A perfect resume should not only cover all core contents but also adopt a proper file format in when sending your resume or CV. There’s no specific rule for a go-to resume format as resume guidelines can vary depending on countries or professions. You may send your resume in PDF or Word format, or even a video.
However, the resume PDF is increasingly becoming the standard for its own advantages and convenience. Keep on reading to discover when to choose and how to create a resume/CV PDF (free download).
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You may often consider this as the last thing to do when applying for a job, but picking the right resume file format is very important. You'll need a file type that allows recruiters to open and review it on different devices without any of the formats changing.
Additionally, more and more companies are using an ATS (Applicant Tracking System) to collect, sort, scan, and rank the job applications they receive during the hiring process. If the document file format is not ATS-compatible, you may fail to pass the 1st round of screening.
5 different types of resume formats are:
Check out the pros and cons of each resume format below:
Whether you will send your resume as a PDF or any other file type, make sure it matches the instructions given in the job posting. Employers normally mention their preference in the requirements section; therefore, you just need to follow the format they’re asking for. If not, go for the two most popular formats: PDF file format or Word doc.
💡Pro Tip: When sending your resume to the recruiter, don’t forget to tell employers you can provide your resume in other formats if needed.
The job resume file you choose also depends on the way your application process is structured. If you're required to share it directly via a link, a Google Docs file or a digital/online resume will be a safe bet. However, a resume format in PDF or Word will be better for uploading to the system or sending via email.
Don’t panic if there are no specific instructions stated in the job description. You can just contact the hiring manager or recruiter directly to ask about the best resume format to send. This way, you can also demonstrate your curiosity and professionalism, which are considered to be good personal traits.
As mentioned above, some job descriptions will specify what resume/CV file format they prefer. Hence, make sure you go over it carefully and submit the right file type as requested. This way, they can see that you are professional and have read it all.
If you see something like this on the job vacancy you’re applying for, then make sure to send your resume in a PDF format when applying for the job.
Nowadays, many employers prefer a file attachment as they can easily download CVs in PDF. For example, you’re sending your CV/resume by email or applying for the position on the company website or job search sites like LinkedIn. Emails with PDFs are much less likely to be flagged as spam or contain a virus. Hence, sending your resume in PDF format is a safe bet to ensure that the employer will receive your application.
On the other hand, online applications often ask you to upload your resume so that the system can scan it quickly and easily. Similar to job descriptions, it will also be specified which file types are accepted.
If you’re applying for a position in a large company, there’s a high chance that they use ATS to collect and scan thousands of applications. Resumes in Word format have the advantage of beating the bot compared to other file types as specific keywords used in your resume will not be missed.
Some companies still use Microsoft Office as a standard practice and they don’t fancy “cool new technology” yet. That’s why Word format resume is their pick. In some cases, hiring managers also need to make adjustments or take notes on your document. Thus, you should follow their instructions to demonstrate your flexibility and professionalism.
In rare cases, employers may ask you to submit an online/digital resume. That could be a link to your personal website or the site/platform where the resume is created.
If so, they might want to know more about you such as:
Using online resumes is a great way to prove the above things to your potential employers.
There are a few ways and tools that you can use to create a resume in PDF format. Take a look at them below:
With CakeResume’s free online resume builder, you can make your own resume hassle-free with user-friendly tools. First, you need to create a CakeResume account for free. In the dashboard, choose “My Resumes”, click on “Make resume from scratch”, and begin your journey.
Next, select your preferred template and start to insert the text and change the design as well as graphics depending on your personal preferences by using drag-and-drop. Once you’ve done, click on the PDF button to save your resume.
After you select “New File”, type “Resume” in the search box to choose a resume template that you like. Then, start to drop the text into the document and save it in the format you want.
In the upper right of the page, click “Template Gallery” and choose your preferred resume template. Similar to the above tools, you can just fill in the text and save your resume as the file type you want.
💡 Pro tip: It’s highly recommended that you save your resume in PDF format for its own advantages and convenience.
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--- Originally written by May Luong ---