The 6 Best Resume Builders in 2021

Resume builders

2021’s Best Resume Builders

When you find yourself looking for a new job, the very first thing you need to do is make a new resume (CV). Not just any resume will do when employers receive hundreds of applications for each posting, so be sure to make a resume that:

  1. Stands out in a crowd;
  2. Is free from errors;
  3. Efficiently highlights your professional experience and education; and
  4. Passes through the bots and gates used to weed some applicants out on online application portals. 

Harvard’s Office of Career Services recommends that a resume should be a brief, informative document efficiently summarizing your abilities, education, and experience. A good resume should highlight your most substantial assets and differentiate you from other candidates. 

Microsoft Word resume templates are tired, so to distance yourself from the crowd, consider using a resume builder. Its almost 2021, and the internet is here to make everything more accessible through innovative and inexpensive new SaaS apps, so why not take advantage of the budding new resume builder industry?  

Why Use A Resume Builder

Resume builders make it easier to tailor your resume to the job you want, not just every job like old-fashioned resume templates on Word. Mostly, these new resume builders expertly tell you:

  • what information to include (and not include);
  • how much detail to provide; and
  • How far back you should document your work experience.

The best part? Resume builders provide exciting templates that make it easier and faster to make professional resumes. Resume builders provide stunning formatting for beautiful designs that have landed thousands of people jobs. It’s the modern era. It is okay to use fresh design and color, and these below-noted resume builders help make your resume look like a graphic designer edited it. 

Second, some resume builders make it easier to tailor your resume to the job you want, not just every job like old-fashioned resume templates. The second cool part about some of the best resume builders is that they tell you what information to provide based on specific industries, using simple and easy to use input boxes to capture your data, converting it into an eye-catching resume quickly and painlessly that is free from grammar and spelling mistakes. One particular resume builder will guide you through a step by step process, asking you various questions and suggesting prepopulated answers. To that end, this specific resume builder (resume.io) provides pre-written copy for work experience bullet points, making it a lot easier to look better on paper than your peers. 

What’s more is that some resume builders suggest what data NOT to include, making your resume concise and more memorable for recruiters. 

Although each of the below resume builders are different regarding certain features, they all share a few similarities: they differentiate you from others, help highlight your most unique qualities and capture readers’ attention.

And remember, much of the “free resume builders” like Zety and Resume Genius that you see in your search engine results aren’t actually free. They are free to try, but it costs money to download your resume. The only true free resume builder is Google Docs.

Why Are We Recommending Resume Builders?

As an employment law group, we deal with newly unemployed people a lot. We know that most of our clients want to move on with their lives and find new work fast. What better way to help them than by recommending the best resume builders to cheat out a jump start? 

Google Docs

Google free resume builder

01. Google Docs is the clear leader in the resume builder space. Nothing compares to it.

What We Liked About Google Docs

Google Docs Personal is entirely free. There are no strings attached. No signup fee, no monthly fee and no fee for premium features. All you need to sign up is a Google account, and you probably already have one.

There are five stunning resume templates in the Google Docs resume builder. All of them are professional looking, but we liked the Spearmint and Swiss templates the best.

Google Docs is easy to use. If you know how to use Word, you know how to Google Docs.

Google Docs will make you a sample resume with text placeholders, and all you need to do is click each element to change the text to make your resume unique.

You can save your resume in Google Docs as a word. document (.docx) or a PDF or even as a website (HTML).

What We Don’t Like About Google Docs

Google Docs does not have any suggested text. It will not tell you what to write like some of the competition, like Resume.io, which is next on our list of the best resume builders.

Resume.io

Resume.io resume builder

02. Resume.io is expensive, but it does save time, doing much of the hard work for you. Resume.io is the only resume builder we tested that suggests text for you.

What We Liked About Resume.io

You can choose from hundreds of pre-written summaries and phrases to cut the work in half. We need to stress, this browser-based app sort of builds your whole resume for you, professionally. No other resume builder we tested offers this feature.

Generate pre-populated text for your resume on the browser-based editor by clicking “generate summary” (green highlight in the picture below) or add your own. That’s its. That’s all you have to do!

resume builders review

Make it even easier to write your text in your resume by using one of the 250 text blurbs specific to hundreds of different job titles from Accountant to Swimming Coach. Resume.io really went out and coded a resume for that money different jobs. This is what makes them unique.

