After 40 hours of testing resume writing software, LiveCareer is still our pick for the best option. The program is web-based rather than downloadable, and the number of features, as well as the site’s connectivity and convenience, are hard to beat. The program doesn’t just help you with resume creation but supports you throughout your job search experience, and you can connect your finished resume directly to social media job sites.
LiveCareer My Perfect Resume
LiveCareer’s features are impressive, including its connectivity and export options. It’s an up-to-date, web-based platform that lets you store your work on the cloud.
CakeResume is a web-based platform with a free version that is very easy to use. However, it doesn’t have all the options and features of LiveCareer and other top software.
ResumeMaker Professional Deluxe 20
ResumeMaker comes with tons of supportive features for your job search and resume creation, but it is not as attractive as some of the web-based software we tested.
LiveCareer’s up-to-date templates, convenient features and connectivity to social media websites make it the best place to build your resume.
Plus, there’s support for other parts of your job search, like templates for cover letters. It uses a wizard to help you through the process and give you tips along the way.
You can import an already existing resume into LiveCareer to make resume creation faster; we only found few sites or programs with that feature. In addition, LiveCareer has helpful exporting options, like the ability to download Word documents and plain text files. The site offers some helpful prewritten phrases you can use if you get stumped trying to come up with your own.
The only real downside to this service is the smaller number of templates compared to some downloadable programs with thousands of templates designed for specific careers. LiveCareer has only 20 templates to choose from, but the service does offer both major types of resumes: chronological or functional. Overall, LiveCareer’s clean, intuitive interface, wizard and import and export options make it the best for creating an up-to-date and stylish resume.
CakeResume makes resume creation easy with straightforward drag-and-drop menu options.
It’s a more global platform than other software we tested, offering support in languages beyond English and finished examples from all over the world. The site also hosts a network for employers looking for new talent. You can make your finished resume available for them to browse or give access to specific individuals via a link.
There are some limitations to the customization features that CakeResume offers, and it doesn’t help with cover letters, which is a feature of many of the services that we tested. And while the site does offer some support with a free ebook and blog postings about common practices, it doesn’t have the prewritten phrases that other sites provide to help you craft your resume.
The interface is attractive, and the software features great connectivity options, like links to Facebook and LinkedIn. And if you’re looking for simplicity, CakeResume is the place to be. Its subscription fee is only a little higher LiveCareer, and you can create attractive and good-looking resumes, even with its free version.
ResumeMaker is a downloadable program from Individual Software that’s loaded with features.
In many ways, it’s the most comprehensive software that we encountered while testing. It has 1,250 templates, and you can search them by profession so that you can make a specific resume for each job that you apply for.
ResumeMaker also has templates and suggestions for every job-related situation, including cover letters and letters of resignation. The software comes with 150,000 prewritten phrases to help you find the right words for your work experience. You can also perform an online job search or make a cost of living comparison through its online offerings. And it has a helpful wizard which saves vital information so you don’t have to continue to input it over and over again.
But truthfully, the sheer number of features feels a little overwhelming. Resume creation can be daunting, and ResumeMaker’s approach throws you into the deep end of available options. It also doesn’t feature the sleek, easy-to-use design of popular web-based programs out there. That said, it was the best downloadable software we tested.
Best Built-in Job Search
While Pongo has fewer editing features than other resume software, it offers a lot of support to users at every stage of the job search process.
In addition to a simple resume builder, the program has videos with interview advice as well as a “career corner” with a blog featuring advice about creating resumes and cover letters. The program has partnered with job-search company Indeed to offer a lot of opportunities to users.
Many of the fields in Pongo’s resume builder are required before you can generate a preview. Other programs let you choose which fields to include in your resume, but Pongo tries to make sure you don't forget anything important along the way. It also gives you access to pre-written phrases to help you fill out your resume, a feature not all services include.
There’s also a management system to track your ongoing inquiries and applications so you can make sure to follow-up with a potential employer.
Like many resume software makers, VisualCV emphasizes a web-based approach.
While you can still download your completed resume in PDF format, the service encourages you to create a link which you can share with friends and potential employers. This allows you to create a personalized webpage rather than a single printable or paper-based document.
Not all the services we tested look toward the future while also providing enough tools to customize a traditional document. For inspiration the site includes examples of what users can learn to do with the application. And, with over 40 templates, twice as many as LiveCareer, you get more to choose from. While it’s true that other downloadable tools give you even more control and options than web-based programs like this, VisualCV includes some bold and innovative templates that embrace changes in the ways that we search for a job.
