The way they work is that a resume builder steps you through the process of building your resume, then compiles your personal information into a formatted resume that you can print out on your computer. You answer questions (name, address, employers, jobs, education, etc.) or fill in the information in a resume template and the resume builder will compile the information into a printable resume and format it.
Using a Printable Resume Builder
They don't all work exactly the same way, but basically, you fill in the blanks with your personal information and employment history and the resume builder creates a resume for you. A resume builder can help you with resume writing, but it makes sense to edit the finished product and to be sure that the format looks professional and that the resume reflects the best resume format for your personal circumstances.
Take the time to customize your resume for the jobs you are applying for and to carefully proofread your resume.
When you're satisfied with the final version of your resume, you can print it out either directly from the web site where you created or in Microsoft Word or another word processing program.
Online Resume Hosting
Some resume builders provide a resume that is available on the web. A URL for the resume is created when the resume is created. Depending on the site, you may be able to select a custom URL for your resume i.e. resumebuilder.com/yourname.htm.
Exporting Your Resume
Again, depending on the resume building site you use, your resume may be able to be exported to a variety of formats (Word, PDF, RTF, text, etc.) which can be emailed and printed to share with employers and networking contacts.
Some sites provide an option to create or translate your resume into a variety of languages.
Check the Options Before You Start to Build Your Resume
Before you start using a resume builder, check to make sure there isn't a fee to print. Some resume web sites let you create a resume online, but there's a charge to print. Others only let you use your resume within their system, but you can't export it.
Check to see what options are available and decide if those options are what you need. It's easier to spend some time researching alternatives upfront than it is to create a resume online and have to start over because the finished product isn't what you anticipated or need.
Also, some services charge for "premium" services like fancy resume templates and additional export options. So, be careful to make sure what is actually free, when you are checking out free resume sites.
Free Resume Builders
Resume Builder Sites
Directory of online resume sites with a variety of resume building and export options.
Free Creative Resume Builder Websites
An online creative resume can be a great option for highlighting your skills and experience in a way that is visually appealing. Check out these free websites you can use to design, build, store and share a creative resume.
Resume Site Reviews
Read resume site reviews contributed by About.com readers and add your review to the list.
ResumeMaker provides a structured step by step "resume wizard" for users. ResumeMaker produces fully formatted documents prompting users to enter information in selected fields.Finished resumes can be saved and printed from the site. The basic version is free, there's a fee for the premium version.
Emurse's free resume builder provides users with a tool to design, create, and manage their resume online.
JobSpice is a simple, easy-to-use resume builder you can use to create a resume you can share or convert to a PDF.
You can use ResumeBucket's free printable resume builder to create a resume online, then share it and/or print as PDF or Word document.
Microsoft Resume Templates
Microsoft resume templates are available as a free download for Microsoft Word users, or available within your Word program, to use to build a resume. Once you've created your resume, you'll have a printable version.
More Resume Builders
More Resume builder sites you can use to create a resume. Some of these sites charge, but they are offering additional services for the price and they are clear about pricing upfront.