CV builders are valuable time savers in the job application process. Instead of sweating over your CV’s layout for hours, you can use an online CV maker to produce a colourful, well-formatted CV in just a few minutes.

However, not all CV builders have the same features. In fact, some are free, others cost money, and a few are much better than the rest at CV formatting and generating content. We’ve built CVs using each major UK CV builder and reviewed their features, pricing, and pros and cons.

Here’s a table view of the results if you’re pressed for time, or you can skip ahead to read full reviews:

The 10 Best CV Builders in the UK

Builder NameOverall RatingFree/Paid?Number of TemplatesFile FormatsMobile App?
1. CV Genius★★★★☆Paid15 templates in 7 coloursTXT free; PDF and DOCX behind paywallYes
2. LiveCareer★★★★☆Paid41 templates in 25 coloursTXT, PDF, and DOCX behind paywallYes
3. MyPerfectCV★★★★☆Paid32 templates in 25 coloursTXT, PDF, and DOCX behind paywallYes, but defaults to US version
4. Resume.io★★★★☆Paid27 templates in 5 coloursPDF behind paywall; No TXT or DOCXYes
5. Zety★★★☆☆Paid18 templates in 24 coloursTXT free; PDF and DOCX behind paywallYes, but defaults to US version
6. CV Library★★★☆☆Free1 templatePDF free; no TXT or DOCXYes, but need to be in UK or use UK VPN
7. Student Job★★☆☆☆Free4 templates in 7 coloursPDF free; no TXT or DOCXYes
8. Barclays★★☆☆☆Free1 templateDOCX free; no TXT or PDFYes
9. Reed★★☆☆☆Free1 templateDOCX free; no TXT or PDFYes
10. CV Maker★☆☆☆☆Paid9 templates in 5 coloursUnclear from site whether PDF or DOCX available after paymentYes

1. CV Genius

Although we helped design it, we do think the CV Genius CV maker has a friendly interface that welcomes you to create your application document.

You can choose to create a CV from scratch or upload an existing CV. Uploading an existing CV will autofill the builder with the information you’ve already written, after which you can tailor the contents of your CV for the specific job opportunity.

The CV Genius CV builder also provides a range of colourful templates to pick from (15 templates, to be exact, in seven colour variations). So you’ll be able to choose the template that suits your personality and the job you’re looking for. Like many CV builders on the market, you can play around with your CV as much as you like for free, but you’ll have to pay to download it in PDF or DOCX formats (a TXT version can be downloaded for free).

If you decide to use the CV Genius Maker to build your CV, access to the site’s cover letter builder is also included in the subscription. Building a cover letter to accompany your CV will show the employer that you put extra effort into your work and are enthusiastic about the job opportunity.

Here’s a look at CV Genius’s interface:

Pros

  • Beautiful, applicant-friendly interface
  • Hundreds of pre-written bullet points
  • Additional builder included to help you write your cover letter

Cons

  • Slightly fewer CV templates than some competitors
  • Needs to be tweaked to fully adapt to British audience (language, education section)
Best Pricing Option

Pick the £2.90 subscription option for a fortnight, and you’ll have access to unlimited CVs and cover letters while your subscription is active.

Final rating: ★★★★☆

Reasoning: CV Genius has a lovely interface and although a few Americanisms have slipped in, it builds an effective CV for you. It’d get 5 stars if it was fully Britishised (as of reading this review, they’re working on it).

2. LiveCareer

LiveCareer follows CV Genius’s example and includes a full library of vibrant CV templates for you to pick from. LiveCareer offers unique 41 templates, each available in 25 colour variations, meaning you have 1,025 options to choose from.

However, the builder initially only offers five templates on launching. So make sure you click ‘See All Templates’ at the bottom of the page.

Like CV Library, LiveCareer live previews your CV as you build it. The interface is straightforward, but like CV Genius, the education section part of the builder isn’t fully optimised for UK qualifications. For example, you can enter ‘GCSE’ but then there’s only space for one subject, whereas most UK students have 8–12 GCSEs. There’s also no way to include a grade or degree classification.

