PDF or DOC Resume Format

 I get this question asked quite a bit, "should I send my resume in PDF or DOC format when submitting via email/online?"  Personally, I like receiving the pdf since it is much cleaner and I get to see the subtle creative formatting the candidate used.  This article examines this question to help you make the decision of which format to use when submitting your resume.

When in doubt...ask!

Now, this might seem like a bother, but you can always ask which format the hiring manager or company prefers or if it doesn't matter.  If it doesn't matter, then you can select which format you are most comfortable with.



  • DOC format is business standard and nearly all businesses use Microsoft Office for word processing.
  • One less step for you to convert to PDF.
  • Some companies store resumes on databases on only reads DOC format.
  • Some recruiters like to copy and paste with their branding when forwarded to the hiring company.


  • Preserves the format in which you intend it to look like, without the risk of it being reformatted depending on the end users system, software version, computer (mac),
  • Will open on both PC and MAC.
  • Content is more secure and cannot be changed by the end user you sent it to.

You can always play it safe and send both formats.  Both formats are pretty universal but my personal preference is PDF because it is much cleaner, universal and easier to use/read.


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