Resume Formatting – I hate Word Docs

13 Apr

This is a quickie to let everyone know why I hate getting resumes in Word.doc format.

Because it’s messy.  It looks unfinished, and the fact that with one slight of my hand to key board I can reformat it, is annoying.  Recruiters now aren’t printing your resumes when they get them, they are reading them on their computers, so do us a favor and PDF your resume prior to sending it in response to a posting!  I know it may be a pain because the savvy job seeker knows to update and tweak their resume to tailor to each job posting they reply to, but the extra 5 minutes is well worth it in presentation on the other end.

Think of what I see when I open a Word Doc resume.  Red and green squiggly lines pointing out  every single sentence fragment, run-on, punctuation, grammar and spelling error.  Especially if you have multiple technologies listed on your resume that may not be recognized by spell-check.  It’s distracting and difficult to read.

If you don’t know how to convert your Word Doc to a PDF, Google it.  I’m sure you can download something that will enable you to do so.  Also, don’t mail me a copy of your resume or fax it in either.  It doesn’t really get you more attention or set you apart from the pack at all.  It just clutters my desk and annoys me that you didn’t follow procedure.  It makes me think you are afraid of technology or don’t know how to work your email.

If you work with staffing agencies/recruiting firms – they will ask you to send a Word version of your resume specifically because they are most likely taking your contact information (sometimes including your name) off of the resume and replacing it with theirs.  Yep – you become property of staffing agencies when you work with them.  They may even change formatting, or even insert key words without asking your permission.   They can help you get a job, or they can hinder your ability to be an attractive candidate in the market so be protective of your resume and your references.  Make sure you check people out before you enlist their help in representing you out there.

In conclusion, please spell check, proof-read, have someone else proof-read and then PDF your resume prior to sending it in direct response to job postings.  It appears more professional, clean, and just plain easier to read.  We will appreciate your effort.

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3 Responses to “Resume Formatting – I hate Word Docs”

  1. Corn on the Job May 11, 2011 at 11:26 pm #

    My problem with PDF resumes is that they don’t always copy over into an Applicant Tracking System. When emailing directly to a recruiter, a candidate should send both a PDF and a Word Doc. The word doc can be scanned in easier if a recruiter uses an ATS after receiving, and the PDF will be easier on the eyes.

    Just my two cents!

    • jobhunthero May 12, 2011 at 3:36 am #

      Good point – I wasn’t aware that PDF’s weren’t accepted into some systems. Good advice too on sending both versions to recruiters. I would still advise that when uploading a resume in response to job and where PDF’s are an acceptable format – I would always go PDF over Word. Thanks Cornonthejob!!!!

  2. fizalihsan December 28, 2013 at 1:19 am #

    One way to avoid the squiggly lines is to protect the Word document as read only. (http://lifehacker.com/5910494/make-your-resume-and-other-word-documents-more-presentable-by-making-them-read+only) But again, if the recruiters un-protect it for their editing, there is no guarantee they will protect it back before it goes to the client’s hands.

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