A nice touch is when you come to your skills section, the maker will autosuggest some key skills for the job you entered in your work experience. If you agree, they’ll appear on your CV automatically, or you can pick from other pre-written bullet points yourself.

Here’s how LiveCareer’s interface and sample finalised CV look:

Pros

  • 41 unique template designs
  • Well-thought-out interface
  • Preloads content depending on your job title

Cons

  • All content hidden behind paywall, even TXT, which other sites do provide for free
  • Doesn’t fully accommodate for the UK education system
  • Garish builder colour scheme
Best Pricing Option

We suggest you pick the $2.85 (approx. £2.30) option, download your document, and set a reminder to cancel your subscription before it autorenews for $19.85 (~£16) a fortnight later.

Final rating: ★★★★☆

Reasoning: A solid contender, LiveCareer makes creating a CV online a cinch. To score 5 stars it’d need to better adapt its builder to the UK education system.

3. MyPerfectCV

Another good online CV builder is hosted on MyPerfectCV.co.uk. If you’re looking for a big selection of UK-specific CV templates, My Perfect CV is a good shout. They have 32 templates each with 25 colours to choose from, so you’re certainly spoilt for choice when it comes to personalising your CV.

My Perfect CV’s interface is sleek and modern, featuring a built-in spell-checker and formatting adjustments for font sizes, indentations, and line spacing.

The work experience, education, and skills section builders are easy to navigate. However, it would be nice if My Perfect CV had a live preview that updated automatically as you added information (both CV Genius and LiveCareer offer this feature).

Furthermore, My Perfect CV would benefit from localising its education section for users in the UK. School and college level qualifications (e.g., A-Levels and GCSEs) are difficult to format correctly using the current design.

We’ve added a few screenshots to show you My Perfect CV in action:

Pros

  • 825 template variations available
  • Customise page spacing, sizing, fonts, font colours, everything you could ever want

 

Cons

  • No PDF or DOCX file until you pay
  • Customisation options can be overwhelming if you’re not a professional designer
Best Pricing Option

After you’re happy with your completed CV, pay £2.95 to download your CV in PDF, TXT, or DOCX format. My Perfect CV lets you cancel within 14 days, and even offers to refund the initial subscription charge if you’re unhappy with your CV.

Final rating: ★★★★☆

Reasoning: Great for users who love customisation.

4. Resume.io

Despite being a resume builder, not a CV builder, Resume.io’s software works for UK applications because it includes the option to set your country. After that, you can either type your own personal statement and work experience or select from pre-written content based on the job you held.

Unsure how a resume compares with a CV? A resume is a one-page document used by less-experienced applicants, while a CV is usually two or more pages. If you need to write a resume, first look at good resume examples to get ideas.

Resume.io features a live preview function that displays your CV on the right-hand side so you can see it take shape as you enter your information.

The only nag we have is that some of the Resume.io templates are not available to download as DOCX files. If you use a PDF-only template, you’ll need an open subscription to edit it, which is expensive in the long run.

Take a look at Resume.io’s offerings:

Pros

  • Can see changes to your CV in real time
  • No hidden subscription tricks

Cons

  • Limited DOCX compatibility
  • Not fully localised for the UK
Best Pricing Option

Each of the three pricing options are non-recurring, unlike the other CV builders we reviewed. The cheapest deal is $3.90 (around £3) for 24 hours’ access to your CV as a downloadable PDF, and there’s no need to set a reminder to cancel recurring payments.

 

Final rating: ★★★★☆

Reasoning: Resume.io lets you see your CV being built in real time, and has a transparent and fair pricing scheme. Despite technically being a resume builder, you can create a professional CV with it.

5. Zety

Zety’s CV builder is easy to use, but better for job applicants with a few years of work experience.

Though the builder design is fairly simple, the Zety builder is pretty straightforward for a first-time user, providing writing tips as you work through each of your CV sections.

Unfortunately, some oversights with the Zety builder could make it tricky for UK users to format their CVs professionally. For example, there’s no way to enter multiple A-Levels under a single education section entry, which can make your CV look long and repetitive.

