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Resume Pdf Or Word Doc? Which Is The Best Format?

Know The Best Format To Submit Your Resume For a Job

Landing a job interview amidst the pandemic can be a matter of serious concern. With so many candidates trying for a particular job, it can get difficult to capture the recruiter’s attention. Your skills and capabilities matter largely and, so does your resume. How? Because your resume is the primary tool through which you can prove your potential. The HR recruiter checks your resume to find whether you are suitable to sit in the interview. Perform well in the screening stage with the right resume pdf or doc, content, and formatting. 

Why is the format so crucial?

Most candidates recognize the essentiality of making a professional resume but do not know the apt formatting ways. Even if you have all the skills it takes to land the job, the resume content and formatting can come across as a hurdle. Why? Because the HR recruiter can reject your application based on what you have sent over the mail. Here is a practical tip for the freshers – Not every HR recruiter checks your resume content thoroughly during the screening stage. Sometimes they may also check it based on the overall formatting. So, it is good to play safe and follow the best formatting steps. The file format, the formatting styles used in the content, and every little thing hold significance. So, be wise to choose the fonts, highlighters, size, and even the file type! Reading this article will help you understand where you were going wrong to date while framing your resume. 

Read the application carefully.

Resume PDF or doc? Which one is right for sending the resume? It is a common dilemma that all job applicants get confused with. The first step to eliminate this never-ending confusion is to read the job advertisement. In most job postings, the company specifies such details. They mention the file format to ease the needs. If they require the resume in PDF format, you should follow the instruction rightly. Otherwise, use the format they have mentioned in the advertisement. 

However, in some job postings, the recruiting company may not mention the file type for mailing the resume. You can call HR to ask them and then send the file. Otherwise, send the resume in PDF format. Most job seekers use the PDF format for the various advantages of the file type. 

Know the advantages (Resume Pdf Or Word Doc)

Among the many file formats, PDF and doc are the most popular ones. Why? Because both the file types have their own advantages. Usually, most candidates use the PDF format to ensure that no one can edit the resume content. But, in some cases, the HR recruiter needs to edit the files to mark them for screening. For that, you need to send the resume in doc format. So, check the instructions thoroughly before sending if they have mentioned a specific file type. Sending a doc file when asked for a PDF version can make a negative impact on the HR recruiter. 

The pros of PDF format:
The best part of sending a PDF file to anyone is that they cannot edit it. Unless they use spinning software to change the file type to the doc. In the case of an email job application, it is always safe to send the file in PDF format. The HR recruiter can download it and take a printout without any fuss. The resume content cannot get changed when you send it, making it a secured option.

 Another advantage of using the PDF format is that HR can use any PDF opener to view the file. There are apps available on smartphones also. Thus, even if the recruiter is using a phone to see the resumes, they do not have to additionally download a different app to open the file. 

A problem with Microsoft word files is that the overall look of the content may get changed based on the device you use. But there are no such issues with a pdf file. Here, the formatting and looks remain the same irrespective of the device you use to open it. 

The pros of doc format: Whether you send the file in PDF or doc format, you have to use Microsoft word. You create the resume content in the doc file, and apply the formatting choices through the features in MS word. The ease of altering the format and swift editing makes it a prime choice for many candidates. 

If the recruiter uses the ATS software, there is no better option than a doc file. The applicant tracking system scans doc files to screen the data. Based on the scanned output, the HR recruiter screen the candidate names for the next step. So, it is a good practice to send the doc file to ease the steps in the selection process. If the job advertisement specifically mentions an ATS-friendly resume, you should follow the guidelines and send a doc file resume. 

What is ATS?

ATS is software that many recruiters use for screening eligible candidates. The application tracking software sorts the resume for checking the relevancy of the resume content. If the score is higher on the ATS software, your chances get higher. 

For scanning the file with the ATS, the file type should be a doc. It eases the process as the recruiters can forward your file easily for the steps ahead. If the file is in PDF format, they have to change the file type first and then use the software. 

Know the right ways of saving the resume

For easing the requirements, a job candidate should always keep their resume in both formats. You have to write the resume content in MS-word and save it in doc format. After you have finalized the content and overall formatting, you should keep a copy of the same file in a different format. Keeping a doc and pdf version of the virtual resume is a must. Keep it handy on your digital device so you can send it quickly whenever needed. 

Other formats in which you may save the file are .txt and .xml. The .txt extension indicates a text document and, the .xml one indicates an HTML file. Unless the recruiter asks you to send the resume in a .xml or .txt file, do not use it. The most preferred file types are .doc and PDF. So, it is best to keep your resume in both types. 

Formatting and filename

How your resume content appears makes a significant impact on the recruiter. Use the average font size and, the basic fonts (Calibri or Times New Roman) for writing the resume content in MS-word. The next step is to save the file name. Use your full name as the file name to avoid confusion. 

For example, if your name is Abc Xyz, the resume should be like Abc Xyz resume.doc or Abc Xyz resume.pdf. The extension indicates the file type. However, if the job advertisement mentions any instructions on naming the file, you should follow them. Otherwise, your resume file may get rejected even if you use the right formatting or file type. 

Attach it rightly

While sending the mail, many candidates do not wait for the attachment to get loaded, and click on the send button. As a result, they end up sending the mail without the attachment! It makes a negative impact on the recruiter and reflects your carelessness. Do not make such a mistake. 

Those sending the file in PDF format face this issue for the size. PDF files are usually larger than doc files and thus take more time to load. So, if you want to send the PDF version of the resume, take time to load the attachment in the mail. Check it twice before you send it over email. 

Should you lock the file?

You can lock a doc and PDF file. But the question is whether you need to lock it? It is better not to include any passwords in the files. It may lead to resume rejection in the screening steps. To protect the content in the file, you can send the resume in PDF format. Changing the text and formatting in PDF is not easy compared to the doc files. So, it is better to avoid locks and passwords on the files. 

Overall resume tips to help you

  1. Use impactful content without making the resume too lengthy
  2. Apply the commonly sued formatting choices and do not highlight the information too much
  3. Use the file extension as per the instructions
  4. Use ATS-friendly keywords and resume phrases to catch the attention
  5. Seek professional assistance in building the resume content and formatting it rightly for assuring the selection

Writrox – Helping you in every step.

Writrox, the professional resume writing company is your ultimate guide in crafting the best resume format. With their proficient writers, you can get the most relevant and curated resume content. The writers have been in the service for a long and know the benchmarks essential to make a resume top-class. 

You can connect to the team of Writrox to create an impactful resume. They also guide you on the formatting and give tips on the right resume-sending practices. Rely on their expertise and crack the next job with ease! 

Rahul Ranjan

Rahul Ranjan is the founder of Writrox Solution Private Limited, a Creative Writing company dedicated to transforming the professional journeys of countless individuals seeking employment. With unwavering commitment, to empowering people in their career endeavors Rahul has played a role in shaping the futures of, over 15,000 job seekers through solutions and strategic insights. It's worth noting that Rahul Ranjan holds a position and has been recognized as one of the entrepreneurs to watch in 2023 among 15 inspiring Indian entrepreneurs.

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