In terms of design, you can use one of the twenty wow-worthy templates designed by graphic designers.

resume builders online

You can even change the colors and padding. 

I was able to build a charming, error-free, modern resume in less than ten minutes!

We loved that a free cover letter builder was included in the price. 

Lastly, we liked that PayPal was an option. 

What We Didn’t like About Resume.io

The suggested text is not perfect. Obviously every job is different and so is everyone’s experience. If you go in expecting Resume.io to do complete all your text, you are going to have a bad time. You will need to edit and modify the suggested text or just make your own in most cases.

If you end up writing most of the text yourself, then Resume.io is not worth the price. Google Docs does the same thing, but for free.

The price of Resume.io is stupid expensive. $24.95 USD per month for such a simple app is almost absurd in the age of Netflix (tons of content for less than $10) and Gmail (amazing software for free). However, if you cancel Resume.io within the first month after saving your resume on your computer, then it is not a bad deal.

There is no real free plan (their free plan doesn’t let you save in any format but .txt, so it useless except for trying the service out).

Compare Resume.io to their competitors Zety and Resume Genius, and they are all very similar platforms with little to no difference in features. All three consist of various nice-looking template options, just ok (but helpful) text suggestions, but a rather expensive cost.

We simply can’t recommend resume.io over Google Docs. Although it has good enough resume templates that are super easy to manipulate, and the “generate summary” buttons are extremely helpful in crafting professional copy, the price is too expensive relative to the competition (Google and Canva). Still, there is no risk in trying Resume.io out yourself because of the free trial that does not require a credit card. If you find that it is worth almost $25 to make your own resume after you use the free trial, then go for it.


Canva

Canva Resume Builder

03. Canva is known as a Photoshop-lite, but did you also know it has dozens of resume templates?

Canva has dozens of attractive resume templates with tons of different themes, including modern, professional, creative and “college”. 

resume formats

What We Liked About Canva Resumes

Canva resumes are easily the prettiest resume templates online, which is not surprising considering Canva is primarily a graphic design company. 

There’s no need to install software to make a Canva resume. Just sign up for a free account on your desktop, and you’re all set. You can also download the Canva app on your phone so you can update your resume anywhere if that’s your thing.

There is a free version and a paid version ($12.99). The paid version has far more resume templates. The other benefit to a paid version is you get to use the hundreds of other templates on Canva like social media, websites, invitations, presentations and infographics.

We use Canva at the firm for our infographics and blog banners, so we do genuinely recommend the service. If you are building a resume and building a blog or any other project that needs some design elements, definitely pick Canva because there is so much value there. To be clear, if I was choosing a resume builder, I would go with Canva because I would use its other features too, but that may not be your circumstances. To each their own.

Yes, Canva accepts PayPal.

What We Didn’t Like About Canva Resumes

Unfortunately, with Canva, there is no suggested text like on Resume.io, so you have to figure out what to say yourself.


Visme

Visme resume builder

04. Much like Canva, Visme is a  web platform that makes it super easy to create engaging documents, including resumes and others like presentations, infographics, animations, social media posts, etc.

What We Liked About Visme

It was incredibly quick to set up a free account (sign up with gmail) and begin editing a resume template.

There are about 20 professional designed resumes, and they all look fantastic. There are neat graphics and widgets like progress bars and star ratings.

There are four free resume templates and about 15 premium templates.

It is $25 dollars per month to sign up for the premium service. This is an OK price for what you get. Canva premium is cheaper.

You cancel anytime after you have made all your documents and don’t need the service anymore. Thus, in theory, you could buy an ultra-lux resume for just $25.

best resume templates
resume templates

What We Didn’t Like About Visme

The text editor is not as good as, say, Microsoft Word, but that is expected for a graphics editor.

Formatting the layout and prebuilt graphics to anything different than the template is difficult for beginners.

There is no suggested text, so you have to know what to write on your resume all by yourself, unlike dedicated resume builders. However, Visme is clearly a much better-looking resume than dedicated resume builders, so the trade-off is not too bad.


TopResume

TopResume resume builder

05. Although TopResume is not a traditional resume builder, if you can afford to spend the extra money, TopResume is the world’s premier resume building service. The main difference is that they do all the work.

What We Liked About TopResume

Job seekers work directly with TopResume’s professional resume writers to define their personal brand. The professional resume writers create copy for your work experience, education and abilities that stand out from the crowd during the job-search process. 

