Applying for a job can be an overwhelming experience, not least of all when it comes to putting together your resume. Since it’s the first impression you make, you want to make sure you’re hitting all the right notes with your resume.
With a few free online services, the process can be made a little easier.
As a designer, photographer, or even writer, your online portfolio is a great way to introduce potential employers to what you can do. But for those of you who don’t have a portfolio, the resume is the best way to catch an employer’s attention.
This list of five online resume generators offers a variety of professional, modern, and unorthodox options. Some of them also make it easy to share your resume with potential employers from the website.
And unless otherwise stated, you can create many versions of your resume with each of these services, allowing you to target the different positions you are applying for.
With VisualCV, you can either upload your information from an existing word document, or enter the information manually through an easy-to-use interface. The free version of the service is quite robust, but with a $12/month upgrade, you will also gain access to all CV designs, the ability to export your CV to Google Docs, and advanced analytics.
You can also use your own domain name with a premium account, and can remove VisualCV branding from PDF downloads.
VisualCV offers a clean and professional looking final product, which you can either publish online or share privately with potential employers for free. VisualCV’s free analytics will let you know how many times your resume has been viewed or downloaded, as well as letting you know where visitors came from.
The service also provides many example CVs, based on the industry, so you can get some hints and ideas as to how your CV should look, based on your career path. If you need more tips on how to put together a resume, take a look at our guide to putting together the perfect resume, and how to get past the applicant tracking system.
While it’s convenient to upload your CV rather than manually enter the information, I found that it didn’t map the information properly whereas other services were able to identify the sections and their associated content correctly. This means it will require quite a bit of editing on your part to fix.
While the free PDF download is also a useful feature, the watermark doesn’t really make it usable in a professional setting.
Kickresume’s free accounts give users access to basic resume templates, limited entries and categories, and access to cloud storage for resumes. For a $48/year or $15/month paid upgrade, you gain access to all the existing resume templates, unlimited entries and categories, full customization, an online resume website, cover letter options, and email support.
When creating a CV using Kickresume, you have to manually enter your personal information, education, and experience. Once you’re done, you can download your resume as a PDF. Premium account holders can also publish their resumes online, choosing a unique Kickresume URL, which allows them to put their name in the link for a nice personalized touch. The URL can also be shared with potential employers.
When selecting a template for your resume, you can filter them by profession, which is a nice touch. The interface is slick and easy to use and takes away a lot of the hassles involved in creating a resume using programs like Word.
Kickresume will also be offering resume analytics — a feature that isn’t available yet, and one that is likely to be available only to premium accounts. That said, it should be a supportive feature when job hunting, so that you can get a sense of whether or not your resume is being looked at by recruiters.
Kickresume also makes it easy to craft a cover letter using the same design as your CV so that you can keep all the documents in your applications consistent. That, however, is a paid feature.
When it comes to filling in your content, you have to manually enter your resume. There’s no option to upload an existing document or to connect your account to your LinkedIn profile, which can be tedious.
The free version of Kickresume is handy, but most of its standout features are understandably reserved for premium users, including sharing an online version of your resume with potential employers. While you can filter templates by profession, you can’t filter free versus pro templates, meaning you have to wade through a big selection of templates that you can’t use if you prefer to stick with the free version of the service.
Some basic features are also only available as a paid upgrade such as adding new sections to your resume, and customizing fonts and colors.
Ome among Canva’s many features is the option to create a “visual” CV. You can either choose from over 30 existing templates or if you fancy yourself a designer, you can select from a variety of grids that give you complete control over how your resume will turn out.
If you opt for a pre-designed layout, you can just edit the dummy text, replacing it with your own information. You can also add extra design elements (shapes, lines, icons, and more), change the background, and upload images.
Once you’ve completed your resume, you can share the link through Twitter, Facebook, or via email. Downloading a JPG, PNG, or PDF version will set you back $1 per download, but you can also download a watermarked draft for free.
Canva offers users some pretty heavy duty customization features that are uncomplicated. With a drag and drop interface, someone with little or no design skills can put together a professionally designed resume. If you’re overwhelmed by all the options, you can also just use one of many great templates.
Even if you don’t have a strong design aesthetic, Canva offers a lot of great features such as font pairings and a great library of free icons.
You can create a stunning resume using nothing more than the free features that Canva offers — a rarity in online resume builders.
The most tedious aspect of using Canva is having to fill in your information. There no option to upload your CV or connect to your LinkedIn account; and there is also no handy interface to enter your information. It all has to be filled in the template as you edit it.
While you can share your CV with potential employers with a handy URL, you can only do so if the CV is made public online. If you’re searching for a job and don’t want your current employer to know, it’s certainly not the most discreet option.
VisualizeMe is another interesting option for job hunters looking for a visual resume. As the name suggests, you’re creating a visualization of your experience and education. Users can either fill in their information through a handy form or better yet, can connect to LinkedIn to generate that information. VisualizeMe will then present that data in an infographic format.
You have to, of course, be conscious of the kinds of jobs you’re applying to if you’re going to use a service like VisualizeMe. The final product is unorthodox and might not be well received in a more corporate or straight-laced environment.
With VisualizeMe, not only is the process of filling out your information made easier by connecting the service to your LinkedIn account, you can also personalize the final product choosing from a selection of fonts, colors, themes, and backgrounds.
You can also share the final product with a URL or embed it on your website. Embedding it on your website will give you the ability to track who is viewing your resume through your own analytics, but the service itself offers you its own set of analytics as well.
If you want to download an image file of your VisualizeMe resume, you’ll have to sign up for a premium subscription that will set you back $19 a month or $190 a year. To be frank, it’s not worth it.
The other significant disadvantage to using VisualizeMe is that the look and feel of the graphics are dated. The font and icon choices have remained the same for several years, and the service is in desperate need of an update. VisualizeMe also allows users to create only one version of their CV, limiting its utility.
CV Maker is another service which requires you to manually enter the information on your resume – your work experience, education, qualifications, interests, and references. You can add custom plain sections, and can remove the standard sections, by leaving them blank.
With the free version of CV Maker, you can choose from six basic templates, but have much more to choose from with a one-time paid upgrade of $16. The premium version also allows users to send their resume with a single click. Access an advanced rich text editor and add custom special sections.
CV Maker is another service with robust features in its free version. It’s one of the few options where you can download or share your resume for free, with no strings attached. You can download your resume as a PDF, HTML, or TXT file. You can also publish it online and share it with potential employers using a shortened CV Maker url.
It’s also the only service listed here that offers you premium features for a one-time upgrade, rather than having to pay a monthly fee.
With CV Maker, you have to manually enter information, which like with other similar services, can be tedious. There is a sameness in the free templates, and you can’t make any changes to layout, font, or any other design elements in your CV. The only thing you have control over is the order of the sections.
Which Is the Easiest Resume Building Option?
There are other options to consider when it comes to putting together an online resume. Many people swear by LinkedIn, which also makes it effortless to connect with potential employers. If you want to have complete control over what you’re doing, you could always use a blogging platform like WordPress to create a one-page online resume. When privacy is your utmost concern, you can also create a resume template with Microsoft Word instead.
What service did you use to create your CV? Have you had success applying for jobs using an online resume? Let us know in the comments.
Image Credits:curriculum vitae by Magnetic Mcc via Shutterstock