How Should I Save My Resume?

Save file as: Word Doc, PDF, Plain Text – it’s all the same they said. It won’t matter how I save it, they said.

Tell that to the applicant who is eliminated from the interview shortlist because the recruiter missed their entire “education” resume section.

When it comes to saving your resume and cover letter, the format definitely matters.  I’ll preach it until I’m blue in the face but: your resume is your first and only chance to make a good first impression.  From the initial submission to application review to interview conversations, you are being judged — resume formats included.

A client recently asked me, “What’s the best way to save a resume for online job applications and more"?”  My answer: in every format possible.  I suggest uploading three versions of your resume when applying to a job online.  Take the extra two minutes to ensure your application gets submitted successfully.

PDF is always a plus:

  • It shows your technically savvy — you’ve taken an extra step to hit “export now”

  • The document format is protected when viewed on a desktop or mobile phone (perfect for on-the-go recruiters)

  • Key design elements are locked into place and unaffected during the upload process

  • Pro tip: this formation is perfect to send through email, too!

The Deal about Docs:

  • It’s easily editable and read on a desktop computer

  • ATS (applicant tracking software) registers all information fluidly

  • Doc templates allow for organized templates and consistent formatting

  • Pro tip: attach at the end of the application with your cover letter

Plain Text pros:

  • An online application form will 'parse' your information correctly

  • You drop all formatting elements that could potentially jam ATS software

  • You can guarantee that every part of your resume is read and acknowledged

  • Pro tip: upload this version at the beginning of your application

True #jobwarriors should consider saving their resume and cover letters in all three formats.  Each document format has its own purpose and advantages associated with it.  Stay ready for every scenario.  Hiring managers love a candidate who is willing to put in extra effort on their applications and they notice people who do just that.

LaunchPoint Resume has created plenty of ATS-friendly resume & cover letter templates that navigate those online application systems flawlessly.

See you online, friends!


Do you have a question you'd like me to answer on my next blog post?  Let me know here!