In this article we’re talking about resume file formatting, how to save your Microsoft Word resume as a PDF, and how to make sure you format your resume correctly for each job.

Since many people have questions surrounding resume PDFs, we’re going to focus specifically on this file format and answer these FAQs:

What is a PDF resume?

A PDF resume is any resume saved with a .pdf file extension.

PDF stands for Portable Document Format. It’s one of the most common file types and primarily used for viewing documents (vs editing them). One of the great things about PDFs is that they preserve all formatting, so there’s no chance your margins, headers, or line breaks will appear altered on your recipient’s screen.

This makes the PDF format a great choice for resumes (although as we’ll discuss below, it may not always be the best choice).

How do I make a PDF resume?

To make a PDF resume, you simply need to save your resume in the PDF format. To do this you need to either save or export your resume as a .pdf file.

In Google Docs:

  • Click on “File” in the top left corner.
  • Mouse over “Download.”
  • Select “PDF.”

In Microsoft Word:

  • Click on “File” in the top left corner.
  • Click on “Save As.”
  • Click the “File Format” dropdown menu.
  • Select PDF.
  • Click “Save.”

On Mac:

  • Click on “File” in the top left corner.
  • Click on “Print…”
  • In the dropdown menu in the bottom left corner, select “Save as PDF.”
  • Click “Save.”

PDF resume vs Word resume: which format is best for applicant tracking systems?

Our tests have shown that some applicant tracking systems more accurately parse .docx resumes. For this reason, we recommend uploading your resume in the .docx (Microsoft Word) format when applying to a job, unless the job posting requests a PDF.

When should I use a PDF resume?

Even though .docx resumes are better for applicant tracking systems, the PDF format may be a better choice. You may want to submit a resume PDF when:

  • Your resume has lots of design elements, like graphics, columns, and unique fonts (note: these types of resumes are not good fits for applicant tracking systems).
  • You’re emailing your resume directly to a recruiter or hiring manager.
  • The ATS requires you to manually enter your resume information in addition to attaching a file.

Where can I find resume PDF templates?

Now that you know how to easily convert files to the PDF format, you can use any resume template. Check out our collection of free resume templates.

Make sure your resume or cv is ready for ats


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