Unlocking Opportunities: How to Make an Effective Online Resume in 6 Steps

If you click to purchase a product or service based on our independent recommendations and impartial reviews, we may receive a commission. Learn more

Task time:
5-6 hours
Difficulty:
Easy

The average recruiter will spend no more than 10 seconds looking at your resume. That means your resume needs to grab their attention and sell your experience within the time it takes to watch a video on TikTok. Ambitious stuff, no doubt – but it can be done! 

In this digital age, building an online resume has never been easier. You have two options: you can use a dedicated resume builder like Zety to create a sleek, downloadable resume, or you can use a website builder like Wix or Squarespace to create a resume website. Using a website builder is more suitable if you’re in the creative industry and want to showcase your skills in a more visual, stand-out manner.

Below, you’ll find a comprehensive guide on how to use each option for creating your online resume, along with the pros, cons, dos and don’ts for using a dedicated resume builder and a website builder.

It’s easy to procrastinate when it comes to writing your resume, but that stops today! Let’s help you get your dream job.

Step 1: Gather and Organize Information

To begin your resume-writing journey, you’ll first need to assess the state of play. That means reviewing your existing resume, identifying relevant information for your new one, and organizing that information in a clear and concise manner.

This step serves as the foundation for crafting a compelling and effective document that highlights your skills, experience, and qualifications.

Start by carefully examining your current resume. Take note of the sections, such as contact information, summary or objective statement, work experience, education, skills, and any additional sections you may have included. Pay attention to the content within each section, too: including job titles, responsibilities, achievements, educational details, and any certifications or relevant training you may have.

Next, identify the information most relevant to your desired job or industry. Tailoring your resume to the specific position you are applying for will increase your chances of standing out to potential employers – so don’t get lazy! Highlight the experiences, skills, and achievements that directly align with the requirements and qualifications the employers in your target field are seeking.

Then, set about organizing your resume’s information in a clear, concise manner. Do this well, and you’ll set the stage for creating a tailored and impactful resume that effectively showcases your qualifications – and increases your chances of landing that dream job!

Step 2: Choose a Platform

Now, it’s time to hit the books, do your research – and pick the online resume-building tool that works for you.

For this, you have a couple of options:

  • Make a resume using a dedicated resume creator
  • Make a resume using a website builder

We’ll explain the differences – and key providers – for each approach below. But whichever route you choose, there are still some key factors to consider:

  • User-friendliness: how simple is your chosen tool to use? Scour the net for user reviews and ratings to find out – or explore our in-house research.
  • Customizability: you’ll want – nay, need – to be able to personalize your online resume to fit the unique look and feel of your personal brand – can you do this with your chosen resume-building tool?
  • Price: with many website builders, you can set up a site for free. However, there’ll almost always be an ongoing cost – so be sure to compare and contrast pricing across providers, before going full steam ahead!

Now, let’s dive in – and figure out whether a resume builder or a website builder is the right fit for your needs.

Resume Builders

Online resume builders (or resume creators) are, well, just that. They provide resume document templates which you can customize and download in order to share with recruiters online. These platforms let you create quick, slick resumes suitable for all non-creative industry roles.

You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to resume builders, so it’s important that you select the right one. Here are our top choices:

All of these dedicated resume builders are really easy to use, opening up your career possibilities through beautifully crafted resume templates. 

While ResumeGenius is free to use, the other platforms may require you to sign up to a plan in order to download your resume – but it’s never more than just a few dollars.

Some resume builders provide onsite suggestions while you’re creating your resume, while others will let you choose from pre-written work experience bullet points to give your resume that professional, concise look.

All in all, you can’t really go wrong with any of our recommended resume builders.

Website Builders

Website builders are tools which allow you to build a slick, highly functional website in moments – then use it to showcase your resume.

The hard part? Finding the right website builder for you. Fortunately, it’s a task we’re in a good place to help out with. According to our proprietary in-house research, the best website builders are:

You can read more about these in our best resume builders review.

One of the best features of website builders is how easy they are to use. All you need is an internet connection and an idea! You can create a stylish and professional online resume website quickly and easily, without ever knowing a line of code.

