Send your resume as a PDF or Microsoft Word Document
With almost any job application you can guarantee that some form of your past experience will be required, mostly in the form of a resume. While the physical resume is slowly losing the battle with technology, the online resume has been ruling the game for quite some time. Applicants will upload the resume, sometimes a cover letter, and then fill out any additional information that the employer requests. If you’re a job seeker you’re very familiar with this model.
Now, with Applicant Tracking Systems, even more of the recruiting process is done by computers. Applicant Tracking Systems, or ATS’s, scan resumes for keywords from the job description. The amount of work ATS’s do can vary from company to company, some systems will simply push “qualified” resumes to the top, some will eliminate unqualified resumes altogether. For this very reason, you need to make sure you are editing your resume to fit the particular position you are applying to. In order for an ATS to even read a resume, it has to be in a certain format. I’m not talking about your font choices or the number of columns and sections, I’m referring to the format in which you download your resume, either a PDF, a Word Document, a JPEG, PNG, a Google Document, an OpenDocument Text… The list truly goes on and on. In the world of ATS’s though, not every format is going to work. Your best bet is always going to be a Microsoft Word Document or a PDF file.
Besides ATS systems, you need to ensure that the person you are sending your resume to can open it. I don’t have the statistics, but I’m willing to bet that a majority of companies use Microsoft Office and are able to open Word Documents, and that most companies can open PDFs. If you send a photo or screenshot of your resume, a recruiter or hiring manager will be able to open it, but they won’t be able to edit the resume (which may be necessary if you are working with a staffing agency). Sharing your Google Document resume sounds like a good idea, but a lot of times, depending on your settings, the receiver cannot open the document and will need to request access from you in order to view it. The great thing about Google Docs and Apple Pages is that you can download the document to a word document or a PDF directly from the file. A good tip with Apple Pages: If you download the file as a Word Document do NOT open and edit the new file, it will turn back into a pages document.
I hope today’s Tip of The Day made sense and helps you with your next job application. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.