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Advice / Job Search / Resumes

The Free Resume Tool That'll Trick People Into Thinking You Paid a Professional to Design It

Updating my resume falls pretty high up on my list of “Least Favorite Things to Do—Ever.” Partly because I find it hard to describe my job in only a few bullets, and partly because I struggle with diversifying the verbs I’m using. But, mostly, successfully formatting it feels similar to giving my water-hating cat a bath. (Tip: Close the bathroom door before you put her in the tub.)

Despite my severe distaste toward this task, though, career experts say it should always be as recent as possible—even if you aren’t currently looking for something new. “A polished resume,” says Erin Greenawald, Senior Editor of Branded Content at The Muse, “can be almost as valuable to you now as it is when you’re in the middle of a job search.” After all, you never know what might happen. But while it’s really easy (and tempting) to file it away and forget it exists, you shouldn’t.

I know—it’s painful enough to do it when you need to, let alone when it doesn’t seem necessary. But I have a secret that’ll make this whole ordeal a lot more tolerable (and kind of fun!).

A few weeks ago, I was making changes to mine (adhering to the rules of the career gods, of course), and I became so frustrated with uncooperative bullet points and confused margins that I resorted to my go-to problem solver—the internet. And, lo and behold, I found this article on five tools to help you. The fourth one—Creddle—suited my purposes perfectly.

So, I tried it. And I’m telling you—if you hate this process as much as I do, this site will rock your world. Here’s why:

Editing Is Really Simple

You no longer have to worry about spacing out dates correctly, nor do you have to spend many tedious minutes placing degrees, job titles, or places of employment in exactly the right spot. Adding things or adjusting them is like filling out a form—you insert what you want to appear, and the placement is automated.

And, you can italicize and bold words, add bullets, and embed links anywhere you need.

You Can Order the Page However You Want

Just graduated from college and want to highlight that at the beginning of the page? You can do that. Or, was school so long ago that it doesn’t feel relevant anymore? No worries—you can move that segment to the bottom.

And you don’t have to utilize every piece, either. While I’ve done some volunteer work here and there, I haven’t been involved with a program long enough to justify showcasing it. So, I put it in the unused section. One day, hopefully I will be giving back to my community more—when that time comes, I can put “Volunteering” back at the top.

You can customize each individual section, as well—Creddle isn’t strict. It allows you as much flexibility as you require to knock this doc out of the park and make it your own.

Imagine doing all of this rearranging in Word (like splitting it into columns—Ha). Not fun. Not fun at all. And one copy and paste mistake can destroy the entire thing.

You Can Choose One of Several Themes to Make it Pretty

OK—this is my favorite part. In with the new, out with the boring. Even after you choose a theme, you can tweak it further by selecting fonts and colors for different components. Though you don’t want to go too crazy. 17 different colors may cause the hiring manager’s eyes to cross—and your application to end up in the trash can.

I’ve honestly never had a more attractive or professional-looking resume. Had I tried to do this on my own, it would’ve been a disaster.

It wasn’t awful before. It just wasn’t that great. And when you’re trying to stand out among hundreds of applicants, that matters more than you think. Also, it was a pain. A big, fat, boring pain.

Case in point: Why is “Present” not on the same line as “November 2015 – ?” And why is everything so crowded?

Basically, I think this resource is pretty increddleble. (Sorry, I had to.) If you try it out, I hope you do, too.

And, FYI—it is free. While they do have the option to upgrade and add on matching cover letters for a fee, everything I described above kept every penny in my wallet.

Photo of person on computer courtesy of Hero Images/Getty Images.