Creating An Impressive Resume: Word Doc Vs. PDF – Which Format Is Best For Job Applications?

Resume In Word Doc Or PDF: Which is the Best Format?

What do you mean by Resume In Word Doc Or PDF?

When it comes to creating a professional resume, choosing the right file format is crucial. The commonly debated formats are Word documents (Doc) and Portable Document Format (PDF). Word Doc is a file extension used by Microsoft Word, while PDF is a universal file format that preserves the document’s formatting and can be opened on any device. In this article, we will explore the pros and cons of using resume formats in Word Doc or PDF.

How to Create a Resume in Word Doc or PDF?

Creating a resume in either Word Doc or PDF format is relatively straightforward. In Microsoft Word, you can start from scratch or use a pre-designed template that suits your needs. Begin by entering your personal information, such as your name, contact details, and professional summary. Then, list your education, work experience, skills, and any other relevant information. Finally, save the document in either Word Doc or PDF format, depending on your preference.

What is known about using Word Doc for Resumes?

PDF Resume Templates to Download in  (+ Format Tips)
PDF Resume Templates to Download in (+ Format Tips)

Using Word Doc for resumes has been a traditional choice for many job seekers. It offers a range of formatting options, making it easy to customize and tailor your resume to specific job applications. Word Doc also allows for easy editing, enabling you to update your resume whenever necessary. Additionally, many employers and applicant tracking systems (ATS) are familiar with Word Doc files, ensuring compatibility and ease of review.

However, there are a few drawbacks to consider when using Word Doc for resumes. The layout and formatting may appear differently on different devices or versions of Microsoft Word, potentially compromising the visual consistency of your resume. Moreover, there is a slight risk of the document being altered unintentionally when opened on different software versions or operating systems.

What is known about using PDF for Resumes?

Best Resume Format in  - PDF vs Word Resume
Best Resume Format in – PDF vs Word Resume

PDF, on the other hand, offers a more reliable and consistent format for resumes. By saving your resume as a PDF, you ensure that the document retains its original formatting, regardless of the device or software used to open it. This is particularly beneficial when submitting your resume online, as it minimizes the chances of any compatibility issues.

Another advantage of using PDF for resumes is that it prevents any unintentional modifications. This means that your resume will be presented exactly as you intended it, without the risk of fonts, spacing, or other elements being altered. PDF files are also typically smaller in size compared to Word Doc files, making them easier to send via email or upload to job portals.

However, one potential drawback of PDF resumes is that they can be less compatible with ATS systems. Some applicant tracking systems may struggle to parse the content from a PDF file, potentially affecting the keyword recognition and overall visibility of your resume.

Solution: Choosing the Best Format

Considering the pros and cons of both Word Doc and PDF formats, the ideal solution for creating a resume is to utilize both formats. Begin by designing and editing your resume in Word Doc, taking advantage of the formatting options and ease of customization. Save your resume in Word Doc format for easy editing and accessibility.

To ensure your resume retains its original formatting and to cater to ATS systems or employers who prefer PDF format, convert your Word Doc resume into a PDF. This can be done easily using various online converters or by exporting the document as a PDF directly from Microsoft Word.

By providing both formats, you can confidently submit your resume in Word Doc for applications that prioritize compatibility and customization, while also offering a PDF version for situations where visual consistency and formatting are crucial.


Choosing between a resume in Word Doc or PDF format depends on various factors and preferences. Word Doc offers extensive customization options and compatibility with most employers and ATS systems. On the other hand, PDF provides consistent formatting and prevents unintentional modifications. To strike a balance, it is recommended to create your resume in Word Doc format and convert it to PDF when necessary, ensuring the best of both worlds.