A functional CV: a blessing and a curse. A skills-based CV, as it’s often referred to, can do more damage than good unless you know exactly when to use it, and what for.
The biggest problem with free online CV builders?
Finding the ones that are actually worth your time.
Even if you don’t pay money, you still don’t want to lose hours trying to create a CV in clumsy free online CV maker.
Here’s the good news:
We’ve scoured the Internet in search of the best free CV builders. And we found some really interesting stuff!
(And some awkward stuff, too.)
In this article:
- Reviews of 10+ CV builders in which you can make your CV for free.
- Rundown of the pros and cons of each one as well as pricing information, if applicable.
- Sample CVs created and downloaded from each of the free CV builders to show you what to expect from each CV app.
What users say about ResumeLab:
I had an interview yesterday and the first thing they said on the phone was: “Wow! I love your CV.”
I love the variety of templates. Good job guys, keep up the good work!
My previous CV was really weak and I used to spend hours adjusting it in Word. Now, I can introduce any changes within minutes. Absolutely wonderful!
This is one of surprisingly versatile and polished free online CV builders.
You can start making a document right away for free, but if you want to download your CV as a PDF file, you’ll need to sign up for a free account.
Don’t worry, though.
You won’t be asked to provide your credit card details or anything like that.
You’ll be able to download the CV you’ve created and store its editable version online free of charge.
That being said—
From time to time, you’ll come across a pop-up window where the tool’s creators will be asking you to share it on your social media profiles or invite them for a coffee a.k.a give a small donation.
Everything’s optional, though, and if you don’t want to spare a dime just click anywhere outside the window area and it will go away.
The app's interface is very intuitive, and you get a lot of options for customising each CV section.
Plus, there are CV writing tips available within the app itself:
The only downside of using this app is that you only get one document template.
It’s fully customizable, though. To the point where you can make it look like a completely different template—it may take some time, though.
Here’s a couple of examples of what effects you can expect:
FlowCV is easily one of the best free CV builders despite its limitations. Plus, the tool’s creators say it will stay free as they’re planning to monetize it in a different way.
Expert Hint: Your CV must be easy to navigate and well structured. Studies reveal the recruiters only spend 7 seconds skimming your CV and they look for your job titles and professional experience. Make sure this information is easy to find on the template you choose.
Wozber is one of the best online CV builders that are actually free.
Apart from offering you as many as 30 templates, it doesn’t even require you to register for free to create and download your document.
If you do decide to sign up, the app will store an editable version of your CV for free.
The app has a very clean and intuitive design:
Wozber comes packed with a Job Ad Analysis functionality.
Also, the app will keep comparing your CV to the job description as you’re writing it to assess its relevance in relation to the job description you pasted.
You can see the “relevance counter” in the top right corner of the app.
The app will keep giving you tips on writing each CV section.
Here’s an example of what a CV created with Wozber can look like:
CV.com is possibly one of the most recognisable free CV makers.
Just like the previous two CV maker apps, it offers quite a number of functionalities, and over 20 templates to choose from.
One of the nicest features that CV.com offers is the ability to edit their own CV examples.
In other words, you don’t have to start making your document with a blank page in front of your eyes but can edit and customise the content provided by the app.
Also, just like in all the other CV builder apps, you can customise the document to your heart’s content.
Here’s a look at the user interface inside the app:
And this is what your document can look like:
In addition, CV.com allows you to download your CV as a PDF, DOC, RTF or TXT file type.
Expert Hint: A CV isn’t everything. You need a well-written cover letter to boost your chances of landing that dream job. In fact, some studies say that over 50% of the recruiters think your CV alone isn’t enough, and they want to read your cover letter. You can create one with some of the professional CV builders.
Overleaf markets itself as LaTeX evolved, and… this is exactly what it is.
In contrast to all the other CV makers, this one isn’t meant to serve one purpose only.
Overleaf offers a wide range of document templates, and free CV templates happen to be among them.
Because of LaTeX’s popularity in the academic circles, Overleaf could be one of the best CV builders for students.
Even though the app itself has a much rougher interface than the previous free online CV builders, it’s pretty easy to use.
All you need to do is edit the placeholder text on the left, click on recompile, and see the document's preview on the right:
Once you’re done writing your CV, you can download it as a PDF file.
The results could look like this:
One of the advantages of using this tool is the option to collaborate with others on a document (just like you would using Google Docs, for example), and the number of templates to choose from.
Expert Hint: Depending on whether you have professional experience or not, you may want to go for a different CV format. The three most popular CV formats are: chronological CV, functional CV, and combination CV.
Creddle is another one on our list of CV maker apps for free.
What you get here is free access to a tool with 10+ templates that you can customise.
At the time of writing this, Creddle wasn’t working particularly smoothly, and export to PDF was only available via Print to PDF option.
The app is perfectly workable and I was able to make a nice-looking CV albeit with several moments of How the hell do I change this? or Where did they bury this menu?
I wasn’t able to customise everything I wanted (e.g. I didn’t see the option to use bullet points in the CV work experience section) but the results were more than decent anyway:
To sum up:
If you’re patient enough to explore all the menus and options, you can make a nice-looking CV using this piece of software. Entirely for free.
Expert Hint: There’s more to writing a job-winning CV than putting the CV sections in the right order. If you get stuck in the middle of writing your CV or have no idea how to start, check out our collection of 50+ CV writing guides for different professions.
