Why do I need my résumé in multiple formats?

 In Resumes and Cover Letters

Why do I need my résumé in multiple formats?Stacy asks:  Why do I need my résumé in multiple formats?

Answer:  You want your résumé in multiple formats because each format has a different function in your job search.

Here is a brief overview of the formats and how each is used:

  • The Microsoft Word format is the most versatile. It is an editable document, so you can make changes to your address and contact information at any time. This format is best used when your résumé is requested by a hiring authority or recruiter, and can also be uploaded to career web sites when a Microsoft Word (or .doc or .docx) file is requested. Most applicant tracking systems can read Word-formatted documents, as long as they do not contain graphical elements such as columns, lines, tables, or charts.
  • The ASCII text format is required for submission on many online websites. This is the format you will use when you’re required to copy-and-paste your résumé into a text block. The ASCII format is designed for this request, as it removes all formatting problems.
  • Adobe Acrobat PDF. This format cannot be edited, but provides you with an original résumé file that retains all of the formatting and fonts as it was originally designed. Unless you need to edit the Microsoft Word file, this will be your best bet for printing résumés to submit by snail mail and in person. Some applicant tracking systems can accept PDF files; however, make sure that is the case before uploading the document.

Kathy Keshemberg is a Nationally Certified Resume Writer and Certified Career Management Coach. Since 1983, she has created thousands of interview-winning resumes and related job-search materials for satisfied clients around the world. Need assistance with your career? We’re here to help! www.acareeradvantage.com

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