Most website builders use a drag and drop editing design. You simply drag elements like text boxes and images to where you want them on your page. Some, like Wix and GoDaddy, use Artificial Design Intelligence (ADI) to create a personalized resume for you.

For your online resume you want high quality designs and useful features like contact forms, images, and testimonials. Other things to look out for are how much it costs to remove adverts and use a custom domain. Before you choose your resume website builder, think about how much creative freedom you want, and how easy you need the website builder to be.

As you can imagine, there’s a lot of choice out there! We used our own research to find the five best resume builder websites listed above to help you pick the best option for your online resume. You can read about the five best resume builder websites in our full review, but here is a quick overview of the top three builders we recommend for creating your online resume:

Best All-Round Website Builder

4.8

out of 5
Top Choice
Design Flexibility

1 out of 5 stars

Features

4.8 out of 5 stars

Ease Of Use

4.4 out of 5 stars

Value For Money

3 out of 5 stars

Help and Support

4.8 out of 5 stars

Design-Oriented Website Builder

4.6

out of 5
Design Flexibility

4.7 out of 5 stars

Features

4.6 out of 5 stars

Ease Of Use

4.4 out of 5 stars

Value For Money

4.6 out of 5 stars

Help and Support

4.8 out of 5 stars

Fastest Way To Get Online

4.3

out of 5
Design Flexibility

4.1 out of 5 stars

Features

3.1 out of 5 stars

Ease Of Use

4.1 out of 5 stars

Value For Money

4.1 out of 5 stars

Help and Support

4.3 out of 5 stars

All of these have high quality, professional templates and various features. None of them need specialist knowledge (like how to code!), and come with a range of price plans to fit to your budget.

Wix is our best all-round resume website builder and is great for beginners, while still offering loads of creative control. Squarespace is the top choice for creatives because of its high quality designs and additional features, but is a bit more tricky to get to grips with. GoDaddy is the fastest option for getting a resume online thanks to its speedy ADI builder, whcih does most of the hard work for you by creating a personalized template for you to edit.

Find out more:

Step 3: Sign up for the Right Plan

You’ve made your choice. You have your perfect resume website builder in front of you. But now you need to decide on the best plan to sign up to.

Maybe you just want to start off by creating your website and trying out ideas without spending a cent. In that case, start off with a free plan. Website builders like Wix offer free plans, which you can create, edit, and publish your online resume on.

But remember: if you’re on a free plan there will be ads on your resume. Whether it’s a banner advertising Wix or a pop-up telling your visitors to use Squarespace, ads do not look professional – and could put potential employers off.

So, what are your other options? Take a look at the paid premium plans on offer. These remove ads from your resume website and allow you to connect to a custom domain.

Wix’s $16 a month combo plan is the cheapest option to remove ads. This shows just how easy it is to make your resume professional while still keeping to a budget – and we strongly recommend you sign up for a premium plan before creating your online resume website.

Removing ads and using your own, custom domain are crucial if you want to be taken seriously by recruiters. A custom domain means you can have your own personalized URL like www.your-name.com rather than something long and clumsy like www.your-name.wixsite.com/your-resume-website which features the builder’s branding.

You can usually remove ads and connect a custom domain on the cheapest paid plans. Plus most builders offer a free domain if you sign up to a yearly plan, which is a great bonus. Squarespace’s cheapest plan starts at just $16 a month (billed yearly), which offers all the features you could need for your online resume, such as a free custom domain and unlimited pages, galleries, and storage.

GoDaddy’s cheapest paid plan costs $9.99 per month (billed annually), which allows you to connect a custom domain, but oesn’t give you one for free like Squarespace does.

If you’re opting not for a website builder, but for a paid resume builder like Zety, you can start out on a 14-day trial for $2.70. After that, you can either continue for $23.70 every month, or you can commit to an annual plan for $71.40. This gives you unlimited resumes and cover letters, plus the ability to download these in a range of formats. 

There are some free resume builders, such as Resume Genius and NovoResume, that are free to use from start to finish, but they don’t give you access to as many templates or helpful tools as the paid options.

