What Type of File Should a Resume Be: The Ultimate Guide for Job Seekers

Are you currently searching for a new job? Have you ever wondered what type of file your resume should be in? In today’s digital age, it’s crucial to know the best file format to use when submitting your resume online. In this article, we will explore the different file types and provide you with the answers you need.

When it comes to submitting your resume, the first thing you need to consider is the compatibility of the file format. Most companies and job boards prefer resumes in PDF (Portable Document Format) or Word (DOC/DOCX) formats. These formats are widely accepted and can be easily opened by both employers and applicant tracking systems.

In summary, the main points to remember when deciding what type of file your resume should be are:

  1. PDF and Word formats are the most commonly accepted formats for resumes.
  2. Compatibility with employer systems and software is essential.
  3. Ensure that your resume is easy to read and formatted correctly.
  4. Consider the file size when sending via email or uploading to job boards.
  5. Always follow the instructions provided by the employer regarding file format preferences.

What Type of File Should a Resume Be?

When it comes to what type of file your resume should be, it is essential to understand the target audience and their expectations. Hiring managers and recruiters receive numerous resumes every day, so it’s crucial to stand out from the competition. By choosing the right file format, you can make a positive impression and increase your chances of getting noticed.

Personally, I have found that using a PDF format is the most effective way to present my resume. PDF files maintain the formatting and layout of the document, ensuring that it looks the same on any device or software. Additionally, PDFs are considered more professional and secure compared to Word documents, which can be easily modified.

The History and Myth Behind Resume File Formats

Throughout history, there have been various myths and debates surrounding resume file formats. One common myth is that using unconventional file formats or design elements will make your resume stand out. However, the reality is that many companies use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to scan and filter resumes based on specific criteria. Using non-standard file formats may risk your resume being rejected or not properly parsed by these systems.

Another popular myth is that saving your resume as a Word document will allow the employer to make changes or edits. While this may be true in certain cases, it is generally not advisable to provide hiring managers with editable versions of your resume. It’s best to maintain control over your resume’s content and formatting to ensure the most accurate representation of your skills and qualifications.

The Hidden Secret to an Effective Resume File Format

The hidden secret to an effective resume file format lies in simplicity. Keep your file format clean, straightforward, and easy to read. Avoid using complex file formats or including unnecessary design elements that may hinder the readability of your resume. Remember, the goal is to highlight your skills and experiences, not to impress with fancy graphics.

Recommendations for Choosing a Resume File Format

Based on my experience and industry best practices, I would recommend saving your resume as a PDF file. PDFs ensure that your document maintains its original formatting and provides a professional look. Additionally, PDFs are widely accepted by most companies and are compatible with applicant tracking systems.


In conclusion, choosing the right file format for your resume is crucial to make a positive first impression. By using PDF or Word formats, you can ensure compatibility with employer systems and simplify the application process. Remember to keep your resume simple, clean, and easy to read. Thank you for reading, and best of luck with your job search!

Question and Answer

Q: Can I send my resume in a different file format?

A: While PDF and Word formats are the most commonly accepted, it’s best to follow the employer’s instructions and preferences. Some may specify a preferred file format, while others may accept alternative formats.

Q: Should I include my resume as a link or attachment?

A: If given the option, it’s generally recommended to attach your resume as a file rather than providing a link. Attaching a file ensures that the recipient can easily access and open your resume without the need to navigate to an external website.

Q: What should I do if the job posting does not specify a preferred file format?

A: In cases where the job posting does not specify a preferred file format, it’s best to choose between PDF and Word formats. PDF is generally a safe choice, as it preserves the formatting and can be opened on different devices and software.

Q: Are there any file size restrictions for resumes?

A: While there may not be specific file size restrictions mentioned, it’s advisable to keep your resume file size under 1-2 MB. Large file sizes can be difficult to upload or send via email, and they may take longer to open or download.


Thank you for taking the time to read this article on what type of file your resume should be. We hope that the information provided has been helpful and informative. Remember, choosing the right file format is crucial to make a positive impression and increase your chances of landing your dream job. If you have any further questions, please feel free to reach out. Good luck with your job search!