As you search for jobs online, you’ll find that the various job-search platforms and employers have their own rules for file formats. Some require you to submit your information 100% through their platform, and they don’t allow for attachments. Others offer a mix of online forms that you complete and upload attachments. Then, throw into the mix your need for hard copy formats, and what’s a job-seeker to do?
Your best bet is to be prepared by having multiple file formats on hand, so you can quickly and easily upload, email or print your resume. The most universally accepted resume formats are PDF and DOC (Microsoft Word).
Tips for Creating a PDF of Your Resume
PDF stands for portable document format, and it’s the most popular format for displaying documents. PDF files are easy to open and print, and they can be shared between different devices without any problems. They work on PCs, tablets, and smartphones, regardless of operating system (Windows, iOS, etc.).
If you want to make your resume look good onscreen and print, a PDF is the best format. Here are some tips on how to create a PDF resume:
- Choose a good font. You don’t need a fancy typeface to create a PDF resume, but choose a font that looks professional. Arial, Times New Roman, and Helvetica are all good choices.
- Use large margins. Give your resume plenty of space by setting your margins to at least 1 inch all around. This will give you enough room to insert photos and other graphics without them being cropped or distorted. It will also allow your recipients to print your resume, without worrying about cutting off your text.
- Organize your content logically. Keep your content organized by dividing it into sections, as we suggest in this post about entry-level resumes: qualifications summary, education, work experience, and references.
- Use headings and subheadings to help readers navigate your resume. Add headings at the top of each section, and use subheadings to break your content down into more manageable chunks. This will make it easier for someone to find information.
Advantages of PDF Resumes
There are a few formats that can be used when crafting your resume. PDFs are one of the most common, as they are easy to print and can be easily shared. Additionally, PDFs can be edited on a computer, which means that you can make changes and updates without having to re-print the document. This can come in handy if you are on the go and want to quickly update your qualifications statement to highlight skills that are more relevant to potential employers.
Another advantage of PDFs is that they are searchable. And this is very important if your prospective employer uses an applicant tracking system to scan and “read” resumes. ATS is a technology that uses character recognition to sift through resumes to identify applicants who match skill sets.
Additionally, many email programs work best with PDFs as attachments, because they tend to be smaller file sizes. Some email services limit the size of files, so if you have a heavily designed resume with a lot of color and graphics, a PDF format is better.
Advantages of Word Docs for Resumes
Microsoft Word docs are also a great format for resumes because they are easy to edit and can be customized to fit your unique qualifications. They are also readable on almost any device, which makes them a good choice for job seekers who want to share their resumes. Moreover, Word docs can be easily converted to other formats, such as PDF, which makes them ideal for updating, printing and attaching to applications. Like PDFs, Word docs are also searchable, so ATS tools can easily find the information employers need when reviewing hundreds of resumes.
Microsoft Word has been around for a very long time, so it has had many updates over the years. The problem you might run into is that if you send a Word doc to someone and they are using a different version of Word, your resume’s formatting could become a real mess. That’s why experts suggest: First create your resume in Word, then convert your Word doc to a PDF so you have both versions.
PDF Vs Word Doc: Which is Better?
When it comes to resume formats, PDF or Word Doc? The answer is: Both.
PDFs are definitely the most popular format for resumes. They’re easy to print out and share, and they can be easily edited on computers. They also prevent formatting issues when you share them. The PDF’s content is preserved no matter how you share it, regardless of device or software.
Word Docs, on the other hand, are great for creating the file. They can be saved as PDFs, but you also have the option of saving them as Word documents which can be opened in most Microsoft Office programs. Also, many other document editing programs, such as Google Docs, will seamlessly convert your Word documents to Google file formats.
Bottom line: Create your resume in Microsoft Word. Convert it to a PDF and keep both file formats on hand, so no matter what your prospective employer wants, you’ve got a version that works.