When you sign up for TopResume, you can get a free resume review with no need to commit to a paid plan. Then, if you proceed, a resume writer collaborates with you on the first draft, with up to two rounds of revisions.

Next, TopResume uses resume-scanning software to edit your resume to help you pass filters on job boards. TopResume knows the keywords to put in your resume to make sure you get past the gatekeepers at big companies.

TopResume is highly rated on Trustpilot with more than 8,000 reviews, and it boasts users who landed jobs at Google, Amazon and Facebook with the help of their service. 

top resume builder

To get started, go to TopResume and simply upload a copy of your old resume. They will respond with a free consultation.

New resume builders

Alternatively, if you don’t have an old resume, go directly to TopResume’s resume drafting service here.

What We Didn’t Like About TopResumes

If you spend an extra $50, TopResume will also draft your cover letter for you. The other services we reviewed generally gave you a cover letter for free (although you had to write it yourself)

The process typically takes one to two weeks, so if its urgent, TopResume may not be right for you. 


Resumonk

Resumonk resume builder

06. Resumonk is a basic bare-bones online resume builder that helps job-seekers in creating a professional-looking resume in mere minutes. 

What We Liked About Resumonk

Resumok is easy to use right off the bat, and a credit card is not required to get started. We tested it, and we made our resume in just five minutes.

You can upload your data from LinkedIn or type it in yourself on the web-editor.

cv builder 2020

Resumonk comes with twenty neat templates that look great.

free resume builder

What We Didn’t Like About Resumonk

Resumonk is a dedictaed resume builder but it does not have a pre-populated list of phrases and summaries. Resumonk is just a super-easy resume formatting tool with templates but no suggestions, which is still okay if you know what you want to say already because the formats are simple and fantastic, but it is weak if you want some help crafting the text of your resume. 

Making a cover letter was an upcharge from the free trial resume builder to the premium plan.

We did not like that PayPal was not an option. 

Resumonk is rather expensive. However, you can choose to pay a one-time fee equivalent to about three months in fees or a subscription, unlike the other resume builders.


Not Recommended: Job Bank Resume Builder

The Government of Canada offers a free resume builder on its Job Bank website.

The Job Bank resume builder is not great. This is the last resort if you cannot format your own resume.

We hated the process to log in and create an account on Canada’s Job Bank resume builder. First, you had to answer five questions for in case you lost your password, which is ridiculous. Next, you had to make a Job Bank+ for Job Seekers account, which required that you provide them very sensitive details like your social insurance number, home address, phone number and even your mother’s maiden name. I kept having to check the SSL to see whether this whole thing was a scam. If you make any mistake, it won’t let you create an account. I believe it verifies all your information is correct with your social insurance information the Government of Canada already has on file. It’s all sort of a scary thought. I tried to make a dummy account and it said my SIN, among other information, did not match my name, and it refused to move me forward with the next step.

It’s not even worth all the hassle and invasion of privacy to make a resume on this website. There are only two templates available and they don’t look any better than a simple Microsoft Word template. Also, the input commands are uninspiring and rather limited compared to the competition.

The only advantage is that you can put your resume in the Federal Government’s Job Bank directory so employers can reach out to you if they like your resume. However, the kinds of jobs that employers would solicit you for on the government’s Job Bank are mostly low-paid, entry-level positions. Furthermore, if you want, you can just upload your own resume on the Job Bank without having to use Canada’s crappy resume builder.

Avoid this resume builder.

Important Note: Keep Track Of Your Subscriptions

Most of the resume builders (except Google Docs) follow a SaaS model, meaning it is not pay-per-use but rather pay-per-month. In that regard, once you have you have found a job, and don’t need a resume builder anymore, remember to cancel your subscription otherwise you will keep getting billed.


Maybe you are just starting your career or you were recently dismissed from work and need help landing on your feet. Whatever brings you to this review of resume builders, we hope you succeed. Don’t hesitate, build your own resume today.

Read my detailed Clio Law Firm Software Review

best resume builders in 2021

Now That You Are Here…

If you found this post because you were recently dismissed from work and need to make a resume, we can further assist by advising you on your legal rights regarding your termination. As an employment law group in downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada focusing on severance, we offer free consultations to all employees who were dismissed in Ontario. Call now!