Should My Resume be Submitted in PDF or Word | Expert Advice

You may be unsure whether to submit your resume in PDF or Word format once you’ve refined your resume and are ready to apply for a job. Despite the benefits and drawbacks of both, you should send your resume as a PDF in most cases.

The most important thing is to follow the directions given by the employer. In many cases, the job posting specifies how to send your resume. In these situations, strictly adhere to the rules.

If they request a Word resume, send a Word resume; if they request a PDF resume (or if they don’t specify), send a PDF resume.

There were several reasons why sending a Word resume was preferable in the past. However, most of them are no longer valid.

When sending your CV, it is critical to make the greatest possible first impression. PDFs also seem more professional and are easier to post, as job search gurus such as LinkedIn can verify.

Whether you use a.pdf or.doc resume format, using a resume builder is an excellent approach to create attractive resumes.

You will also receive expert advice on how to submit your resume in either pdf or word format.

What is a PDF Document?

The abbreviation PDF stands for “portable document format.” The format is used when you need to store files that can’t be changed but still need to be shared and printed simply.

Almost everyone has a version of Adobe Reader or another tool that can read PDF files on their computer these days.

Important: You can’t convert a PDF file back to a Microsoft Office file format without specialized software or a third-party add-in once you’ve saved it as a PDF file.

What is a Word Document?

According to Computer Hope, Microsoft Word, often known as Winword, MS Word, or Word, is a word processor developed by Microsoft. It is one of the Microsoft Office suite’s office productivity programs.

It was first released in 1983, and it was created by Charles Simonyi and Richard Brodie.

Furthermore, Microsoft Word is accessible on Windows, Mac OS X, Android, and iOS devices. It can also be used with WINE to operate on the Linux operating system.

Uses Of Microsoft Word

You can use Microsoft Word to generate professional-looking documents, reports, letters, and resumes.

Word includes more functionality than a plain text editor, such as spell check, grammar check, text and font formatting, HTML support, image support, complex page layout, and more.

What Are the Advantages of Sending a PDF Resume?

One of the biggest benefits of delivering your resume as a PDF is that it keeps all of the formatting consistent. Whether the document is opened on a smartphone, laptop, or other devices, it will appear exactly as you intended.

When a resume is delivered as a Word document, this is not the case. Many PCs and laptops now use other software, and users don’t all have the same versions of Word or use the same file types (such as .doc or .docx.). These errors can cause serious formatting issues.

Furthermore, your document will look the same no matter what computer or program is used to open it. Margins, fonts, images, and other formatting choices will be preserved.

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It would be awful for an employer to read a sloppy resume instead of your well-produced resume if you spent important time working on your resume, focusing on the resume structure and presentation. It makes a completely false impression.

Are There Disadvantages of Submitting Resumes as PDF?

  • Some applicant tracking systems (ATS) may have problems reading PDF resumes.
  • If you chose a PDF resume format to make your resume more creative, ATS software may skip over parts of it since it cannot understand visuals or text buried in images.

Read this: 40 Best Resume Do’s And Don’ts All Job Seekers Must Know

Do Recruiters Prefer Resumes as Word?

So, because resumes may be changed, they are frequently asked by recruiters. They erase your contact information and add their logo before publishing your resume since they don’t want the employer to contact you until they’ve secured the contract.

They can also clean up your resume by fixing errors and adding keywords. This shouldn’t be necessary if you’ve carefully crafted your resume. Make sure you avoid the most common resume mistakes by reading these tips for writing a winning resume.

ATS (Automatic Tracking Systems)

An applicant tracking system (ATS) is a piece of software that examines resumes for keywords. ATSs used to have trouble reading PDF resumes.

ATSs, on the other hand, has come a long way in the previous five years, and more advanced versions of the program can now read PDFs.

PDFs aren’t a problem when a resume is prepared clearly and correctly. If an employer uses older, more rudimentary software, the job posting will state that you must submit your resume as a Word document.

