PDF or Word Document: How Should I Submit My Resume?

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You’ve spent weeks writing that perfect resumeYou’ve proofed it time and again. Now it’s all set to get submitted. But the question is:  

How do you send it? As a Word document or PDF?  

In most cases, you should send in your resume as a PDF. This is for the simple fact that the document can’t be altered. If you send it in as a Word document, on the other hand, then it’s open to inadvertent editing by someone in HR before it gets sent to the hiring manager. This means you have less control over what they’re seeing.  

In addition to that, with a PDF, the formatting will be retained. But with a Word document, that’s not always the case. For instance, if you use a font that the hiring manager doesn’t have on their computer, then your resume will lose its formatting and possibly even some of its professionalism, depending on how it comes across. 

Another reason to send a PDF instead of a Word document? You won’t have to worry about viruses potentially getting transmitted. PDFs are usually free of viruses when they are downloaded. The same can’t always be said for Word documents.   

However, there’s one big reason to consider a Word document. In some cases, with an applicant tracking system (ATS), they scan Word documents more accurately than PDF documents. As a result, if you submit a Word document, then you might have a better shot at an interview since the ATS can more easily interpret your resume.  

The good news is that in the past few years, ATSs have improved a lot and advanced versions are able to read PDFs just as easily as Word documents. However, if you know a company uses an ATS – and most larger ones do – than consider sending in your resume as a Word document so you know it won’t get filtered out based on the format. 

At the end of the day, though, don’t spend too much time worrying about how to submit your resume. Instead, focus primarily on crafting a powerful resume that helps you stand out among other candidates. 

Need more help with resume writing? 

Contact the team at ResumeSpice. As experienced resume writing professionals, we’ll work to get to know your background, skills and key strengths, all so we can help your resume stand out. Find out more by reaching out to our team at 832.930.7378 or by contacting us online.