On the other hand, Zety allows you to add extra sections to your CV, such as hobbies and interests and language skills, so you can present yourself as a more well-rounded job candidate.

Here’s how to use Zety:

Pros

  • Modern design
  • Lets you add UK-standard sections like hobbies and interests

Cons

  • By default, you’re building a resume (not a CV)
  • Unsuited for UK educational qualifications
Best Pricing Option

To obtain your completed document, you’ll need to pay $2.70 (about £2.20) and remember to cancel your subscription within a fortnight. You can download a TXT file for free though.

Final rating: ★★★☆☆

Reasoning: Too many Americanisms to be a good option for the UK.

Build My CV Now

6. CV Library

With thousands of jobs available on CV Library, the website is an excellent place to look for a job.

Understandably then, the CV Library builder is an addition to their site rather than the centrepiece.

Because of that, they only offer one template, and there are no colour options, so your CV may end up looking identical to the CVs of this site’s other users — which could be a problem for you, given CV Library’s popularity in the UK.

As a free tool, you can download your CV as a PDF without paying, but there’s no DOCX option, meaning you can’t edit your CV without logging back onto their platform.

The plus side of using CV Library is that you can see your CV being updated in real-time as you add information. CV Library uses a unique interface where you enter your details on the left-hand side while the right-hand side displays your in-progress CV.

This viewpoint makes it easy to see how your CV is turning out. But it’d be cooler if CV Library had more CV templates so you could switch between them while making your CV to see how different designs could make your information stand out.

Another downside is that it’s impossible to edit CV Library’s pre-written content, except for your CV’s summary. That fact means you’ll either need to write your own content — which defeats the purpose of using a CV maker — or put up with CV Library’s vaguely written content.

Here’s CV Library’s interface and their template:

Pros

  • Fully free
  • Unique interface
  • Downloadable PDF available

Cons

  • Only one template available
  • Few pre-written content available, especially for less common jobs
  • No other file formats to download
Access Options

CV Library is free, but you can only download your CV as a PDF.

Final rating: ★★★☆☆

Reasoning: CV Library only has one template on offer, so you might struggle to stand out among a crowd of applicants.

7. Student Job

The Student Job builder is available in several European languages, perfect if you want to make a CV in French, Spanish, German, Swedish, or Dutch.

Unfortunately, there are only four template choices, so you won’t be able to customise your CV’s design as much as with other builders.

Student Job’s builder might be visually appealing, but there is little CV writing advice to help you along.

As with other similar free CV builders, Student Job doesn’t offer any pre-written content, which is a key advantage of using most premium CV makers. So if you’re OK with writing your CV yourself, you may find it easier to download a blank CV template for free.

Here’s a look at this builder’s interface:

Pros

  • Interface and CV building available in several languages
  • Targeted to first-time job writers

Cons

  • No DOCX support
  • Clunky, slow interface
Access Options

Like CV Library, Student Jobs is free, but you’re limited to a PDF download.

Final rating: ★★☆☆☆

Reasoning: No pre-written content already means Student Job scores lowly. Its clunky design and lack of customisation weakens its appeal. It’s only handy if you need a CV in a foreign language.

8. Barclays

Barclays’ builder’s welcome page states that it takes 60–90 minutes to build your CV using their software. After testing the tool, it’s clear why: there’s no auto-generated content or writing support.

However, you can connect your Facebook and Instagram to the tool to populate your CV with content, which might help with filling out your basic information — so long as your account information is professional and accurate.

Barclay’s software also includes the option to add a CV photo. However, we recommend not adding a photo to your CV unless the job calls for it because you want to avoid potential employer discrimination.

The education section builder is the one thing that Barclays get absolutely right. You can add each GCSE, A-Level, and higher degree, with a grade for each subject.

Here’s some advice on using Barclay’s builder:

Pros

  • Clearly a site that wants to teach young job hunters how to create a CV
  • Perfect UK education section builder

Cons

  • Makes the CV creation process long and repetitive
  • Little support if you’re not great at writing CVs and don’t learn from their site
Access Options

Barclays’ builder is free, but you’re limited to a DOCX file. There’s no PDF available, although it’s simple to save a DOCX file as a PDF.