Make sure your resume is up to date, regardless of the format you select to deliver it to an employer. Clear, concise, and well-structured resumes are ideal.

Make sure you understand how to write a resume and also don’t forget to include a cover letter if required.

How do you know if your resume is going to have to pass through ATS?

Many significant corporations now use the program in some manner.

Have you ever completed an online application before attaching your resume? If you answered yes, then your resume was most likely examined by ATS software.

If you’re applying to a major organization with more than 100 employees, there’s a strong possibility they will process your information using ATS software.

And it’s more than likely if you’re applying to a Fortune 500 organization.

The software is less commonly used by small businesses and startups, although this is changing.

In almost every situation, the approach for getting past the software is the same:

  1. Your resume must correspond to the job description.
  2. You need to use the best keywords for a resume.
  3. Plus, you must ensure that you understand how to format a resume so that the software doesn’t reject it automatically.
  4. What’s the best part? Get a resume template that is ATS-friendly.Best of all? Get an ATS-friendly resume template.

How can I Save my Resume as a Google Doc?

You can save a Word (.docx) version of a Google Doc if you don’t have Microsoft Word.

To save a Google Doc as a Word Document, follow these steps::

  • Go to File > Download As and choose Word Document (.docx).

It’s also worth noting that when converting files to another file format, there may be formatting issues, so it’s a good idea to have someone with Word on their computer examine your resume to make sure the formatting hasn’t been lost.

If it hasn’t, you might want to consider using a PDF.

How Can I Save My Resume as a PDF?

While nearly every firm offers Microsoft Word or Google Docs, which makes accessing a.doc or.docx file simple, storing your CV as a PDF has some important advantages.

The downside is that it may not be readable by the employer’s application tracking system.

Squiggly lines appear under misspelled words or grammatical faults in Microsoft Word and other word processing applications, but many of these “mistakes” are not errors at all for resumes.

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Even if a word processing program’s dictionary does not contain a lot of industrial jargon or company names, that does not mean they are spelled wrong.

Those squiggly lines, which can be annoying to hiring managers when viewing a paper on a screen, will not appear if you save your resume as a PDF.

Furthermore, while both Macs and PCs can run Microsoft Word, documents opened on a Mac often appear differently than documents opened on a PC.

If hiring managers use a different operating system, some of your careful formatting may not show up appropriately. This isn’t the case with PDF files.

A PDF is frequently the best option for delivering a resume directly to a contact or hiring manager through email.

Follow the procedures for submitting resumes through an application system.

To save a Word document as a PDF:

  • Go to File > Save As in Microsoft Word.
  • In the box that opens up, select PDF from the Format drop-down menu.

To save a Google Doc as a PDF:

  • Go to File > Download As and choose PDF Document.

Should My Resume be Submitted In Pdf or Word | Expert Advice?

This is expert guidance on how to prepare your resumes for submission. After reading this guide, you’ll understand the consequences of both PDF and Word resume formats.

Rule 1: Follow Any Application Directions

If a firm requests a certain file type for your resume, follow their instructions. If they request a PDF, provide one; also, if they request a Word doc (a.k.a., DOCX), upload one.

You risk the firm not being able to (or choosing not to) view your CV if you ignore what they’re asking for.

You’re also conveying the idea that as an employee, you wouldn’t pay attention to details or follow instructions.

If you’re working with a third-party recruiter, for example, you should also follow their instructions.

“They normally require you to deliver a Word document since they want to redact your personal contact information before submitting your resume to their client.”

If you send a PDF in this scenario, the recruiter may not be able to alter it as needed.

Rule 2: Submit Your Resume as Either a PDF or Word Doc—Nothing Else

While there is no clear winner in the PDF vs. Word doc dispute, there is agreement on the following file formats: Keep your distance.

If you go beyond these two typical file types, there’s no guarantee that the person on the other end has the software needed to open your resume, and if they can’t, they’ll move on to the next candidate.

