For a more guided experience, Resume Genius offers a great builder that walks you through the process step by step.
If you plan on applying to jobs through Indeed, start with the free resume builder on Indeed’s website. If you’re an active LinkedIn user, you may also enjoy the automatic import features on Resume.io.
For more creative freedom, Canva’s free resume builder offers great flexibility. Finally, if you need help improving your current resume, MyPerfectResume offers a built-in optimization tool.
Have you used a free or cheap resume builder that isn’t on our list? Let us know in the comments below!
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