Resume tip #8: Send a neat and organized document in the file format requested by the recruiter or prospective employer

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Key Corporate Services works with top companies in a wide range of industries to find them the best talent available. So we see a lot of resumes. A lot. I would be joking with you, however, if I told you that a high percentage of the resumes we receive are in great shape.

Resume writing isn’t easy. It requires a very specific skill set that one doesn’t use on a regular basis, and many otherwise talented and accomplished professionals are not particularly good at it. That’s why we provide tip posts like this one. When we look at resumes, we are not expecting perfection, and we truly appreciate it when we see that the writer has gone the extra mile with:

  • Organized sections with consistent spacing between them.
  • Correct and consistent punctuation.
  • Sentences of a reasonable length.
  • Type of a legible size and in an easy-to-read font.
  • Perhaps a horizontal line or two to break up space and give an orderly appearance (it’s not necessary but can look good when done right)

For an idea of how a resume should look, please see our sample resume. There are different approaches to the resume in the world, but we think this one is clear and effective.

The next question is what type of file should you send to your recruiter or prospective employer? The short answer is that you should provide what they request. In the event that they do not request a specific file type, the safe bet is to send a Word doc (preferably .docx) and a PDF of the same doc together. The reasons are as follows:

  • Many employers and recruiters are able to process Word docs with software and enter them into a database. That is what we do here at Key Corporate Services.
  • The .docx format for Word document is preferable because it shows that you have up-to-date software, and it it is now the de facto standard in the business world. That said, many people still use the .doc format, so you should be prepared to output a document of this file type as well. You can select what type of file to save the document as in the “File” menu of Microsoft Word.
  • A PDF will be visible within the email in various email programs and could catch the reader’s eye without him or her having to open it. Plus, a PDF may be more convenient to open on a smartphone, tablet, or even a computer if the person doesn’t happen to have the right software handy (e.g., cannot open a .docx doc because he or she has an older version of Word). Here is a link on how to create a PDF in Windows. In most Mac programs, the PDF output function can be found in the “Print” menu.

Taking a little extra time to get your resume exactly how your recruiter or prospective employer wants it can help make a better impression and get you noticed!

The Key Corporate Services Blog Team