Final rating: ★★☆☆☆

Reasoning: A site that teaches skills to teens, Barclays understandably wants to teach students how to write a CV, a laudable goal. But the builder isn’t practical unless you already know how to produce a quality CV on your own.

9. Reed

Reed offers a basic CV maker. As this is a job search website like CV Library, it’s understandable that their CV builder is a secondary concern.

Unlike its competitors, there are no pre-written bullet points for you to build your work experience section from. You must also write your own personal statement because Reed’s builder doesn’t generate one for you either.

In contrast to other CV builders, Reed lets you download your CV as a DOCX file, so you can download it and edit to your heart’s content.

Here’s a peek at the Reed CV maker experience:

Pros

  • CV available in Microsoft Word format for free
  • Provides guidance on filling out CV sections

Cons

  • No pre-written content available
  • Basic black-and-white template won’t help you stand out
Access Options

Your Reed-built CV is free, but you’ll only have access to a DOCX file.

Final rating: ★★☆☆☆

Reasoning: Reed’s CV builder walks users through the process of making a CV but doesn’t provide content generation features, making it take longer to use.

10. CV Maker

CV Maker don’t seem to know what a resume is because they vary between calling the document a CV and a resume.

This site mistakenly targets US users because it asks for a ZIP code (although you can cheat and enter a postcode). However, even for US job applications, the builder quality is poor, containing many basic errors. For example, the default city is incorrectly capitalised as ‘San francisco’,

The builder also asks for information you shouldn’t put on a CV, like your nationality, gender, and marital status. Adding nonessential personal information to your CV (particularly information about your identity) encourages employer discrimination and makes your CV look less professional.

Other than that, this CV builder lets you type out your own ‘resume summary’ (CV summary), work experience section, and skills section rather than providing ready-made content. Nine templates are available, and the pricing is set at $1.95 (~£1.60), which is expensive since many other CV makers provide pre-written content and more templates for a similar price).

To save you time and money, we recommend you download a free simple CV template and fill it in yourself for a document that looks concise and appropriate for a job application.

Here’s what CV Maker’s platform looks like:

Pros

  • Nine templates
  • Simple, uncluttered design

Cons

  • No pre-written content
  • Targets Americans
  • Non-HR approved questions
Best Pricing Option

CV Maker charges you $1.95 (~£1.60) for its services.

Final rating: ★☆☆☆☆

Reasoning: No pre-written content, not adapted for the UK market, and asks inappropriate questions.

Another CV builder that doesn’t offer any prewritten suggestions is Canva. However, you may find some Canva CV templates useful for writing your own CV from scratch.

Paid vs. free CV builders: the summary

As you can see, paid apps occupy the top spots among the UK’s top 10 CV builders. Although some of the free builders offer some powerful features, the paid apps have the best features, the most pre-written content, and the most customisable templates.

With a little savvy manipulation of the subscription deals, you can download a great CV — and potentially boost your job hunt — for just a couple of quid, less than a cup of coffee.

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Written by

Samuel Johns

Samuel Johns is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW), recruiting manager, and lead career counsellor on the CV Genius team, with almost 5 years of experience in the career space. He has helped countless job hunters craft high-quality CVs and cover letters, exceed expectations at interviews, and obtain their dream jobs. Born and raised in County Durham in the beautiful North East of England, he graduated with a BA (Hons) in French Language and Literature from the University of Bristol in 2013 and has worked in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, London, Paris, and Taipei as a French–English translator. He’s determined to use his native English and fluent French skills to help UK and French candidates get the jobs they deserve. In addition to the British and French versions of CV Genius, Samuel’s job-hunt advice has been published on numerous websites, including Careers.org, the University of Warwick, the Enterprisers Project, and HR.com. If you’d like to collaborate, please reach out to Samuel through LinkedIn. Please note, we don’t accept guest posts and won’t reply to such requests.