This is how to decide on the appropriate file format to your resume


Deciding what sort of file format to submit your resume in is a choice normally made on the final minute — or by no means.

However recruiters agree it is extra vital than job seekers assume. Submitting your resume within the improper file format might make it seem distorted or, worse, unreadable to hiring managers — successfully ruining your probabilities of securing a brand new job.

CNBC Make It spoke with a number of recruiters who agreed there are a couple of guidelines each applicant ought to observe.

Do not use obscure codecs together with .txt, .rtf, .pages and even .docx, as not everybody has the most recent model of Microsoft Phrase. Utilizing one among these codecs might lead to a hiring supervisor not having the ability to open or learn your resume, says Allyson Goodman, CEO and co-founder of the Pyramid Consulting Group.

By no means scan your resume into your pc utilizing a printer, scanner or fax machine, says Brie Reynolds, senior profession specialist at FlexJobs. She calls this a “deadly mistake,” partially as a result of the low high quality picture file makes your resume troublesome to learn.

Granger Wootz/Getty Pictures

With these eventualities eradicated the query stays: Must you ship your resume as a PDF or a doc?

Submitting your resume as a PDF is (nearly at all times) your finest guess

In the event you’re submitting to a small firm or on to an individual by way of e mail, a PDF is the best way to go.

Submitting your resume as a doc does not assure your resume will look the identical means it does to you. In the event you’re utilizing a singular font or difficult formatting, for instance, your resume could look completely totally different when opened on one other individual’s pc.

“We like a PDF model, because it codecs the resume nicer,” Goodman says.

In the event you’re sending your software by means of an organization software web site, the reply is a little more difficult.

Many recruiters depend on one thing known as an “ATS,” which stands for applicant monitoring system. Many giant and mid-size corporations use them to ingest a whole bunch of functions in an easy-to-review format for hiring managers.

These methods usually rank submissions by the variety of key phrase matches the system finds. For instance, a resume for a pc programmer place that included the phrases “pc programming, Java and HTML” would rank extra extremely than resumes with out these phrases. To rank candidates, the software program must “learn” your resume, or extract the textual content from it.

Till just lately, some ATS methods weren’t in a position to learn textual content from PDF recordsdata. This has made the doc format the longtime favourite alternative, says Carolyn Thompson, government recruiter and Managing Principal at Merito Group. Thompson encourages job candidates to submit their resume as a doc simply to be secure.

However others argue that in at present’s digital age, sending your resume by PDF is okay, as long as it does not include pictures or different “non-traditional” formatting.

If making use of by means of an organization web site, keep away from difficult formatting

“Most applicant monitoring methods have advanced to the purpose the place each file sorts are equally readable, as long as the knowledge is structured in a legible format,” says Confirmed Recruiting CEO and co-founder Louis Tune. “This wasn’t the case two to 3 years in the past, however AI and machine studying have considerably improved recruiting software program capabilities.”

However Tune notes that a couple of issues stay unreadable, together with “tables, headers, graphics or multi-column formatting.”

Your resume should highlight this one key trait

In the event you resolve to submit your resume as PDF, be certain that it is saved in a typical resume format and is “readable,” that means a system can rip the textual content from it. To make sure that yours is readable, merely verify when you can spotlight strains of textual content from it. In the event you can, you are all set. If you cannot, an ATS system will not have the ability to learn it.

Return to your unique resume file, reserve it as a doc after which reserve it as a PDF.

Tailor your format to the recipient

In the event you’re nervous that that the corporate you are making use of to could have an older ATS system, then you possibly can play it secure.

“When doubtful, submit a doc file to applicant monitoring methods and a PDF to recruiters,” Reynolds says.

This ensures your data will get scanned correctly in a monitoring system and on the identical time seems precisely the best way you’d prefer it to when being reviewed by an precise human.

Or however, when you’ve used a singular font or need to be certain that different particulars of your resume seem to your hiring supervisor precisely as they do to you, you possibly can go along with a PDF file. Simply be certain that you haven’t any pictures or a number of columns, which might throw off the resume-reading software program.

“In the event you’re making use of on-line,” Tune says, “it is best to play it secure and prioritize the accessibility of your data over an fascinating design.”

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