Squarespace is the best value for money builder we’ve tested, and starts at $16/month.

Find out more:

Step 4: Choose a Suitable Template or Design

Now for the really fun part!

Take a look at all the templates your chosen resume website builder has on offer and find one that suits you. You want a style that reflects both your personality and your profession. Plus, a basic or unsightly template could turn your killer resume into a resu-meh. So don’t rush your choice!

Find a design which naturally showcases your skills and outlines your experience in a simple and clear way. Potential employers need to easily find information on your online resume! So don’t rush into it. Try out different templates and have a play around with them before you make your choice.

Top tip: Pick a template that can easily display your entire work experience on one page. That’s the sweet spot you should be looking to hit, and recruiters will love it.

The number of resume templates on offer varies from builder to builder. Wix has over 40 templates in the “Portfolio & CV” category, 18 of which are dedicated resume templates. Squarespace has a huge range of customizable high quality designs, with 17 resume specific templates in the ‘Personal & CV’ category. You can browse through categories or filter by specific keywords to find the type of template you want.

Zety, meanwhile, has 20+ slick, professional resume templates that all come with a cover letter. You can’t really go wrong with any of them – they’re all modern and elegant, and feature various types of graphics and colour accents.

how to make a resume online with a dedicated resume builder

Remember, too, to choose a template with features that can accurately and effectively showcase your experience. For example, some resume graphics may better reflect your fluency in different languages, while others may represent your 15+ years in I.T. more appropriately.

While you can customize any template to your liking it’s probably best to search for resume, CV, or portfolio websites to give you the best possible start – and inspiration!

wix resume website builder templates
Wix’s templates give you a pre-formed layout to follow, whether you’re a model or a scientist, making it easy to create a professional online resume quickly.

If you change your mind about your template design once your online resume is live, don’t worry! Some resume builders like Weebly and Strikingly, do let you change your template even after you’ve hit publish. One of the only downsides of Wix is you can’t switch between templates, so choose wisely.

Step 5: Customize Your Resume

Resumes should never be cookie-cutter, or generic. We are, after all, talking about your career – your life! – which means your resume needs to be tailored to your unique personality, profession, and skillset.

Here’s how.

Showcase Your Work Experience and Education

Starting with your most recent or current job – then working backwards, in reverse chronological order – you’ll need to add your work experience.

This section is the most important part of the actual resume – if stuck for time, recruiters will quickly scan your work experience titles to make a quick judgement on whether you’re worthy, so make this section count! Be sure, here, to include all relevant details of your employment history: including job titles, dates, responsibilities, and key achievements.

Record, too, a full rundown of your education: including where, and what, you studied: be it a degree, a diploma, high school completion or some other form of professional development or certification. Include relevant coursework, research projects, or thesis topics if applicable.

Dedicated resume builders make it easy to create resumes online, providing clearly laid out fields which you simply need to fill in with your experience. Ensure you highlight your areas of experience that are most relevant to the job you’re applying for – it’s what the business is looking for, after all.

how to create resumes online with zety
Zety uses data fields to ensure your resume never feels cluttered

Highlight Your Skills and Achievements

Of course, you don’t simply want to record what your previous roles are, but the positive impact you made in them. Meaning your resume shouldn’t focus solely on the roles and responsibilities you’ve held – but the things you’ve achieved.

So, create a section dedicated to shining a light on your key skills and competencies. Include both hard skills (technical abilities specific to the job) and soft skills (interpersonal and transferable skills). In this section of your resume, use bullet points to make it easier to read and highlight quantifiable achievements whenever possible. You’ll want to make your top skills and successes jump right off the page!

Include, too, a section for any projects, publications, and volunteering you’ve done. Incorporate professional affiliations and memberships. And add relevant links – to your portfolio, for instance, or your LinkedIn profile.

Top tip: Don’t forget to add any work-related achievements, big or small, that showcase your applied skills – it can help to back up your points!

Personalize the Content and Design Elements

Finally? Personalizing the content and design elements – something that should start, if necessary, with a refresh of your email address.

