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Home > Blog: Resumes > Sending Your Resume? Make It a PDF

Sending Your Resume? Make It a PDF

Here's a quick question for you to ponder: What's the most popular format for submitting resumes to employers? Is it PDF? Word? Plain text? Or something else?

For Pongo members who download their resumes from the Resume Builder, PDF appears to be gaining in popularity.

  • Last year, 62% of Pongo members used PDF (Portable Document Format) to download their resumes, not far behind Microsoft's long-dominant Word, which was used by 70%. (Members can choose more than one out of three available formats.)
  • In 2009, that gap was much wider, with 50.5% using PDFs and 80% using Word.

But will PDF satisfy an employer's applicant-tracking software (ATS) by pulling out keywords and matching requirements?

In an article last month on the web site Quintessential Resumes & Cover Letters, resume writer Darrell Z. DiZoglio said PDF resumes are no longer a problem for the technology, and he has talked to HR managers and hiring managers, as well as those who program those ATS applications. "The PDF is the elegantly simple solution to all the legions of compatibility issues, especially internationally," DiZoglio says.

Further, I think it's pretty safe to say that most employers have installed the free Adobe Reader software that's needed to open and read PDFs.

But despite what statistics say about PDF being the favored format, it's still a good idea to find out what your potential employer prefers and submit your resume in that format: PDF, Word, text, or anything else they request.

Choosing the Right Format to Send Your Resume
When to Use a Plain Text Resume
Will the Applicant-Tracking System Love Your Resume?

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