Also, companies use applicant tracking systems (ATSs) to scan your resume for keywords and other critical information in order to determine whether you’re qualified for the job, and the software doesn’t scan other file types nearly as well.

If you submit a JPEG or similar image file, for example, the system may not recognize any of the text in the file.

If you created your resume in InDesign, Photoshop, Pages, or another tool that has its own file format, you should always convert it to a PDF or Word document before sending it.

Also, if you need to convert a text file to a Word document or a PDF, Google Docs is a (totally free) option.

The only time Rule 2 is broken is when Rule 1 is broken. If a corporation requests a TXT file or another format, provide it.

Also, you can check this: Resume Sections: How to Organize your Resume to meet any Standard

Rule 3: Consider How You’re Applying

Recruiters and hiring managers do not receive all resumes in the same way. Furthermore, the manner in which your resume is transmitted may assist you in determining which file type is the ideal option.

Are you sending your resume to a hiring manager, recruiter, or a contact in your network through email? Sending your resume as a PDF, unless it breaches Rule 1, will ensure that it looks the way you want it to.

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According to Liou, a career coach “Word documents are structured differently depending on the version of Word a corporation is using.” “When opening a résumé, the margins and alignment can be wrong, making it difficult to read,” for example.

However, PDFs preserve their appearance regardless of whether computer or software is used to open them.

If you submit your resume through a company website, LinkedIn, or another online portal, it will almost certainly go through an applicant tracking system (ATS), and you should make sure your resume is easily searchable by this software.

“Use a DOCX file if you want to assure optimum readability and ATS compatibility,” advises Jon Shields, marketing manager for Jobscan, a company that helps job seekers pass through ATSs.

“Applicant tracking software finds it considerably easier to parse DOCX files into a digital applicant profile.” When an ATS scans a PDF, there’s simply more that can go wrong, according to Shields, though the gap between the two file types isn’t as wide as it once was.

Keep in mind that, whether you’re submitting a PDF or a Word doc, the greatest thing you can do as a job seeker in today’s market is to use ATS-friendly resume formatting.

Rule 4: Utilize (Appearingly) Repetitive Online Applications

If you’ve been looking for work for a time, you’ve probably gotten tired of systems that need you to upload your resume file just to fill in or change information from the résumé you just submitted in an online application form.

It can be taxing, but it can also be a valuable learning experience.

If you think you’ll be able to amend something that was scanned erroneously, you can submit your resume as a PDF and make the necessary changes later.

“Is it time consuming and aggravating? Yes,” But it’s worth it because “these fields are what will keep you searchable in the ATS when firms are looking for specific keywords or titles.”

This means you may submit your resume as a PDF, which will look great if a recruiter downloads it, but you can also double-check that your information is valid for the ATS. In other words, you’re getting the best of both worlds!

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

You can examine the precise ATS a company utilizes if you truly want to go above and above, according to Shields.

Jobscan, for example, includes writeups on the biggest ATSs, such as Lever, Greenhouse, and Taleo, that detail which major firms use them and their limitations, so you can make an informed selection when selecting a file type for your resume.

For smaller businesses, you may be able to identify which ATS the company uses right on the application page (or URL).

When in doubt, keep to the four guidelines above. This is a time-consuming extra that won’t necessarily provide you a significant edge. You’ll be well on your way to a successful job search!


Many employers will accept a PDF… If it’s one of the 90%+ large organizations that use an ATS, you’re better off submitting a.doc. If you’re sending your CV to a recruiting firm, a.doc format is suggested because it’s easier to update.

As a result, the World Scholarship Forum team has answered this bothering question in the mind of recruiters and applicants alike.

Therefore, when researching whether to submit your resume either in Word or Pdf, it is advised to submit it as a PDF document for the reasons mentioned above.

We hope this article provided a thorough guide. You can contact us in the comment section.



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