An unprofessional email address appearing at the top of your resume is a first class ticket to the resume garbage can. Got an embarrassing email address from your teens? Now’s the time to freshen up. Businesses don’t want to hire J0hn$iscoolYO@YOLO.com.

Top tip: Ensure your email address is genuine and professional and triple check you entered it correctly, as most recruiters will initially contact you via email.

Next, add your full name, cell phone number, email address, and house address. Adding your street address doesn’t mean recruiters will come knocking – it’s just so they can see where you’re based, because an applicant’s location and potential commute play a big part in the hiring process.

After all that, it’s time to get stuck in – and customize the resume template you selected earlier.

So get creative! Chop and change the layout, add new pages, insert your own images and videos, integrate your LinkedIn profile – whatever best shows off your skills and experience.

This customization is super easy thanks to drag and drop builders. You can change the layout and design simply by clicking and dragging images, text boxes and backgrounds around until they’re exactly where you want them.

wix resume website
This Wix-made resume took less than hour to build, and uses images and links on its homepage. It’s easy to customize and use different pages in your website.

You can also add tons of cool features like testimonial boxes and contact forms to make your resume even better! Another highlight is adding apps to your online resume to expand its features. A great example of this is the LinkedIn Business card app on Wix, which allows potential employers to view your LinkedIn business details and even to share it in a single click.

This is your chance to grab the attention of employers by creating a professional-looking resume that displays your employment history and competencies in a clear and engaging way. If you just want to put in your information without worrying about the design, why not try an ADI (Artificial Design Intelligence) builder like Wix or GoDaddy?

You give some simple information about yourself, the type of website you’re creating, and the style of design you most like, and it creates an online resume for you! You can always change the design and customize it afterwards, but it’s a faster way of getting your resume set up than starting from scratch.

Remember, first impressions count. If you’re using images, make sure they’re high quality and suitable for a job application. If you hate the idea of splashing your face across your website, use images that showcase your work (e.g. if you’re a photographer) or that reflect the industry you work in.

Take a look at the example site below for some inspiration.

wix resume homepage example annie atkins

The homepage is the first thing your visitors will see, so it’s important to draw them in. Maybe give an overview of yourself with an image and mission statement or summary, whatever you feel best captures who you are, what you do, and what you’ve got to offer.

One of the best parts of creating an online resume is you’re not limited to cramming all your information onto one page. Use your homepage to link to other pages on your resume website. Instead of just describing and listing your hobbies, ventures, and skills, you can put them right there for the employer to see.

Have different pages for your employment history, personal projects or volunteering, have a page showcasing your skills or a gallery page with a portfolio of your work. Link to your small business website or photography site – whatever shows off your strengths as a professional and captures your personality.

Often it’s a good idea to link to a PDF version of your resume which your potential employer can print off or save. You may also want to link to an existing website you have, whether it be a portfolio or blog. This is a real strong point of having an online resume; you can put all your work in one place!

By now, you should have all your work history, talents, and skills on one beautiful page. Congrats! 

But before you download the resume, there’s one more step!

Find out more:

Step 6: Proofread, Publish and Share Your Online Resume

Now you’ve previewed your resume – and you’re happy – it’s time to do some recruiting of your own.

Top tip: Ask a friend or family member to review your resume preview to get a separate opinion on how it looks – it’s easy to go ‘resume blind’ if you’ve been staring at the thing for hours!

Get friends, family, or colleagues to try out your online resume. This is the best way of seeing if it’s actually user friendly. You want to catch links that don’t work, pages that have trouble opening, or any unclear navigation.

(Better to have your Mom complain that they can’t find your contact details, than a potential boss frustratedly clicking around your website and never contacting you!)

Another really important factor to check is to make sure your resume website works on both desktop and mobile devices. Website builder templates are usually mobile-optimized, but it’s always worth double and triple checking just in case!

Publishing and Sharing Your Online Resume

Okay – so your resume website looks beautiful and professional, it works, and passed the user testing with flying colors. It’s time to publish it!

