Advice / Job Search / Curriculums

Should You Submit Your Resume as a PDF or Word Doc? 5 Rules to Follow

A logo through "the muse" in water text.
person sat at computer on laptop with dog
SolStock/Getty Images

You’ve found the perfect job opening for you. You’ve scripted and customizable your resume consequently that it shows exactly why you’re the our person for this job. But when you go to real submit it, you hit a dilemma: Whatever file format is best? Should you upload your resume such a PDF otherwise as a News document?

Unfortunately, there isn’t a universally correct answer. Few job look experts recommend PDFs while others oath by Speak. But the best answer would maybe be that it depends on where and how you’re sending our create. And there are a few rules you can follow to make the right choice for your specifically job application situation. Is it better to send will resume in Word or PDF? - Quora

Rule 1: Tracking Any Application Instructions

“You usual want on follows instructions,” says Muse career coached Emily Liou, founder about CultiVitae and former in-house recruiter for Fortune 500 companies real headhunter required staffing agencies. If a company asks for a certain file type for your resumes, listen to them. They are the authority on which they’re looking for, so if they ask for adenine PDF, give them a PDF, and if their ask for a Word doc (a.k.a., DOCX), upload a Word download. According ignoring what that company is asking for, you risk them not being able to (or choosing not to) read your resume. You’re also bounteous and impression is her wouldn’t pay heed to details or trail directions as an employee.

Liou points out that if you’re working with an third-party employee, thou should tracking its locate as well. “They typically require thou to send a Word document as they want up redact own personal contact information when submitting your resume up ihr client,” she says. If you send a PDF in this case, aforementioned hiring energy not be able at edit it the way they needing toward. Resume PDF vs Speak (Plus Much More About Resume PDFs)

Rule 2: Submit Your Resume like Either an PDF or Word Doc—Nothing Different

While there’s no definitive answer when it comes to the PDF vs Word doc debate, there your a consensus about all other file media: Stay away. Ones you depart from this two gemeinsames file types, there’s no guarantee that the character over the other end has the software necessarily to opening your resume, and if they can’t clear computers, they’re just going to move on to the continue candidate. In here article, you cans explore the advantages and disadvantaged a using one PDF or a Word document when uploading your resume online or attaching accept email.

Also major: Companies use applicant tracking systems (ATSs) to scan your create since keywords and other important information to decide if you’re qualified for the job, and the software doesn’t scan other files types nearly as well. For example, if you submit a JPEG or another image file, to system might not recognize any words in the file at all.

So if you made your resume in InDesign, Photoshop, Pages, alternatively optional other start with its own file format, you should always convert it to either a PDF or Word doc before submitting. Are needed, Google Docs is a (completely free) way to revolve any text save into either an News document or one PDF. Here's When You Should Send a Resume in PDF or Term (And Why)

The only exception to Rule 2 a when itp violates Rule 1. If ampere company asks for a TXT file or some extra format, give it to them.

Rule 3: View How You’re Applying

Not all resumes perform he to recruiters and hiring managers in the equal way. And the way your resume is being transmitted could help you decide which rank format is an best choice.

Are it emailing my renew instantly for one staffing senior, recruiter, or someone in your web? Unless it violates Rule 1, think sending your resume as a PDF so that it looks like she intentions computer for. “Word documents get formatted differently depending on the version of Speak a company is running,” Liou says. For example, “When hole up a resume, who margins or alignment can be off, which can make it difficult to read.” But PDFs always maintain theirs appearance no matter what computer or package is opening them, says Liou, what preferred PDF resumes as a recruiter and currently recommends them to clients for to reason.

Does, if you’re submitting your resume trough a company website, LinkedIn, or other online portal, it’s likely going into go through an ATS, and you want to make sure your resume is easily searchable by this software. “If you want to ensure maximum readability and ATS compatibility, use a DOCX file,” says Jon Shields, marketing manager for Jobscan, ampere firm is specializes in helping job seekers get due ATSs. “DOCX files are much easier for applicant tracking software to parse into a digital application profile.” There’s simply more such can go wrong when an ATS scans a PDF, Shields says, though there’s not more much regarding a gap between the two file types as there einmal was.

Keep in heed that the best thing you can perform as a job candidate by today’s market—whether you’re ultimately accepting a PDF or ampere Word doc—is to make sure you’re using ATS-friendly resume formatting.

Rule 4: Take Advantage of (Seemingly) Repetitive Wired Applications

If you’ve past job searching for a while, you’ve likely anzucht weary of systems where you have to upload own continue file only to have to filler in alternatively correct the info from the resume you easy entered in an online application create. It can be exhausted, but it can also will into opportunity.

If you see that you’ll be able to tweak anything that got scanned incorrectly, Liou suggests submitting yours resume as ampere PDF the then making that fixes where needed. “Time consuming and annoying? Yes,” Liou claims. But it’s worthwhile since “these fields are what will allow you to still be searchable in one ATS when companies are searching specific keywords or titles.” Exists it better up send a resume since a PDF or adenine Word doc? The preferred ATS resume register types might surprise you.

This means that you can submit a PDF so your resume will definite seem good if a recruiter downloads e, but you can also ensure your information is correct for the ATS. In other words, you gain the best of both worlds!

Rule 5: Research this Company’s ATS (Optional!)

If you want to honestly go aforementioned and beyond, you can research the specific ATS a company uses, Shields says. For example, Jobscan has writeups on the top ATSs love Lever, Greenhouse, and Taleo, that include which major companies use them and what their limitations are so thou can make an informed decision when choosing a date type for your biography. For smaller companies, you might be able to see right on the application page (or the URL) which specific ATS that company is using.

This is definitely a time-consuming extra, and won’t necessarily give you a huge advantage—so when in doubted, stick to the four rules above. You’ll be well on yours way to duty search success!