Price: Free (with premium options available)
Canva isn’t one of the typical CV makers. It’s more of an all-round visual design tool that happens to have a CV building functionality.
As such, Canva won’t offer you advice on how to write a CV but will give you lots of original ideas on how to make your document look exceptional, along with a tool to do it right away.
Here’s a look into the Canva app.
A ready-made CV can look like this:
Canva allows you to export your document to a text PDF document among others.
This option is particularly important since more than 98% of Fortune 500 companies use ATS software to initially scan the candidates’ CVs.
If you send an unparsable document, your CV may never actually reach any human reader.
Canva’s designs do look exceptional, but to be 100% sure they’re also ATS-friendly do this simple test:
Copy the text from your downloaded PDF document and paste it into any text editor. If it’s readable despite losing all formatting, you’re safe. If it’s garbled and the words are mixed up, it means it’s very likely to fail the ATS screening.
Some templates aren’t free (they don’t have a FREE badge in the bottom right corner when you hover the pointer over them), and if you want to download them you’ll be asked to pay a fee.
You can choose to buy a Canva Pro subscription for a monthly price of £9.95 per user.
7. Adobe Spark
Price: Free (with a premium subscription option available)
Just like Canva, Adobe Spark can’t be exactly regarded as one of the standard online CV builders.
Even though Adobe markets Spark as CV making software among others, it’s more of a graphic design tool with a CV making functionality.
Don’t expect any tips or advice because it’s a design tool at the end of the day.
What you can expect, though, are lots of great looking templates you’re free to use.
Here’s what the user interface looks like:
And that’s how your CV could look:
All seems to be peachy until you actually download the PDF file.
It turns out the PDF you get is an image PDF that no ATS will have a chance to parse.
And that’s a big problem.
That’s why we don’t recommend sending a CV made with Spark if you’re applying to a company that uses any kind of CV screening software.
Use it as a networking CV, or one you’d post on your social media profiles for example.
Note: At the time of writing, the PDF download option was being beta tested, which could've meant this functionality was limited.
The only issue I noticed with the free version was that I had to manually remove the watermark from every document I made. Apart from that, everything worked smoothly.
If you decide to go for a premium subscription at the price of £9.99 a month, the watermark will be automatically removed from all your projects.
In comparison with the other online CV builders, cvmaker comes across as a pretty basic tool.
You fill in the blank spaces provided, format the text, choose a template and download the ready-made document.
No need to register or sign up at all.
Here’s what the tool looks like:
The cvmaker app offers you six free templates to choose from and four premium ones. Access to premium features is only £16 a year.
Apart from a selection of premium templates, the paid version will give you a rich text editor, as well as the ability to send the CV to yourself via email if the device you're making it on doesn't support downloads.
As I already mentioned, the tool is rather basic and not as polished as the other CV makers on our list.
For example, I was never able to preview my document before downloading it.
I was pleasantly surprised each time.
Here's what a CV created with cvmaker can look like:
Nail it all with a splash of colour, choose a clean font, highlight your skills in just a few clicks. You’re the perfect candidate and we’ll prove it. Use the ResumeLab builder now.
Price: Subscription fee (with certain options available for free)
Here’s the thing:
Kickresume isn’t technically the same as the free online CV builders we’ve shown you so far.
It’s a paid service that allows you to use some of its features for free.
In fact, out of 35+ templates available inside the app, you can use three for free.
Here’s what the app looks like:
And these are the three templates you’re free to use:
Don’t be fooled by the looks of the “free” templates. They’re free, but it’s not what you get if you don’t pay.
The examples of free templates contain certain premium elements that you need to pay for, like certain fonts or sections.
Below you can see what I was able to get for free using one of them:
It’s not that bad. But there are truly free online CV builders out there that offer you much more than this.
One of the advantages of using Kickresume is the ability to use built-in CV suggestions with ready-made phrases that you can edit and customise.
To sum up—
Kickresume does allow you to create a basic free CV, but it won’t look exactly like the ones you can see in the free CV template mockups.
If you need more, you have to pay the price:
Price: Subscription fee or one-off lifetime access payment + a basic free option
This is one of those CV makers that are fun to write about.
The free option this tool offers only allows you to make and download a basic text CV that looks like this:
Yes, it’s a TXT file.
To make things super-clear—
The website doesn’t say it’s a free tool or anything like this.
But I’d really think twice whether or not I actually need any online app to make a TXT file.
Well, to each their own.
Here’s what the app’s interface looks like:
And these are the pricing options:
Price: Subscription fee or a basic free option.
VisualCV is not one of the free online CV builders but it lets you create a nice-looking CV for free anyway.
Even though your free options are limited to only one CV you can store in the cloud and three CV templates to choose from—
What you get in the end doesn’t differ from what you can see in the mockups. Plus, you can download your CV as a PDF file for free.
I was able to quickly make this CV:
If you want to get access to premium templates, you need to pay £12 monthly.
12. A Little Bonus for You
Here’s the thing:
CV makers don’t have to appeal to everybody, do they?
If you’d rather stay away from typing in your email address and phone number into an online CV building app, or the free functionalities described above are not enough for you
There’s quite a number of alternative ways of making a perfect CV.
For example, you can take a look at our