Before you do, make sure you’ve followed the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) prompts laid out by your website builder to boost your resume’s chances of being found by recruiters online.

That said, you shouldn’t leave it up to Google alone to connect your resume with potential employers. And, once you’ve published your resume website, be sure to share it across professional and social networks. (LinkedIn, in particular!)

Well – that’s it! Congratulations. All that’s left now is to hit that publish button and enjoy the feeling of having your very own resume website up and running!

Find out more

Looking for ways to beef up your resume? We’ve compiled a resource-rich guide to some digital skills you can learn at home.

Additional Tips for Creating an Effective Online Resume

Let us leave you with a few final tips for making sure your resume stands out.

  • Include a professional profile picture: a high-quality, professional profile picture can help your resume make a positive first impression. This also means making sure the picture aligns with your desired professional image. So for corporate shots, dress smartly, maintain good lighting, and choose a neutral background. For something more casual, dress down – and feel free to get creative with color and camera angle.
  • Regularly update your resume: keep your online resume up to date with your latest experiences, skills, and accomplishments. This demonstrates your commitment to professional growth – and ensures that potential employers have access to your most current information.
  • Optimize your online resume for search engines: this involves integrating relevant keywords throughout your resume – particularly in the job titles, skills, and descriptions. Research industry-specific keywords that employers often search for and incorporate them naturally into your content.
  • Quantify your achievements: when describing your accomplishments and responsibilities, be sure to include specific numbers, percentages, or other measurable results. This conveys credibility and helps employers gauge the tangible impact of your work.

Summary

Using a website builder to create your resume is quick, easy – and can really help your experience to shine bright among the other dull, boring resumes out there. It’s one of the most creative ways to put a resume together online!

On the other hand, you can opt for dedicated resume builders like Zety which let you create simple yet professional resumes in a couple of hours – and are suitable for most office-based jobs. Whichever route you take, you’ll end up with a resume to be proud of and happy to share online. 

Well that’s all from us, folks. We would say good luck with the job hunt, but with a stunning resume on the way, you don’t need any!

How to Make an Online Resume: FAQs

Resume website builders like Weebly and Strikingly allow you to switch your template at any time. But other resume website builders like Wix aren’t quite so straightforward. If you change your template, you lose all your content and have to start again from scratch, which can be time consuming and frustrating.
Whether you’ve used a website builder or resume creator, you can easily edit your resume information at any time. Keeping your online resume up-to-date is extremely important, after all. All you have to do is go back into your editor and make as many changes as you want, then hit the “Update” or “Publish” on your website builder, or ‘download’ on your chosen resume builder.
Yes. But while you can create an online resume totally free with free website builders like Wix, Weebly, and GoDaddy, it’s worth upgrading. Why? Because on free plans you have ads on your resume, and can’t use a custom domain. This creates an unprofessional image that could put off recruiters. You can also use free dedicated resume creators like ResumeGenius.
Online resume builders, like Zety and Resume.com, are helpful tools which provide templates for you to create a traditional A4 resume and download it. These platforms are really easy to use and are suitable for creating resumes for any office-based role.

Using a website builder to create an online resume is slightly different. You create a website, with your own domain, which can be found on Google. You have lots of creative freedom and can include your traditional resume in your website. Plus, you can showcase your skills rather than describing them, for example running your portfolio, blog, or business website alongside your online resume.

The truth is, it depends. If you’re using Wix ADI (Artificial Design Intelligence) to create your website, the answer is a couple of minutes. If you’re using Squarespace to create a highly customized and personalized resume, it will take longer. It really depends on how much time you’re willing to invest in creating your online resume. Usually it takes a couple of hours, though – website builders make creating a website quick and easy, but you don’t want to rush!
Written by:
I’ve written for brands and businesses all over the world – empowering everyone from solopreneurs and micro-businesses to enterprises to some of the ecommerce industry’s best-known brands: including Yahoo!, Ecwid, and Entrepreneur. My commitment for the future is to empower my audience to make better, more effective decisions: whether that’s helping you pick the right platform to build your website with, the best hosting provider for your needs, or offering recommendations as to what – and how – to sell.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *