A professional resume and cover letter are essential for landing your dream job in Australia, but they’re not easy to write. Thankfully, there’s help at hand. A resume builder or writer will save you time and help you get a faster result by creating a resume that Australian recruiters can’t ignore.
Because I have already told you where to find the best resume writers in Australia, today I’ll focus on the less expensive option – using a resume builder to create a DIY Australian resume and cover letter.
Which resume builder is best at helping Australian job seekers craft a winning resume and cover letter in 2023? Let’s find out.
Best resume builder in Australia.
Resume.io took the #1 spot in my review of the best online resume builders in Australia because it offers the most useful features at a very low cost.
My favourite feature of Resume.io is its writing assistant, which provides you with pre-written phrases tailored to your target job.
- I’m not a professional resume writer, so I get massive writer’s block when facing a blank resume page. I endlessly stare at the blinking cursor, wondering how to write my resume.
Resume.io’s writing assistant gives you a massive head start by providing a solid baseline of pre-written phrases.
Above: start writing your resume, and Resume.io’s writing assistant begins to suggest content targeted to your role.
You’ll need to edit Resume.io’s pre-written content, as it’s not intended to be a final draft. Think of it as a customised, workable first draft that you need to “make your own”.
To make your resume look great, Resume.io gives you a choice of 27 resume templates, 7 of which I liked. The rest, not so much.
You don’t have to enter your credit card until you’re ready to download your resume – and even then, it’s pretty cheap.
- The price includes a complementary Job Tracker tool, which is surprisingly useful.
- If you’ve ever used a Kanban-style app like Trello or Jira for managing projects or organising your life, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.
Above: create a ticket for each job on your radar, and you get an easy-to-manage, at-a-glance overview of your entire job search effort.
Last but not least, if you pay for a full version of Resume.io, you get a unique URL to your resume to share.
While Resume.io‘s resume writing assistant helps you write your profile and responsibilities, it leaves you to your own devices when writing achievements.
Australian employers expect very achievement-driven resumes, and writing them well isn’t easy. Some help on that front would be a godsend, and I’d pay good money for it.
To be fair, no other resume builder on the market offers any help whatsoever with achievements. It’s a criticism that I level at every platform in this review – not just Resume.io.
At the very least, I would like Resume.io to prompt me to provide some achievements at the end of each role and advise on how these differ from responsibilities.
The paid version of Resume.io claims to help you write cover letters, but the functionality is more basic than I expected. It’s a formatting tool you type into, although it gives you several template options.
Above: the cover letter writing tool helps you with formatting but little else. You can achieve the same with a Word template.
The other bonus tools are also “meh”:
- The job search tool aggregates roles from Indeed and ZipRecruiter but doesn’t work in Australia. Whoops.
- The interview prep tool is an AI-powered video interview simulator that theoretically presents you with a mock video scenario and provides you with constructive feedback. In reality, its AI is very rudimentary, tuning into your mood to give you feedback like this:
Thankfully, the price of Resume.io‘s paid version is very reasonable. You can use Resume.io’s full functionality for only $3.95 for 7 days.
Above: the $3.95 deal renews to a $32.95 monthly payment if you don’t cancel within 7 days.
Resume.io offers a 7-day money-back guarantee, so you don’t have to risk your hard-earned $3.95 🙂
Resume.io is an excellent resume builder. Its core product is the best on the Australian market and can help you achieve your career goals by ensuring your resume contains relevant information.
The free tools are mostly gimmicks, except for the excellent Job Tracker tool.
Job searches get very complicated quickly, and this tool will help you create a pipeline of job applications you can easily manage.
Is Resume.io a free resume builder? Not really. The free version allows you to create a resume from scratch but only allows you to export it to a .txt file.
2. Resume Now
Second best resume builder in Australia.
Resume Now won the #2 spot in my review of best Australian resume builders because of its impeccable UX and great list of features. Let’s take a closer look.
The user interface is simple but well thought-through. It’s an epitome of clarity of purpose, effective design and practicality.
- A lot of time was spent thinking about how to make writing your resume as effortless as possible.
- Resume Now takes you by the hand and gently guides you through choices of seniority and industry, then presents you with a good choice of resume templates.
I was blown away to find that the templates matched the Australian job market. This meant no designs with photographs, and the dummy content mentioned Sydney and Melbourne.
Very nice touch, Resume Now.
Above: Resume Now offers smart, modern, minimalist resume templates that will work well in the Aussie job market.
Resume Now’s writing assistant guides you through the rest of the process, providing you with pre-written phrases to help you write your career profile and professional history sections.
The cover letter writing assistant is also excellent.
Just like the main product, it walks you through the process of writing your cover letter step by step. It even gives you templated explanations for explaining gaps in your career history!
Above: Resume Now’s writing assistant is very good and provides a decent starting point for your resume. The content is far from perfect but is much better than staring at a blank page.
Unfortunately, Resume Now does not offer a Job Tracker tool.
In fact, this is one of the main reasons I didn’t give it the title of the #1 best resume builder in Australia.
Job search efforts get messy, and a good management tool is essential. The fact that Resume.io offers one for free is a huge bonus.
If your resume builder of choice doesn’t offer a Job Tracker tool, I recommend that you sign up for a free version of Trello and use it to organise your job search efforts. Don’t try to do it through your email inbox alone!
Resume Now costs $2.85 for 14 days of access, or you can pay $10.45 monthly.
Is there a free tier? No, but I think you’ll agree that you get plenty of value for just a few bucks.
Above: Resume Now gives you two pricing tiers. A low $2.85 for 14 days or $10.45 monthly subscription.
You don’t pay anything until you’re happy with your resume, and you also get a 14-day money-back guarantee.
I really like Resume Now. It’s one of the best resume writers out there, and to be honest, I almost like it more than Resume.io.
That said, Resume.io offers a Job Tracker tool, and because it this, it’s a better overall job search system.
Third best resume builder in Australia.
My Perfect Resume is third in my review of the best Australian resume builders. Let’s see how perfect it really is.
My Perfect Resume offers very nice resume templates. Like the Resume Now ones, they are geolocated to Australia.
- The resume builder has a resume writing assistant that provides you with suggested content based on your target role.
- The suggested phrases are pretty good but should not be confused for a finished product. They’re merely a starting point that you’ll need to edit.
The paid version of My Perfect Resume gives you access to the Proprietary Resume Check, which promises to pinpoint shortcomings and errors on your resume while offering suggestions for fixing them.
I took it for a test drive and am happy to report that it’s actually quite good.
Above: unlike many gimmicks often included with resume builders, My Perfect Resume’s Smart Apply algorithm provides legitimately good, actionable steps you can take to improve your resume.
My Perfect Resume‘s cover letter builder is also great because it allows you to pull in your resume and use it as a departure point.
It asks you a series of questions and spits out a reasonably good cover letter. Like Resume Now, it can address gaps in your career history.
The main reason My Perfect Resume didn’t qualify for #1 and #2 spots in this review is the quality of its suggested phrases.
“Gifted marketing manager”? Come on.
The job search portal is available and is good in theory, but it does not pull in Australian jobs. Yep, it’s a gimmick, at least for our country.
My Perfect Resume costs $2.95 for 14 days, which then renews to $34.95 per month. Alternatively, you can pay $71.40 for an entire year, which renews once per year.
You also get a 14 money-back guarantee, so there’s zero risk in trying it out.
I feel that My Perfect Resume is neither here nor there. Its writing assistant lets it down, but its excellent cover letter builder somewhat offsets this.
In the pecking order of career marketing documents, a resume is much more important than a cover letter, which is why I’m not recommending My Perfect Resume higher until they improve the issues I’ve raised.
Best non-resume builder in Australia.
JobScan is unique because it gives you the resume builder for free, along with some basic optimisation tools.
It asks for payment only if you decide that you want to use its core product – a suite of advanced resume optimisation tools designed to help you get your job application past Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS).
After you write your resume, JobScan optimises your resume for any job, highlighting the key experience and skills recruiters need to see.
Above: JobScan’s report displays the findings and recommendations found by its algorithms.
- JobScan gamifies the process of writing an effective resume by analysing – then scoring – your existing resume against known recruiter preferences.
- After you rewrite your resume, JobScan repeats the process and highlights more issues you need to fix until your resume contains the experience and key skills that recruiters expect to see for a particular role.
A Kanban-style Job Tracker tool is included to help you manage all your job applications. Hooray! Apart from Resume.io, this is the only resume builder in Australia to offer this super-useful tool.
JobScan also provides a Job Matcher tool, aggregating the latest jobs from all major Australian job boards.
Unlike similar tools in Resume Now and My Perfect Resume, it actually works in Australia. What’s more, it’s available with the free version.
Because JobScan’s core product is an ATS checker, you can use it for this purpose for free. Upload your existing resume, and it will provide you with actionable steps you need to take to improve it.
Look. JobScan’s main business is not a resume builder and becomes quite apparent as soon as you start using it.
The free resume templates are quite basic, meaning you will have a very plain-looking resume.
Above: JobScan’s free resume templates are on the primitive, simple side. Most job seekers will want more character.
JobScan offers zero AI-powered assistance for writing your profile or job history; you must write everything from scratch.
The UX is convoluted.
Using JobScan reminds me of cars that were built in the late 1990s – lots of buttons with seemingly no clear logic behind their placement. As a result, finding your way around the interface takes a bit of time.
A free version of JobScan is available and gives you access to the resume builder and a limited number of monthly scans. Unlocking full functionality costs $49.45 monthly or $89.95 every 3 months.
JobScan is an excellent resume optimisation tool (in fact, our team of professional resume writers uses it to optimise resumes we create for our clients), but its resume builder sucks.
I’m sorry to sound harsh, but it’s true.
- JobScan is a resume formatting tool at best. It will help you organise your thoughts into a smart-looking, minimalistic and somewhat boring resume template.
- I recommend you use my #1 recommended resume builder, Resume.io, to write your resume, then use JobScan‘s excellent ATS checking features to optimise it.
This way, you’ll get the best of both worlds and end up with a resume that has the power to impress prospective employers.
If you’re applying for several different jobs, you’ll probably want to opt for the paid version of JobScan.
It unlocks a more streamlined workflow, cover letter optimisation tool, unlimited scans of your resume and the ability to improve the all-important LinkedIn profile.
Best (almost) free resume builder in Australia.
Novoresume is a very funky-looking resume builder with very good branding. Does it live up to expectations? Let’s find out.
Novoresume is almost a free resume builder because it allows you to create and download a one-page resume without payment but will charge you for multi-page resumes and cover letters.
You don’t need to enter a credit card to get started and are immediately given access to 8 free resume templates, which are pretty good.
Above: Novoresume’s user interface is friendly and easy to use. It’s all very 2023.
Novoresume is just a resume formatting tool. It’s a glorified (albeit very pretty) resume template that loads in a web browser. That’s all.
It loads, and you fill it out. There are no writing suggestions and no additional job search tools.
To be fair, its “Optimizer” functionality has good intentions, but the tips it provides aren’t a good fit for Australia’s job market.
Novoresume will charge you the following for the pleasure of using it:
- $19.95 for 1 month
- $39.95 for 3 months
- $99.95 for 12 months.
A 14-day money-back guarantee gives you peace of mind.
Novoresume is a great option if you want a free resume builder to create a one-page resume. I suspect it’s very popular with students and recent graduates.
Serious professionals with more complicated backgrounds should look at more sophisticated resume builders like Resume.io.
Resume Builders To Avoid.
These two products need a lot of improvement before they can compete with the best resume builders on the Australian market.
On the surface, VisualCV is pretty good. It includes a cover letter maker, a personal website builder and a “Career Journal” to record your career achievements in real-time.
The good first impressions continue for some time after you sign up. A user-friendly, intuitive interface offers sample content that is quite generic but is much better than starting with a blank page.
Its resume import feature is both useful and effective and only made one mistake with dates when importing my current resume.
Help is at hand from inside the app, both in the form of a knowledgebase and the ability to ask real humans a question.
Then the issues become apparent.
- Resume templates are not a very good fit for Australia, with photos included by default on every one.
- The design vibes of the resume templates aren’t very serious, either. The look and feel may appeal to hairdressers but certainly not corporate Australian managers.
- The website builder is good in theory but is a gimmick in reality. I don’t see anyone serious about their career using it to build their online one-pager. (If you want a personal website, use a website builder instead).
- A career journal is also a good idea in theory, but would I pay a monthly subscription to keep it around? Not really. A Word doc works just as well.
VisualCV offers upsells to professional resume writing services from within the app, which I suspect is the main reason for the resume builder’s existence.
In my experience, resume writers that you can hire via global resume builder platforms are not worth the money, as they tend to get outsourced overseas. Get a local Australian resume writer if you want a good result.
While the free version of VisualCV is reasonably good, it’s limited to one resume only. The paid version unlocks unlimited resumes, 30 (very good) templates and the ability to export to Word.
Pricing is very straightforward, with either a quarterly or monthly payment available for $45 or $24, respectively.
(Remember that this is in USD, so you’ll need to add about 40% to get Australian dollars.)
In summary, it’s an OK resume builder but isn’t very well suited to the Australian job market and is outgunned by much better options.
Resumonk is dead in the water. Its busy interface looks like it hasn’t been updated for a long time, its templates look dated, and the functionality is quite substandard by 2023 standards.
- There’s no writing assistant, no prompts, no sample content – just boxes that ask you to start writing.
- In that sense, ResuMonk is more of a resume formatting tool than a builder.
- Resume templates are quite dated-looking, too. I found a template that I liked, but the margins were wonky. Unfortunately, there was no way to adjust them.
ResuMonk gives almost nothing for free.
Even though you can build your resume in the free version, you’re limited to one (pretty ordinary-looking) template. Moreover, the free version slaps an unsightly “Created Using Resumonk” footer at the bottom of your resume.
Pricing is in two tiers: $29 for one year or $99 for a lifetime. By paying, you remove Resumonk branding, get a full set of 20 templates, and gain the ability to export to .docx.
Is An Online Resume Builder Worth It?
Yes, as long as it has the following features:
- Writing assistant to help you overcome writing block
- Resume templates that are aligned to the expectations of Australian hiring managers.
- Job search tools to help you streamline your job search workflow
Some of the best resume builders cost as little as $2.95, which is a borderline negligible amount in the context of your career.
For this small amount of money, you’ll shortcut the process of writing your resume by hours (or maybe days) and avoid having to stare at a blank page, overwhelmed with thoughts like:
- “What’s the most important thing to say here?”
- “What should I leave out?”
- “Am I boasting too much?”
- “Am I underselling myself?”
I recommend choosing a resume builder that allows you to create your resume before it asks for payment. This means you only pay when (or if) you’re happy with the result – and once you decide to export the resume, without watermarks, into a recruiter-friendly format.
How To Get The Most Out Of A Resume Builder.
A resume writer will provide you with a structure, a template and some foundational content. To get noticed by recruiters and hiring managers, you will need to elevate this content and tailor it to your career.
I recommend that you use the following resume writing guides to guide you during the writing process:
My Final Verdict About Online Resume Builders.
My main takeaway from this review is that a good resume builder acts as a reasonably effective resume layout platform.
It can assist greatly with the design of your resume, bringing much-needed simplicity to the overall aesthetic.
In that sense, it helps you avoid having a clunky, overloaded-with-text resume that looks like it’s stuck in the 1990s. You know the type:
Having said that, it’s important to note that the visual presentation of a resume is a secondary factor. You will not get a job just because your resume looks nice.
This is where an online resume builder begins to show cracks.
Like most software platforms, it is inextricably tied to, and limited by, the GIGO (Garbage In, Garbage Out) paradigm. That is, the quality of your input determines the quality of the resume builder’s output.
Let me reiterate this point again: those words are good enough for you to send to a prospective employer. You must use one of the resume writing guides I linked above to make your resume commercially meaningful and aligned to your target role.