If an employer requests you to send your resume. Always utilize PDFs when submitting your resume online, unless a Word document is specifically requested.
It is important to note that your PDF should not be a scan of an image
The PDF must always include text, and should not be an image or document that has been scanned. One way to test this is to open your PDF using a browser such as Chrome, Adobe Acrobat Reader, or Preview, and determine whether you are able to highlight the entire text. This includes resumes that are designed using tools such as Photoshop or other graphic design software. Avoid this if you submit the resume online. However, scans of resumes don’t get properly read when viewed by Applicant Tracking Systems – AKA automated resume screening software which means your resume won’t even get the attention of a potential employer.
We suggest generating your resume’s PDFs using one of the two options: Word or Google Docs (Free).
Why you should stay with PDF:
- Preservation of format: Word documents and their layouts look different on various versions of Word or operating systems. For instance, your resume which appears as one page on your desktop could look different from two pages on a different machine. It is important to ensure that your resume is displayed correctly across all devices.
- There are many Applicant Tracking Systems that aren’t able to understand Word documents properly. Certain software doesn’t support Word entirely, while others aren’t processing Word files, and can’t understand the fonts correctly when they’re not commonly used fonts.
- The PDF document cannot be changed in the same way as the Word document. If you save an application in Word could expose you to the risk that someone could accidentally (or deliberately) alter the information.
- If you’re employing a font that your employer doesn’t have installed, and you submit the Word document it won’t display in a correct manner rather, it will appear as unique (unreadable Think of”Wingdings) fonts on the computers of their employees.
- Also, not all computers have Office installed. For example, the recruiter or hiring manager may be working with a computer that isn’t fully configured. If they do not have Office installed, they won’t be able to read your resume. In contrast, PDFs can be opened directly through email or the browser, making them available across all platforms.