|Product||Price||Overall Rating||Price||Template & Access||Design & Editing||Exporting||One Time Payment||Overall Usability||Number of Templates||Software or Cloud||Cover Letter Creation||Prewritten Phrases||Import Existing Data||Paragraph & Margin Spacing||Customizable Section Placement||Customizable Font||Numbered or Bulleted Lists||Spell-Checker||Audit Review||Document Download Formats||Hosted Page/Link||Direct Support|
|LiveCareer My Perfect Resume||View Deal||5/5||5||5||5||3.4||✖||100||20||Cloud||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||PDF, HTML, Word, Text||✖||Email, Live Chat|
|Resume Companion||View Deal||4/5||4.8||3.8||3.4||3.5||✖||96||28||Cloud||✓||✓||✖||✖||✓||✖||✓||✓||✓||PDF, HTML, Word, Text||✖||Email, Phone, Live Chat|
|Pongo Resume Builder||View Deal||4/5||3.9||3.7||3.4||5||✖||82||12||Cloud||✓||✓||✖||✓||✖||✓||✓||✓||✖||PDF, Word||✓||Email, Phone, Live Chat|
|ResumeMaker Professional Deluxe 20||View Deal||4/5||2.5||4.2||4.2||4.9||✓||95||1,250||Software||✓||✓||✖||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✖||PDF, Word, Text||✓||Email, Phone|
|VisualCV Professional||View Deal||3.5/5||4.3||3.7||3.4||3.2||✖||85||44||Cloud||✓||✖||✓||✖||✓||✓||✓||✓||✖||✓|
|WinWay Resume Deluxe 14||View Deal||3.5/5||2.5||4.5||5||1.7||✓||84||14,000||Software||✓||✓||✖||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||PDF, Word||✖|
|Enhancv||View Deal||3/5||3.3||2.5||3.4||3.2||✖||92||4||Cloud||✓||✖||✖||✖||✓||✓||✓||✖||✖||✓||Live Chat|
Why Trust Us?
We’ve been testing the latest in resume writing software for over a decade. We like to get hands on with the products and services we test, and with software, this means we subscribe, download, research and use each of the programs that we review. This level of testing lets us make comparisons to make sure that we’re recommending the very best products available to our readers. As a reviewer, I test dozens of other educational and professional software packages, so I’m familiar with what’s possible in programming these days.
How much Does Resume Writing Software Cost?
Resume writing programs that you download for a one-time cost usually run about $30.00. However web-based subscription services range anywhere from $1 to $2 dollars up to about $20 a month. Pay attention when you subscribe, though, because most services offer several different plans – and some plans limit the features or number of resumes you can create. Make sure to find a selection that works for your job search. Also, several of the programs we tested come with a free trial, but frequently the company won’t remove their watermark from free templates. It’s best to pay a little extra and remove the companies’ branding.
How We Tested
We read dozens of articles and researched the current industry standard in resume writing software before we selected which programs to test. Then we downloaded or subscribed to the ones we selected. Most of the current software is web-based, but there are few downloadable programs that have enough features and support to be worth mentioning.
In each program we created a resume and then tested the available features. We evaluated how intuitive the input options and wizard (the tool that you use to input your data) were in each program. We also looked for programs that offer additional support beyond simple resume creation. Resume software that connect with popular job search engines or give tips about acing your interview ranked higher in our comparison.
We looked for import and export options that allow you to easily transfer your completed work to new systems and give you flexibility to use the information from older resumes to create new ones. We also graded the software on customization tools, like margin spacing and font choices, as well as text size and watermarks to make sure you can create a resume that’ll stand out. We learned there’s often a balance between having plenty of options and having so many that they become overwhelming, so we looked for a number of templates and features that was just right.
Are Resume Builders Worth It?
In a word, yes. Based on our experience with the sites and services we tested, it's helpful to have the task of creating a resume broken up into more manageable chunks. Many of the programs that we used have wizards that provide helpful tips or guidance on each section. It's also convenient to be able to save personal information, like your address and home phone number, to be used over and over again as you customize resumes for different job applications. Overall, because resume writing is such a common experience, we think its hard to go wrong with these programs. They are also inexpensive enough that its worth a try.
Resumes of the Future
As you build your resume, it’s worth considering how hiring practices will change over time. We wouldn’t be surprised to see personal web pages or portfolios replace more traditional resume templates over the next few years, and many of the web-based programs seem to offer more connectivity options and link-sharing capabilities than their downloadable counterparts. There may come a day when we use certification services like Lynda and Degreed to show off the skills we’ve gained.
The New York Times reported in its article, “Job Hunting in the Digital Age,” that some companies use bots to conduct keyword searches of your documents to find the best match from a large pool of applicants. This means it matters which words you use to express your interests and experience. It's important to check in with the trends and services available to make sure you’re on the right track before creating your next resume.
Resume & Job-Hunting Trends to Look for in 2019
A recent survey shows that nearly 25 percent of Americans plan to look for a new job in 2019. If you’re among them or just want to keep a resume on hand in case a job posting catches your eye, here are some things to keep in mind:
Keep It Short, but Not Too Short: A recent study by ResumeGo shows that recruiters are twice as likely to prefer a two-page resume than a single-page resume. The common wisdom used to be that anything beyond a single page is a strike against you, but if you have the work experience and qualifications, don’t skimp on including them. Be as thorough as possible.
Start Strong: The top third of your resume is the most important real estate. Use it to make an impression and to give the hiring manager the most important information. Include contact information, your LinkedIn account info, your most recent job and a summary statement. The summary isn’t an objective – instead, it should be a statement that catches the recruiter’s eyes. In the summary, talk about your successes and what you can add to the company you’re applying at.
Optimize Your Resume: Many companies use applicant tracking systems to monitor and update you on your application’s progress. Some of these systems can be overzealous about filtering resumes, so you may need to include some keywords used in the job posting. In some cases, you can benefit from using the particular jargon preferred by the company you’re applying at.
Customize & Cut: Make sure each resume is tailored to the specific job you’re applying for. One-size-fits-all resumes don’t really work any more. Trim your resume to the last 10 to 15 years of your job history – anything further back could date you or may be irrelevant. If you’re applying for a job as a software developer, the company hiring you isn’t interested in your high school dishwashing job.