You’re looking for the best candidates for your open position, and only the best. You want candidates who can handle the challenges of the job, and you want those who demonstrate long-term goals that align with those of your company. And of course, you also want charming team players who are easy to work with.
But in today’s tight labor market, the best of the best are often employed and not actively looking for a new gig. That means that you can’t just add your job posting to a job board and expect your next all-star hire to come a-knocking. Rather, you need to be proactive and make the effort to find resumes online—and then approach those candidates.
Luckily there are several reliable free resume search sites that can offer what you’re looking for. We’ve narrowed down eight of the best in the list below. In order to get the most out of these sites, keep a few things in mind:
- All of these sites offer at least some limited services for absolutely nothing—as in, not one cent. However, many of them do begin to charge after you’ve viewed a certain number of resumes or used their services for a certain length of time. So do be wary of future costs.
- Check the resume posting dates as you search to make sure you aren’t pursuing a candidate who left the marketplace a long time ago.
- Finally, check which of the free resume search sites employ some form of relevancy matching, which means that they use an algorithm to present you with candidate resumes that most closely match the requirements of your job posting.
When you’re ready to launch your search without overstretching your budget, start here!
Your first stop on the path to hiring success: MightyRecruiter. This comprehensive, user-friendly free resume search site merely requires that you sign up for a free trial, and once you’re in the system, you’ll be able to sift through a huge database of over 20 million resumes. The site’s sophisticated algorithm ensures appropriate job posting-candidate matches, and you can view up to 10 resumes on your trial subscription. Views include contact information, so you can reach out directly to the candidates who spark your interest. Not to mention, MightyRecruiter’s simple filters allow you to use a range of criteria and keywords to unearth top candidate resumes.
Jobvertise is a free resume search site that offers three plan options for employers, and while the price increases as plan features expand, the “Basic” option won’t cost a thing. With this free plan, you can view up to 10 resumes per day, and if you decide to upgrade and choose a higher cost option, you can view more resumes per day as well as candidate phone numbers and email addresses. (The most expensive plan costs $89 per month and allows 150 resume viewings per day. The easily searchable Jobvertise database includes resumes across a wide range of diverse industries, and the platform purports to add 20,000 resumes to its database each month.
If you aren’t familiar with one of the oldest and most established community boards on the internet, it’s time to get acquainted (or reacquainted) with Craigslist. As it has for more than a decade, Craigslist offers direct communication between employers and jobseekers. To access the free resume search site on this platform, just click on your own city and then check the bottom corner of the homepage for the ‘Resumes’ tab. Each resume you find will be time stamped, so you can make sure your candidates have recently posted and are still searching. Furthermore, many candidates include their contact information with their resume; however, even if they don’t, you can use the Craigslist ‘Reply’ button to communicate directly with jobseekers via a Craigslist email address.
This free resume search site collects revenue from advertisers, not from users, which means free access for both jobseekers and hiring managers. The site is easy to navigate and easy to use, but JobSpider’s resume database isn’t quite as vast as those of other sites, since it only contains resumes posted by site users. All the same, you can review as many resumes as you like and contact as many candidates as you like, all free of charge. Do keep in mind that the site doesn’t release candidate contact information, so you need to use a sourcing plugin, like ContactOut, to find a probable email address—or you can use the web form on JobSpider to send a direct message to the resume owner.
This visually beautiful site targets a very specific segment of the hiring market: those who need candidates with an eye for design and the visual arts. If you’re looking for photographers, illustrators, or graphic designers, you’ve come to the right place, since the free resume search site allows these creative pros to showcase samples of their work. Sift through one gallery after another until you find a candidate with a portfolio and a vision that match your needs. Behance is a business unit within Adobe, so you’ll need an Adobe account to sign in. As an employer or project manager, you can use the “Discover” tab to explore the projects of various creative pros once you’re signed in. Enter your search terms, find portfolios you like, then appreciate the project, follow the creator, or add the work to a collection. If you like what you see, you can use the contact information on the site to reach out via an internal messaging center.
You may already recognize the Indeed brand as a great resource for job posting, but the platform also serves hiring managers and recruiters though “Indeed Resume”, which provides employer access to a large free resume search site. Review as many resumes as you choose, but be ready to pay one dollar for each candidate you decide to contact. If you’re a “featured employer”, you can connect for free.
The ActiveHire free resume search site can provide employers with one-stop access to resumes that have been gathered from over 115,000 online sources. Simply register for access or sign in if you already have an account, and you can start filtering resumes using search terms. Like many similar sites, ActiveHire allows free access at the basic end of the spectrum and charges a fee for more complex services. In this case, the site controls product options based on the number of users. If you’d like site privileges for only one user, sign on and access the service for free. As the number of users expands, the price increases accordingly. The “Professional” package provides access for five, and “Enterprise Plus” allows an unlimited number of users. If you’re a one-person operation, this site provides an invaluable resource, since thousands of jobseekers visit the site and its affiliates every day.
ZipRecruiter charges a monthly fee to employers who want access to its enormous resume database, but if you sign up for service and agree to the terms, you’ll start with a free four-day trial that you cancel at any time. During your free trial, you’ll be able to review and download up to 50 resumes. Visit the site for specific terms and conditions.