What File Format Should You Use for Resumes in 2021?

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What File Format Should You Use for Resumes in 2021?

Did you know that your resume’s file format can make a big difference in how successful you are with a job application?

Shocking, isn’t it?

After slaving over it for hours and ensuring that it includes all of the relevant keywords, is grammatically correct, and that it’s formatted appropriately, the one factor that can decide its fate is the last few letters at the end of the file name.

So what file type should you use? Do you send your resume in a Word document, or should you save it in a PDF format? Well, it actually depends on who you’re sending it to. Here’s what filetype you need to use if you want your resume to be seen in 2021.

Where is Your Resume Going?

One of the first tests every employer and recruiter sets for applicants is to see if they can follow instructions. An example of this is if they request the specific file format of the resume.

If they don’t make it clear, it can depend on how they’re asking you to send your resume to them. For example, if you’re submitting it online through a job site, then it might accept a range of different file types. But if you need to email it, they’ll often request it to be sent as an attachment in a particular format. Alternatively, they may ask you to include it in the body of the email.

When there are no specific instructions on the file type, you’re going to have to use your best judgement. There are pros and cons of each file type, and knowing them can make the difference as to how far you’ll go in the application.

PDF Resumes

Sending your resume as a PDF should always be your first choice. You’re guaranteed that the recruiter or employer will see it exactly as you do, and there is no chance of them making accidental edits or alterations to it. If you need to send a resume directly to somebody, then you should always send it in this format.

Thankfully, it’s now easier than ever to save your resume as a PDF. Simply select the Save As option in Microsoft Word or Google Docs and choose PDF from the format menu underneath the filename.

The only downside with a PDF resume is that not all applicant tracking systems can view them. This means that it could get rejected before anyone gets a chance to look at it. So if you’re asked to submit your resume through a portal on a job site, perhaps stick to using a Word document just in case.

Word Document Resumes

A resume in a Word document is always a safe bet. Almost all companies accept them, particularly if they’re using applicant tracking systems. Unless the recruiter or employer specifically requests a file format, then send your resume using a Word document.

Using the .doc or .docx formats is best and is usually the default if you’re using Microsoft Word on your PC or Mac. You can also use this format in Google Docs as well.

The only consideration is that some companies may experience compatibility issues if they use a different Microsoft Word version to you. While they’ll still be able to open the file, it might not be formatted correctly and be difficult to read.

HTML Resumes

If your resume is uploaded to a website, you can save it as an HTML file and send it to people. When a recruiter or employer opens the file, it will take them to their default internet browser and display it like any other website. This will allow them to save it as a bookmark and come back to it when they need to.

Choosing to use this format can ensure that your resume retains its layout and is able to get accessed from not only a laptop or computer but also a recruiter’s mobile device.

However, you need to be aware that some companies may flag an email with an HTML attachment as spam. So if you don’t get a response from a recruiter or employer, it might be because your resume is sitting in the junk folder.

Plain Text Resumes

A text document contains absolutely no bells or whistles. It only presents the words and no formatting, text effects, or graphics. It’s excellent for applicant tracking software because it makes it easy to find what it needs. But when it’s presented to a human, it’s literally just a bunch of words on a page.

If you’re determined to use this format, then your spelling, grammar, and wording need to be on point. Your formatting won’t be able to hide any mistakes, and it’s going to come down to the content itself as to whether you’re going to hear from anybody or not.

Hard Copy Resumes

Not many people use hard copy resumes these days, but they still have a place in the job application process. If you attend a job fair or are trying to get your foot in the door, then a hard copy resume can help you stand out above other applicants who are filling a recruiter or employer’s inbox.

There are some different rules for hard copy resumes though. For starters, don’t use coloured paper to try and make an impact. Stick to white or eggshell shades to look professional.

Never staple your hard copy resume either. Use paper clips so that the recruiter or employer can quickly flick between pages. They’ll also likely be appreciative of the free stationery. It’s also best to include a cover letter on top to support your resume.

How to Get Your Resume Right

It’s essential that your resume is grammatically correct, formatted appropriately, and includes all of the relevant information to support why you’re applying for a role. However, it’s just as critical that you submit it in the appropriate file format.

Selecting the wrong one can mean it will get rejected by applicant tracking software or cause problems to the recruiter or employer when it gets opened. If you want to ensure that your resume is compatible with the most popular file types, then you should reach out to us.

Resumes To You knows how to make sure your document is compliant with any application tracking software. We also make sure that it meets all of a recruiter or employer’s needs no matter what industry you’re in or the job you’re applying for. Contact us today, and we’ll provide you with a resume in two different file formats so that you’re always covered.

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