PDF Resume - Why You Need a PDF Format Resume
A PDF resume has 3 advantages as an email attachment. This former recruiter explains why you need a PDF
format resume in your job search arsenal.
© David Alan
All Rights Reserved
The PDF resume. You've heard of PDF files, probably opened a few in your day. But a PDF
resume? If you need to send your resume via email in response to a job listing, or to a corporate contact in your
networking circle, should you send it in a PDF format? Well, that depends. A PDF resume has 3 distinct advantages
as an email attachment. And one mark against it. First, some background.
Adobe System's "Portable Document Format" (PDF) has become a common format for email resume
attachments. The beauty of this format is that it allows the resume to retain all the formatting bells and whistles
that you come to expect from a resume crafted with application software (like Word or WordPerfect). But it is
delivered independent of application software. Meaning, the recipient of your email doesn't need to have your
particular version of Word (or WordPerfect, et al.) on his computer system to be able to open your
PDF Format Resumes - 3 Pluses
||When converting your resume from
Word (for example) to PDF, all formatting will remain unchanged. Meaning, your resume will look the
same to your email recipient as it does to you.
||A PDF file attachment is readily
accessible regardless of the application software package(s) the recipient has bubbling under the
surface of his C-drive. And it's accessible whether the recipient is working from a PC or a Mac.
||A PDF resume is considered a safer
email attachment than those of application software, since viruses can't hide in the text of the PDF
PDF Format Resumes - 1 Negative
||The one negative with PDF resumes
is that they can't be easily read by computers. A PDF file fed directly from email into a computer
database will appear as an indecipherable image with no discernable text. The document can be printed
and physically scanned into that database, and thereby made workable for keyword searches. But printing
and scanning requires additional human intervention.
The bottom line (and the answer to the question posed in the first paragraph): send a PDF
version as an email attachment when you're sure your resume will be read by a human and not a computer. If it's the
other way around, and your resume is likely to be scanned and/or placed into a database, skip the PDF and send an
ASCII version of the resume instead. That's a plain text file readable by all computer systems.
A Word.doc resume file remains an option as long as you have verified that's a preference of
the email recipient. When in doubt, send along both Word and PDF files.
Tip: Many Professional Resume Writing Services Offer Free PDF Formatting
In this tough job market, when every aspect of your resume is on trial, should you be
looking at professional resume services? "Yes," says former recruiter David Alan Carter. "But make sure you pick
writers who are certified, talented, and offer an interview guarantee." Carter has identified the Best Resume Services on the Web, reviewing quality of workmanship, spelling out their
pricing, and giving each a star ranking.
And yes, many offer free PDF Format Resumes as part of their writing services,
including our Top-Rated GreatResumesFast.com.
Carter is a former technical recruiter (i.e.
headhunter) and the founder of Resume One of Cincinnati. For more than ten years, he personally
crafted thousands of resumes for satisfied clients from all occupational walks of life, from
entry-level to senior executive.
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