Any job seeker will tell you that having a great resume is critical to the success of the hunt. It’s the tool that can get you in the door for an interview. At one time, building a resume was a somewhat daunting process. But today, countless apps are available to help you. We’ll focus here on five of the best choices.

Note: This article is also available as a screenshot gallery.

1: Easy Resume Creator Pro

Easy Resume Creator Pro (Figure A) is designed to assist with the resume creation process. Admittedly, this tool received less than stellar reviews on the download site above, and the first review I saw called it a “horrible, horrible program.” Even so, I really like this application. Its wizard-driven interface guides you through the process of creating a resume based on your level of experience and on your preferred resume type. The program also provides resume samples for specific fields, such as IT and engineering.

Figure A

Easy Resume Creator Pro sells for #34.95, but a free trial version is available for download.

2: JobTabs Free Resume Builder

JobTabs Free Resume Builder (Figure B) is a resume creation app that, despite being free, is significantly better than some of the paid tools I have tried over the years. The interface could probably be best described as a fill-in-the-blank form.

Figure B

The main thing I like about this app is that it is extraordinarily simple to use and allows for the creation of multiple resume styles. JobTabs also includes a nice thesaurus, with an onscreen verb list for easy reference. For example, the Communications Skills section lists words such as composed and clarified.

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3: Career Igniter Resume Builder

Career Igniter Resume Builder (Figure C) is also free. It’s best suited to those who are relatively new to the job market. The nice thing about this app is that it is super easy to use. It provides a tabbed interface, with each tab containing a series of basic fields to fill in.

Figure C

The disadvantage is that the application is limiting. It doesn’t allow for multiple resume styles or for an extensive list of certifications or work experience. Even so, it has its place. Career Igniter is a good choice for those who are just starting out and need to create a resume simply and easily.

4: All Purpose Resumes

All Purpose Resumes (Figure D) is another lightweight resume tool, although not as lightweight as Career Igniter. It doesn’t include as many features as some of the competing apps, but I like its approach. It includes forms you can populate with your own information and offers sample resumes, cover letters, and thank-you letters. The best part is that the program can customize these sample documents using the information you provide.

Figure D

All Purpose Resumes sells for $15, but a free trial version is available for download.

5: Multimedia Resume Maker

Multimedia Resume Maker (Figure E) takes a completely different approach from the other tools on this list. Whereas those other apps are designed to create traditional resumes, this one lets you create a multimedia resume. Using this tool, you can build resumes that feature words, photos, and even background music.

Figure E

All in all, this application seems a bit gimmicky. It focuses almost exclusively on creating multimedia, with little resume-related guidance. I decided to include it here because I have always admired creativity–and this app lends itself well to the creative process. Even so, getting a potential employer to install the viewer and watch the presentation may be difficult.

Multimedia Resume Maker sells for $39.95, but a free trial version is available for download.

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Other picks?

What resume tools have helped you in our job searches? Share your recommendations with fellow TechRepublic members.