Best Resume File Format to Use for Your Job Search

You wrote your resume, keyword optimized, and had at least three people edit. Now it’s time to save your document and send. Have you saved the best CV file format for hiring managers to deal with? We all learned to polish our resumes, divide it into readable sections, and stay away from the first person, but what about the actual size? Nobody ever mentions this detail. What file format for job seekers must use to download, e-mail, or submit a resume? The answer: It depends on the situation.

Here are the pros and cons of each file format to help you choose the best CV file format for each circumstance.

Hard Copy:

Hard copy of resume may be rare, but they are not obsolete. Job fairs and interviews still call for the traditional CV, printed on professional quality. Paper copies of the rules are simpler than their electronic cousins. Keep in mind the following CV tips:

  • Do not use paper colors other than white or eggshell. Other colors look unprofessional and can cause problems with readability.
  • Use a new resume paper, unstained with a weight of 24-32 lbs. This paper is available in most office supply stores.
  • Stay away from graphics, fancy fonts, and color writing.
  • Do not staple the resume. Use paper clips.
  • Place a cover letter on top of each hard copy.


Microsoft Word is currently the most popular format for submitting a resume as an attachment. In fact, many jobs specifically request Word versions on any other program. Do not use Open Office or other programs to save as .doc or .docx. These programs can record in the format but include minor inconsistencies that cause your resume to look awkward.

More Word:

  • Word is the norm in most enterprises.
  • It maintains the overall formatting and retains the same feeling.

Less Word:

  • Some companies do not allow attachments because of the risk of viruses.
  • There are some compatibility issues (.doc and .docx vs ac vs PC) that can change the format of your resume.


Some might consider the best PDF file format recovery. When Word has its ups and downs, emailing a PDF gives you complete assurance that employers will see your resume exactly as you intended. PDF also come with additional protection. Hiring managers or other employees can not modify or alter the document, ensuring your original copy arrives safely.

For PDF files:

  • Eliminates the risk of viruses.
  • Compatible with Mac and PC.
  • No one can change the CV once it is saved to PDF.

Less PDF files:

  • The recipient must have Adobe Acrobat Reader.
  • Job seekers may not have the right software to convert documents to PDF.
  • Monitoring systems of the candidates are not all can visualize and analyze CV in this format.


 HTML files are a breakthrough in CV formatting. Job seekers can easily register their resume as an HTML file, which looks similar to an Internet bookmark. Hiring managers open the file on their browser and see a bit like a Web page. HTML CV can be sent as an attachment, or on a website.


  • HTML retains the formatting and layout when the resume is sent as an attachment.
  • The recipient can view the right of recovery in the browser without downloading the email.
  • The CV can be posted on your website.

Less HTML:

  • You may need a separate software application to convert the document to HTML.
  • Not all browsers support HTML documents.
  • The recovery file can be confused with SPAM, which is often sent in HTML.

Plain text:

A text summary has no special effects such as bold, italic, or centering. It contains only plain (ASCII) text characters that can be created from the standard keyboard. It is often the required format for displaying a resume on a job or paste it into an online application. This format is best for ACS (automated candidate screening) purposes. All ACS can sort, decrypt and read text files because they contain no design or conditional formatting elements.